According to USA Today, Blackberry Devices will cease to function correctly after Tuesday, January 4, 2022. In related news, I didn’t know Blackberry devices still existed anywhere in the universe. As of Wednesday, apparently, I will be correct.
There is a strange melancholy feeling that accompanies the news that someone (or some thing) you assumed was long gone has just now met their demise. There is a brief flash of happiness upon learning they have been alive all this time, a feeling washed away by the stark reality that it is no longer the case.
In the late 1980s, MTV ran a game show called “Remote Control,” which was very much a Jeopardy-based style show focusing on popular culture. One of the categories that recurred on the show was called “Dead or Canadian.” In this category, the show would reveal the name of a once-famous person, long past his or her prime. The person correctly fit into one of two categories… they were either dead (and not Canadian) or Canadian (and not dead). It was torture, because when they threw out the name “Steve McQueen,” you found yourself rooting for him to be Canadian. Tragically, as I was to learn, Mr. McQeen was born in Beech Grove, Indiana. Not that it’s bad to be from Beech Grove, but, in this narrow case, it’s not the preferred option.
We have a museum of sorts at our home office the west campus of Ohio State University. It is a display of assistive technology devices that have been put out to pasture. We have a 100-year old hearing aid called an Acousticon. We have a Darcy II, an device that translates tapped Morse code messages into text on the computer screen. We have a occupational therapy device called a Smart Pen, which dates back to the 70s, where a user hears a loud noise if they trace outside the lines — not unlike the board game “Operation” from my youth. This is where I have long assumed the Blackberry should be, and as of this month, we will make a space for her, right next to pagers, MySpace, and Netscape Navigator.