FRANKIE’S HOLIDAY : APPLE DECLARES WE SHOULD LOVE EVERYONE…INCLUDING MONSTROUS TRANSHUMANS
On November 15, 2016 Apple, the “think different company”, began sharing a special new TV ad called “Frankie’s Holiday” in time for the holiday (Christ Mass) season, accompanied with the tagline “open your heart to everyone.”
The ad features a loner monster modeled after the hybrid creation of Dr. Victor Frankenstein singing “Home for the Holidays” on his iPhone.
Played by actor Brad Garrett, the monster is actually a cross between a human, Dr. Suess’s Grinch and Dr. Frankenstein’s fabricated creature.
The 2-minute ad is beautifully produced and features eloquent, Christmassy cinematography. It obviously was not shot on an iPhone, as Apple has done with past ads that demonstrate its products. In fact, the iPhone 7 is only shown fleetingly in the ad.
The ad’s story left viewers wondering “where are they going with this?”
The answer is, Frankie is a transhuman trojan horse put forth by a company with $250 billion in cash that wants much more than your money.
It is a declaration by Apple that they wish for us to love something otherwise scary, if not unbelievably deplorable and abhorrent, to billions of humans.
Here’s the story.
As the commercial opens, Frankie is tucked up in his cozy home perched above a mountain village (like all monsters, he lives alone, isolated, solitary). He uses his new, gold iPhone7 to record the tune to “Home for the Holidays” played by an old music box to his Voice Memos app.
Answering the call from a portrait of Mary Shelley (author of “Frankenstein”), which hangs on the wall near a crackling fire, Frankie blows a thick layer of dust off his top hat and leaves home (apparently for the first time in ages). Our hero is on his way to redemption.
At the border of his property, he picks up a package in the snow that tells us he lives in Milner, EJ, wherever that is. After a long journey through snow covered mountains, he makes his way into the charming village below snuggled between the mountains. I’ll call it ITville (where IT stands for Information Technology).
Here’s where Apple seeks to pull our heart strings.
“An unexpected holiday visitor finally receives the warm welcome he’s always yearned for,” reads the ad’s description on YouTube.
Upon arrival, Frankie walks past 1950s-era cars that make one think “Cuba” and startles the modern-looking people of ITville who are gathered around a tall Christmas tree in front of a church. Lights spiral from the bottom to top of the tall, skinny tree. The church glows from within, it’s circular glass portal illluminated.
Judging by their gasps, the Christ-believing (as evidenced by the Xmas Tree) residents of ITville apparently have never seen a real-life 8-foot tall giant before. A father holds his terrified young daughter tight.
Who knows? Maybe they heard stories about the giant, green-skinned ‘alien’ ogre living in the hill overlooking them. Maybe they read the Bible stories of giant fabricated beings or heard about them on ANCIENT ALIENS. Maybe they believed the stories. Maybe they didn’t. No matter. Here he is. Frankie is in ITville.
Frankie expected a cold reaction. And, he got it. The village people are stunned, terrified and horrified at the abhorrent monster’s appearance. They judge him. The look on their faces says they hate him.
The men know he’s more powerful than they are. He could smash them all, if he chose. He is massive in their presence. They fear him.
Just as Frankie fears them.
Humans, he knows, are often devils in disguise. They are callous. Separated from spirit, they don’t know that Spirit knows no color bar and seeks unity, not diversity. Frankie knows humans are bigots who hate the wretched and different. Their mob mind is dangerous.
To make matters worse, the good people of ITville appear to be unaware of how their world has changed.
They live in the past (hence the old cars), apparently ignorant that the Artificial Intelligence machines they have created are now taking on a life of their own…or, as in the case of Google’s A.I., can learn on their own…and will soon confront humanity.
Yes, folks, machines are gaining intelligence, if not consciousness (awareness).
Welcome to ITville.
Little do the people of ITville realize, that in his isolation (left to his own Apple devices), Frankie, again a manufactured being, has taken on a spirit (the Holiday Spirit) and that, in this spirit, he is docile and incomplete (just like them), but he is also in a state of love.
So, yes, Frankie is taking a huge risk in leaving his cozy cabin above ITville and engaging the human monsters (who, themselves, were made about of the same ‘clay’ as he, only his parts were ‘dead’, meaning they no longer contained Spirit).
It is Judgment Day for the people of ITville and for Frankie.
Two worlds are colliding.
