Sometimes a vacation is more curse then blessing – I’ve been largely away from email and Twitter for about five days now, and returning is less a breath a fresh air and more a deep inhalation of whatever was in that ancient looking Tupperware container found at the back of the fridge behind the pickled artichoke hearts and other infrequently touched items.
Not to center anyone out, but I’m going to center out one specific in particular: The Grush. Based on its name alone, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a colloquial name for the latest STI getting passed around college dormitories, but it’s actually a gamified connected toothbrush for kids “that makes brushing fun.”
First: No, it doesn’t. Second: This isn’t even the first time I’ve heard of something like this. And in addition to being a repeat, it’s also an apparition I swear I’ve seen grace the hallowed halls of CES in at least one, but possibly multiple previous years of the show.
My inbox is literally Grushed to the gills with similar pitches – it’s as if an 18-wheel tanker stuffed to bursting with CES had a head-on collision with a 20-car freight train loaded down with all the CES its powerful diesel locomotive could carry, and my email is the ensuing wreckage: A mire of CES flotsam and jetsam strewn haphazardly across the countryside.
There is precious little worth salvaging amid that disastrous landscape, and both the volume and its general paucity seem extreme compared to previous years. But of course it’s also possible that the show is like a black sheep relative: Early on, they seem only vaguely unpleasant, but as you grow older and wiser, you’d better understand why they’re to be avoided in the first place.
CES 2015 kicks off next week, and at this point I’m resigned to my fate – but I’m not entirely without hope. The show also represents a chance at redemption, and despite, or rather because of, the dire forecast of my inbox, the appeal of discovering stories actually worth telling is greater still. Some might think I’m taking too much for granted by feeling apprehensive about an opportunity many would jump at, but a certain reluctance actually probably ends up making for better coverage of a show whose big sounds and bright lights can get in the way of its actual substance.