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Reklama Review December 6, 2007
The Messiah Is Mobile
Jesus called, and he wants his old number back By Alex Shifrin Browse author Email
Accept the Lord Our Cellphone, or suffer eternal damnation

I'm not a religious man, but the Christian Messiah has returned. This time around, Jesus Christ has come back in the form of the Mobile Phone. Let me explain.

The parallels are so striking that I'm surprised the Pope hasn't issued an encyclical on it yet. First off, the mobile phone, like Jesus, has won a fast and rapidly growing global following. All over the world and throughout the day, people speak to their mobile phones. They use their phones to console, to confess, to feel part of a larger community. They use their mobile phones to say thanks. Mobile phones have become a main source of comfort and security—just like a savior. If your car breaks down or you're in trouble in any way, you better have your mobile phone. You will curse the devil if you don't.

Some worshippers today wear their mobile phones around their necks, like a cross. Phones have given way to their own language and hieroglyphics. Phones can die, and can be resurrected. The disciples can be heard all around us: "I couldn't call you, my phone was dead."

Phones can turn water into wine, and feed armies by turning large quantities of bread and fish appear almost out of nowhere. Just quick-dial Domino's, ask for extra anchovies, and let the miracles begin.

Mobile phones have their own competing churches in the form of mobile operators. They claim to each hold different beliefs and values, offering their own colors, individual tariffs, and attitudes, but the reality is they're all pimping the same savior. They have churches all over the major cities and, increasingly, in the countryside, ready to take you in anytime you want to add a little more prayer time or purchase an indulgence.

Here in Russia, MTS is the Orthodox Church, while MegaFone is a kind of a progressive Protestant movement. BeeLine? They're the Jews. The company was set up by the same kind of tech geeks that gave birth to mobile technology. They are also skilled bankers.

The Crusades these churches lead are impressive. It's impossible to flip through TV channels, magazine pages, or look up in any large city without being met by aggressive advertising converting heathens into believers.

Mobile phone street preachers are everywhere these days, from your converted friends to hired promoters brandishing sandwich boards, handing out literature, or yelling at anyone willing to listen and take a free information brochure. No obligation. Just come in for a free test. Get on your knees and listen to details about the plans on offer.

And did you know that the Rio de Jesus statue contains a mobile base station, receiving and transmitting signals to the metropolis alongside the giant icon?

The oncoming 3G technology even parallels the old Christian idea of the Third Rome. According to the theory, Moscow is the Third Rome, and if the city's reign as the Orthodox religious centre was to fall, it would usher in the Apocalypse and the beginning of the spirit world. Well, for orthodox believers in the mobile phone, 3G is the Third Rome, enabling incredibly fast transmission of internet through the mobile telephone. The evolutionary path is clear: "phones" will soon develop into some sort of a fully integrated lifestyle device that plugs you into an international communications network. The phone, in the orthodox understanding of the word, will cease to be. It isn't simply going to be about calling someone to talk, possibly using an implant in your watch—or tooth. The mobile phone as we know it will soon be dead, nailed to a radio tower. Its spirit will ascend and live forever, but the body will decay on Golgotha, its shroud and bone remnants destined for church museums.

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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


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