Frankie is standing in ITville.
The humans are there.
Only one of them will survive.
WHAT TO DO?
What is Frankie to do? Fight and kill them all, and let God sort the callous hearts from the pure?
Sure. He could do that.
Alternatively, Frankie could introduce himself (his real name is “Adam”, the “Fallen Angel” in Mary Shelley’s original telling of the tale) and have a deep philosophical conversation about whether or not he is just another version of the villagers (after all, he was created by one of them, Dr. Frankenstein) and ask them to grant him compassion and permission to live along side them?
Sure. He could do that, too.
Instead, Frankie looks the beastly humans in the eye and shows them what kind of being he is (more than a just a humanoid fabricated from spare inanimate parts) and what he can do.
He follows the commandments to love with all his heart, all his mind and all his soul and to love his brothers and sisters (even if they are only human) as himself, by singing them a song and and leaving them at peace.
Note to the readers who like to read the esoteric symbolism woven into the ad. As he sings, Frankie stands in front of / in place of the Christmas tree, which some people believe have magical powers.
In pagan times, it was believed that nasty spirits could enter a home between December 25 and mid-January (the coldest days of the year). To combat these negative entities homes were decorated with evergreens as symbols of protection. These evergreens were alight with candles, a theurgic (white magic) technique for “lighting up” dark spaces and returning them to light. Passion plays telling of the “Paradise Tree” in the Garden of Eden were popular in many parts of Europe. A fir or evergreen (pine) tree with apples symbolized this tree. In early Christianity, apples and candles remained only now the candles represented the light of Christ absolving the “fall of man”. It is for this reason that the Christmas tree symbolizes Christ’s birth, life, rebirth and resurrection. It is the reason for the season.
And resurrection is where Apple’s Adam (“Frankie”) Frankenstein is headed.
He is about to enter a new season of his life.
This is where the package he picked up outside his home comes in. Frankie opens it and reveals two “old-fashioned” or retro-style candle flame-shaped Christmas tree lights. One red (color of the apples of the Tree of Paradise), the other green (color of evergreen plants).
He lights up the village people by screwing the bulbs into his neck (where Boris Karloff’s bolts are supposed to be), hinting that his body is augmentable. He’s got bolt holes. Why, (one day) even Apple’s dongles can be plugged in to his body. But, we are getting ahead of our story.
Next, Frankie flashes his trusty iPhone 7, clears his throat, and begins mumbling / singing “Home for the Holidays”.
Like his voice, his effort falls flat and trails away into the mountains.
It is the lowest moment of the ad.
Feeling a failure and the onset of sudden death by a bad decision, Frankie looks confused about what to do next.
Resurrection occurs when a young ITville girl waves for him to approach her.
Frankie steps forward.
The men of the town do nothing as the towering monster approaches the helpless young girl.
He could scoop her up like King Kong if he wanted to…
Instead, Frankie kneels or bows to her.
She reaches up and flicks the green (= “go”) bulb.
Two worlds collide.
In response, three (“wise”?) men of the town (Apple stockholders? Board members?) mutter something unintelligible amongst themselves, but still do nothing (pussies?)
Next, the young girl, who is obviously the purest and the bravest citizen of ITville (or its most technologically adept), leads Frankie deeper into the song, singing with a British accent.
Yes, the children will lead the way into the kingdom of heaven…and acceptance of technology.
Before we know it, the ITvillage people are all singing along with him.
Frankie is reduced to tears.
He is ‘home and dry’ now.
He has crossed the forbidden boundary.
He is among the it-turns-out-not-so-monstrous humans.
“Open your heart to everyone” says the tagline.
AND THE MEANING IS?
Apple’s commercial is truly heartwarming.
I would love to see more “Frankie Goes to ITville” episodes to see how they think his relationship with humans would / could develop.
If sitting at a creative or engineering meeting at Apple, I would like to ask just exactly how they think an inanimate creature like Frankie suddenly got the Holiday (Christ Mass) Spirit?
Answering this question is of utmost importance to all of humanity.
Machines and inanimate objects are not supposed to have that ability. Does Apple believe its machines can have spirit? If so, how?
Secondly, I’d like to know what Frankenstein’s monster has to do with Christmas or the Holidays.
As I see it, the answer is nothing (unless we accept the new commercial union /blurring of HalloweenThanksgivingChristmas and the rebranding of this time period as ‘the Holiday Buying Season’, preferably celebrated on Black Friday and Cyber Monday).
