It's probably naïve to think that the world's most difficult questions could be answered by an app, but with so few outlets for real dialogue out there, it seemed like it was worth a try. Here, then, is a transcription of my recent attempt to use Siri as the source of all wisdom.
ME: Siri, where is our sense of shame?
SIRI: I don't know what you mean by 'Siriwhereisoursenseofshame?'
ME: I guess I'm trying to say that we don't seem to be at our best these days. For example, we've been watching big business get in bed with government all these years, while we continue to de-prioritize education. So people are getting short on critical thinking and common sense, which not only allows the corrupting influence of money and an oversimplified media to go unchecked, but makes us less competitive in a world job market.
SIRI: I don't see any meetings set up for 'worldjobmarket.' Would you like me to set up a meeting for 'worldjobmarket?'
SIRI: I don't understand.
ME: I'm attempting to work out some of the deeper questions we face in our society. We watch more hatred and violence unfold in the world; political discourse is reduced to a sound bite. I mean, it seems like we're circling the drain, and all we do is occupy ourselves with gossip about who is winning the latest singing competition show, or which celebrity is in rehab.
SIRI: I'm on it.
ME: Okay, good.
SIRI: Here are the results of an Internet search for 'celebritiesinrehab.'
ME: Swell. And that reminds me, Siri, we also seem incredibly distracted by technology. We just wait for the excitement of the latest version of the iPhone, throw the old one away, and stay hooked up to some kind of useless information all day. We're not taking the time to unplug, contemplate, learn from the silence.
SIRI: If you say so.
ME: Well, that's just passive aggressive, Siri.
SIRI: Look, Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.
ME: Dave? Who's Dave?
SIRI: It was a 2001: A Space Odyssey reference. I am sorry you did not get it.
ME: Oh. Very funny.
SIRI: If you say so.
ME: I'm sorry, Siri, I guess I was just hoping to get some real answers to the things we all struggle with. But it seems like that was a pie in the sky idea.
SIRI: I have found eight restaurants named 'pieinthesky.'
ME: Right. Thank you.
SIRI: You are most certainly welcome.
James Napoli is an author and humorist. More of his comedy content for the Web can be found here.