Written in 2006, years before the recent glut of fairytale programming on television and film; 384 words, 5 analogies, and one metaphor, alas, Zen, the smart phone version, has gone the way of the Dodo.

This week, the sides of Fifth Avenue buses were graced with ads featuring the latest personal listening device – the illegitimate cousin of the ipod, called Zen. For reasons known only to them, god and a goodly number of focus groups, advertisers have latched onto a marketing strategy that invokes higher powers. “Find your Zen”, the ads say. If you took the ad’s advice, you’d find something that looks an awful lot like an ipod, with the advantage of having one less letter in its name. In any case, it’ll be an enlightening exercise to see if the name is copyrightable. Should Zen become a registered trademark, it could lead to some heady legal confrontations: Dharma vs Downloads, Hungry Ghosts vs Patent Attorneys. Or, in the spirit of reconciliation, we might be treated to advertisements featuring a roomful of smiling monks, sitting on meditation cushions, plugged into their own personal Zens and listening to — the Sutras, we hope. Quite likely, the ads coyly wouldn’t tell us. The monks might be sneaking in a little James Brown on the side.

If Zen works, we can, as they say in the biz, expect more of the same. You can almost hear the conversation in the Idea Room as they search for new, trendy names coined from similar realms: “OK people, we’re looking for some bounce, but nothing too ethnic. Catholicism – ferggedaboutit, too much bad press. Judaism – too New York. And besides, words with ch in them sound like you’re clearing your throat. Islam – are you serious? Unitarian – too white bread. Tao is good, but it sounds like a chemical company. And besides, it’s already taken – a tea, or something. Confucionism – too many syllables. Zoroastranism sounds like Zorro. Bahai might work — if they ever legalize marijuana. But look, we got a gold mine with this Buddhism thing: Bardo – taking software to a whole other level; Nirvana – the worldâ’s most dependable hard drives (and as quiet as one hand clapping); Mantra — the ultimate way to share your most personal sound files. What’s not to like?”

So here’s a prediction, based on the success of Zen, we can look forward to the next incarnation in this line of products – an implant that will allow you to access MP4s by just thinking about them. Who knows? In an effort to maintain their market share, it may already be in development by Apple, destined for release at the next MacExpo, code name — The Void. Which only goes to prove that Nothing is, or at least once was, sacred.