Apple has loads of options in terms of Christmas characters, symbols or motifs it can use to sell its products.
Imagine a commercial that opens in a desert. Orion twinkles above. Three Wise Men answer the call of a star that miraculously shoots across the sky above. They follow the star to Silicon Valley, ITville, where a young girl gives birth to a luminous baby and whips out an iPhone 7 to take the first picture of the newly arrived star child.
How about a story about a monstrous elf who learns to bring love to the world through Apple’s technology?
Or a transhuman Santa who demos phenomenal new Apple products (instead of ‘Frankensteined’ versions of old shit Apple’s customers complain it is currently selling)? How about those roll up computers?
Forget about Christmas or the Holiday Season, Frankie’s story isn’t even true to Mary Shelley’s original story.
Apple’s commercial is derivative of Jim Carey’s “Grinch Who Stole Christmas”. Garrett’s Frankenstein even looks like the Grinch (Monster) who lived on the mountain top above Whoville and pined for human interaction. A little girl named Cindy Who reached out to him and offered companionship and warmth.
So, again, what does Apple’s message have to do with the Holidays, let alone selling computers and phones for cold, hard cash?
The answer is nothing. This is because the ad seeks to sell you something else.
The something else comes when we take a closer look at the Frankenstein story.
FRANKENSTEIN or THE MODERN PROMETHEUS
English author, Mary Shelley, wrote the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his creation or offspring in 1818. Titled “Frankenstein ; or The Modern Prometheus”, she explores the angst of Dr. Frankenstein who creates a being she calls a “wretch,” “creature”, “monster,” “demon” and “it.” Speaking to his creator, the nameless being refers to himself as “the Adam of your labors”, and as someone who “would have” been “your Adam”, but is instead “your fallen angel.”
Says Wikipedia, in Shelley’s original work, Dr. Frankenstein discovers a previously unknown but elemental principle of life, and that insight allows him to develop a method to imbue vitality into inanimate matter, though the exact nature of the process is left largely ambiguous.
After a great deal of hesitation in exercising this power, Dr. F spends two years painstakingly constructing the creature’s body (one anatomical feature at a time, from raw materials supplied by “the dissecting room and the slaughter-house”), which he then brings to life using his unspecified process (in the films it is electricity).
The novel’s subtitle, The Modern Prometheus, comes from Greek mythology. Prometheus was the Titan who created mankind at the behest of Zeus. He made a being out of the clay of the earth in the image of the gods that could have a spirit breathed into it (by the goddess Athena). He did this after the Great Deluge had wiped out mankind.
The story of Prometheus is the story of the repopulating of the world after this cataclysm and against the wishes of Zeus, the chairman of the board of the Greek pantheon. In other words, it is the story of our race.
In the story, Prometheus traveled to the heart of the golden sun, where he stole fire, the means of life, from Mount Olympus and gave it to mankind, also against Zeus’ wishes.
According to the German classicist Karl-Martin Dietz, in Hesiod’s scriptures, Prometheus represents the “descent of mankind from the communion with the gods into the present troublesome life.”
The Judeo-Christian equivalent of this myth is Lucifer, who has brought the gift of consciousness to humanity.
Prometheus rebelled against the gods by first saving humanity and then by bringing humans spirit and with it light or enlightenment.
The key esoteric applet in the story of Prometheus is that a divine being can breath spirit into a previously inanimate object, even beings made of clay, like humans.
As I have written in The Skingularity Is Near, breathing spirit into their computer products is the ultimate goal of Transhumanists such as Dr. Ray Kurzweil and Steve Jobs.
Prometheus is very much with us today and he is rising as Silicon Valley giants like Apple try to infuse spirit in their inanimate products and to infuse their technologies in our flesh or what I call the ‘Skingularity’.
Writers who express caution about the over-enthusiastic embrace of new super technologies, such as Michael Sandel, who worries about human enhancement and genetic engineering, and Clive Hamilton, who worries about geoengineering, sometimes warn us about the ‘Promethean attitude’, or ‘the Promethean urge’.
This urge is expressed in Apple’s ad.
Apple knows that upon encountering a human packed with machines — a Transhuman Frankenstein — most humans would react with shock-horror and disdain at the vileness of the wretched new creation. They might seek to destroy it. Or control it. But sooner than later, the Frankenstein will gain awareness. That’s when Frankie will get off his cozy couch and go on a quest to meet its maker.
