Imagine there's no heaven.
Imagine there's just the purgatory of Earth, where cheap thrills and pain are distributed in distinctly unequal measures.
Imagine, too, that some of these cheap thrills and pain are created by humans who sneer at other humans for their gadget choices.
I was oddly moved, you see, by a plaintive cry from the Android wilderness published in Android Central.
Jeramy Johnson has had enough. He's had enough with his family members. He's had enough with his friends. Well, some of them.
It seems they bathe in an elitist snobbery that incites them to mock his Android proclivities, because they all have iPhones. It seems Johnson has veered away from Apple toward Android and is now paying a troubling price.
"My Apple 'family' just looks at me a little differently now." he said. "I don't mean to say that they are outright rude or offensive, but there is definitely an air of superiority in their questions or comments about my daily carry choices."
Some might say that taking on an air of superiority about someone's phone choice is most definitely rude and offensive. And ignorant. And plain inhuman. And, apparently, still widespread.
Johnson writes of "the not-so-subtle eye-rolling and even outright disdain that many iPhone users have for Android fans."
I fear he's mad as hell and he isn't going to take this any more. I judge this from his words: "And you know what? It sucks. It's unfair. And I'm sick of it."
Fairness so rarely plays as decisive a role as sickness these days. We don't expect the world to be fair, nor anyone who lives in it.
Why, even my neighborhood raccoons used to like a fair fight. Now, they just rampage through my back garden and don't even give me a look.
Johnson's pain is, of course, all Apple's fault. If only it hadn't started by making a lot of expensive, lovely-looking phones at a time when Android phones were packed with features -- or should I say "features"? -- and wrapped in a look that might have been called Early Container Store.
This -- together with the obsession of lining up outside Apple stores nights before a launch -- instantly engendered a cultish snootiness that constantly slithered around society like an intestinal worm.
You might think, though, that once Android phone makers realized aesthetics and simplicity were things real humans actually like, that Apple types might have resisted the urge to not just think different, but snort superior.
You'd think, too, that once Samsung brilliantly skewered the whole Apple cult at the launch of the Galaxy SII -- 10 years ago -- that the pompous Cupertinian guard might have calmed down a touch.
Tim Cook has certainly not been quite as brazenly confrontational as Steve Jobs. Or, rather, he looks down his nose at the likes of Facebook rather than Samsung. He knows that there are now many fine Android phones in the world and some of their features are so good that Apple will cheerily swipe them.
Yet here we are with tales of Android-baiting woe in 2021.
What might we conclude?
Perhaps that well-crafted brand perception lasts a very long time. As does badly-crafted brand perception.
Yet it's not as if the whole world is like this. Android-scorning, to a considerable extent, is an American phenomenon. We do nasty well here. We can really make it hurt. And only in the US is the iPhone so dominant.
So please, pretentious, inconsiderate, self-regarding, arrogant American iPhone owners, stop upsetting Android owners.
They're sensitive too, you know.