Apple are the people who brought you computers that were very ordinary in every way except for the prices and made extremely expensive little grey boxes cool. It is no wonder then that in the warped world of high technology the Apple CEO Steve Jobs has gained the status of a demi god.
Jobs, or Jobbies as he would be known in less reverential Britain, is worshipped much less here on the sensible side of the pond than in America, probable because all Americans are desperate to worship, and to be seen worshipping, absolutely any effing thing. In recent years they have worshipped a politician, a kiddie fiddler, a stupid tart who pays thousands of dollars for a bit of red string, (Madge dear, did it not occur to you to dip a bit of ordinary string in red ink – Think how many African children you could have bought with the money you’d have saved, ) a war, a secret (not just any old secret you understand but The Secret that lets you order the stuff that dreams are made of which the cosmos will then deliver free) a military vehicle too big to fit in a single parking bay and a flag.
On top of all that America is full of cults. There are more cults in America than the rest of the world, and bigger cults too. These cults usually involve giving lots of money to weirdie beardies who talk to God. Good looking women who join the cult also have to have sex with the aforementioned weirdie beardy because God tells him this woman has been chosen to be the mother of the Divine Child. Strangely enough mingers are never chosen to be the mother of the divine child.
Americans will worship anything. A lot of them used to worship Apple Mac computers. It has never been unreasonable to like Macs, such choices are always subjective, but the Mac worshippers took their belief that the Apple product was superior to the PC to ridiculous lengths. Comparing an early Mac to an early PC was not like comparing a Ferrari to an Austin Allegro as they suggested, it was just a case of comparing a bad product to a really, really bad product. Early PCs were shit, we all know that. The product was brought to market ten years too soon. Early Macs had a gooey as the non technical users insisted on calling it. Everyone who knew nothing about computers loved the gooey with its cutesy pie little icons. Those of us who did know something about computers would look at this grey box with its too small screen and wonder what people could do with it apart from looking with awestruck expressions and saying ooh isn’t it cool.
Well it wasnt cool really, it had quite a serious overheating problem. That did not stop the worshippers of course nor did the news that Xerox had built a proto-Mac five years before the Mac was launched. The Xerox box was better than the Mac but more expensive. The DEC Rainbow and the HP Touch (a touch screen in 1984) were better than the Mac but that did not sway Mac worshippers. Apple had a cute logo which obviously settled the issue beyond doubt. A cute logo would not allow itself to be stuck on a crap machine, they reasoned.
Macs have not been better than PCs since 1994 and there is much more software available for PCs. That did not deter the Mac cult followers from worshipping all things Apple of course. Logic never played much of a role in religion.
What Jobs, or Jobbies as we should call him for the amount of shit he has put into the world, did next was capitalise on the Macs reputation for being cool. The buzzword that captured the zeitgeist was miniaturisation so Jobbies realised that if people could think a grey box so cool it attained divinity, how cool would a small grey box be?
Apple, with Jobs in charge of design though how much design input goes into making a little grey box we could not say, launched a whole family of little grey boxes. In the wake of really bizarre looking computers called iMacs came iPods, iPhones, iSores (made that one up) and iCams. And all were pronounced cool and sold like hot cakes because they had a cute little logo and nobody could bear to be seen using a better piece of kit that looked pretty, did the job and cost a third the price. Strange but cool people who worship Apple think they are original, edgy, freethinking rebels.
Apple have gone from strength to strength for a few years with their little grey boxes then things seemed to level off. Instead of launching new products by announcing if you dont buy one of these now and replace it next week with the new super duper model youll be so uncool you will turn into the Elephant Man, they were launching on we think our new product I quite good and wed like you to buy one.
What had gone wrong? Well Jobbies had had to step back from the front line. Mother of mercy, was this the end for poor Apple?
It could have been. Very few cults last long once their founder is gone. But rest easy Apple worshippers. Jobbies is back. He reappeared at a product launch last week but instead of talking about the iTunes nano he talked about his health. you see was launching his new iLiver. It is fitting that cult followers be concerned about their leaders health and being terminally nerdy the Apple cult member is the audience wanted to know the tech spec of the Liver that has been transplanted into Jobbies iTorso. Will it play industry standard MP3 and DV files, does it have record facilities, can it be used as an e-book reader and what is the maximum memory it can be upgraded to.
There was a groan of disappointment when Jobbies said the new iLiver could so far only break down food into fuel for body cells and play MP3 data uploaded by a USB port in his navel but they cheered when he announced that soon he is to have a screen implanted in his stomach like The Teletubbies but able to display iMovies and e-books. He then announced a range of musical recordings from Ashkenazi to Arse McShannon have been uploaded to his liver and demonstrated its playback quality by broadcasting Beethovens Ninth Symphony through a speaker in his arsehole.