APPLE’S LARGER MESSAGE?
In the spot, Apple is connecting its product to a Promethean monster who, through its product, gets the holiday spirit…and then teaches humans about it or transmits it to them along the way.
Is Apple preparing us to stick their dongles in our bolt holes? Is this the larger message here?
“It’s a if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it type of thing. We do look at this time of year as a time to put out a message larger than product.” Apple’s Vice President of Marketing Tor Myhren told Co. Create in an interview about the brand’s strategy with the ad.
The Larger Message I received (and I could be in error) is quite clear.
Apple’s core marketing message is that its products connect us together. This is the human factor it seeks for its products to embody.
With “Frankie’s Holiday” Apple may now be signaling that it will connect us with what we previously may have thought of as “monstrous” creations. I speak of the Transhumanist vision in which humans will literally embody computer technologies (such as retinal implants, artificial skin, genetically regenerated organs, etc.).
In the Transhumanist future of 2020, the iPhone that is presently held by our hand will be in our eye. The Daily Telegraph says Netflix is now available as a surgical implant.
iEye, or whatever we will call these implants, will bring super-enhanced human capabilities such as 24/7 video recording, night vision, x ray vision and the ability to project any image in front of our face. Not only will we have supervision, but our body will be tapped as a power source and we will also be ‘lit up’ electronically like our phone screen…or a Christmas tree.
In this future, Silicon Valley proposes implanting their technology in any and every orifice of your body it can. This will result in the advancement of humanity from homo sapien to transhumans or humans who are part machine or fabricated parts, just like Frankie.
What is not being advertised, or even discussed, is that when the iEye is implanted in our eye, it’s “Aye aye-dios” to our free will and definition as humans and “Aye aye, sir” to our corporate masters under whose supervision this ‘supervision’ will put us under direct control.
This is likely where Apple came up with the Frankenstein idea. It’s not hard to see once one realizes that, like most of Silicon Valley, Apple’s engineers are the new Dr. Frankenstein’s, only they are in the longevity and turning humans into machines business. The trade-off for their promise of living past 200 years and having the IQ of 10 Einsteins combined is that we must comply with their demands for access to and control of our bodies, our minds and our hearts.
Dear Pinocchio, just a note to let you know that we all are now their puppets on strings, just like you.
Apple is heroically and admirably advocating that all the Frankies of the world, even manufactured transhumans, deserve to be loved…as, of course, they do.
What do you think?
It is strange that Apple would tie its brand to a monster or that it would send this message, unless it is time for the company to begin rolling out their transhuman products.
Is Apple preparing us for the imminent day when millions, er billions, of its customers have computer shit sticking out of their neck, their eyes, their ears, other other orifices? (We will then truly be Xmas trees with apples spread over our body.)
If so, it is time for the rest of us citizens of ITville to adopt an inclusive attitude toward Dr. Frankenstein’s, excuse me, Apple’s, and Silicon Valley’s “next human”, which will soon be seen on our streets.
Apple is saying that the monster has arrived. And the people of ITville will love it.
How aware are you of the accelerating advances in technology aimed at your body?
The thing is, most viewers are likely not as up on the Transhumanist agenda as perhaps they should be. Therefore, they missed the blatant message sent by Apple.
Frankie is best of Apple or how Apple apparently thinks of itself. It is as if Apple is saying Apple = Dr. Frankenstein and the iPhone 7 = the hybrid monster.
What is it about the iPhone 7 that Apple does not want us to fear? What could be scary about a phone?
Apple is by no means the only Silicon Valley giant to adopt the viewpoint that technology is scary and we must change in order to embrace it.
In 2014, GE released a spot called “Ideas Are Scary” and features a semi-cuddly, semi-bizarre creature (“the scary idea”) who is rejected by cold-hearted humanity and finds itself homeless. But then, one day, the alien-like creature wanders by a GE office, where a nice GEek invites him in and gives him a chance to unfurl his feathers and to shine. The message is “ideas are scary, but human beings are scarier…unless bring advanced technology that GE can turn into dollars.
Yes, good people of ITville, there are scary monsters out there.
Some are human.
Some are transhumans and are preparing to come off the work benches in Silicon Valley.
Will we love or fear these monsters?
I don’t know.
One thing I do know. Spirit will meet us where we are.
We are all free to choose how we will meet it.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.