I can’t be the only person who on seeing the mindboggling hysteria over the death of Steve Jobs found himself insistently murmuring ‘Foxconn, Foxconn’, over and over as if they were uttering a protective mantra. If I hear one more person gratefully sigh that Jobs was a genius, while lovingly fondling their iPhone, I’ll probably heave into my breakfast.

It might be true that Jobs redefined the way we think about telephones, personal computers and music players, and it’s probably quite an achievement to put most of the planet’s population on the same playing field technology-wise. Whether you’re the Queen or a hooded kid from Tottenham, the iPod is now your music player of choice. But still your iPod/Phone/Pad didn’t fall from the sky and even less did it spring straight from the Olympian mind of Steve Jobs into your hip pocket.

The Apple iBook on which I’m writing this is seven years old and on its last legs, its third battery and its second power cable. It will be the last Apple product I’ll buy. I bought an iPod a few years ago, but I gave it away after a few weeks because it annoyed the hell out of me and it was going to take so much bloody time to get my CDs onto it. And I never saw the point of walking/riding around town with earphones on. I just couldn’t get used to it. I felt like I was in a kind of bubble of my own thoughts from which I looked out onto the world, and if there’s one thing I don’t need it’s less connection to the world. I do tend to sing to myself when wandering the streets, which probably looks very strange, but not as strange as you with your iPod earbuds, hunkered down inside the White Album or Nevermind and with a kind of blank dissociated look on your face as though your favourite canary just died and no-one understands.

Anyway what Jobs has presided over is a kind of weird and somewhat sinister universal fetishising of technology. Apple have made a lot of very attractive stuff, stuff that came along at a time when our laptops and mobile phones were becoming indispensable parts of our daily lives. Apple lifted the bar; then again, the bar was set so appallingly low in the first place. Nearly all the consumer goods we buy, from cars to bedroom furniture, are crap. They’re badly designed, don’t last and are expensive to repair. Computers even more so. A few days spent using a PC running Windows is to expose within you levels of rage and destructiveness that you didn’t know you possessed.

The fetishising of personal tech that Jobs and Apple initiated and groomed us for really creeps me out. It’s tied to a number of things that are even creepier: the kind of sexy Apple-controlled life that Jobs and his hip team would prefer us to lead, the feverish global excitement that erupts whenever Apple make a minor improvement to an iPhone or a laptop (it’s thinner, or pink or whatever), and the inescapable fact that Apple products are made under conditions of great suffering. If they came branded with a bloodied handprint instead of that whimsical bitten apple it would be a more accurate statement of the ethos that produced them. And we’d probably still buy them just the same.

George Orwell reckoned, in relation to coal, that if it required the slave labour of pregnant women to produce it we’d consider that a fair price. The same goes for our personal tech. Anybody who has access to the internet, and even a teeny weeny social conscience – one say a little bit bigger than David Cameron’s – knows that Foxconn is hell on earth, where children are employed under unbelievably appalling working conditions and where people kill themselves rather than face another day at work, or are routinely maimed in the course of their Apple-centric tasks and then discarded like bits of worn-out gadgetry. It’s a basic fact of the consumer lifestyle that we are so astoundingly affluent because everyone else is so poor and miserable. Not everybody in the world can be as affluent as you and me – the planet would catch fire and explode. And we are affluent, and we don’t care. Our iPhones were made by child labour, every time we jet off to a writer’s festival or whatnot we may as well just burn down a forest (and no that carbon offset you paid for isn’t worth shit), and new Apple products fresh from the Foxconn factory floor generate an excitement that is almost sexual in its fervour.

Or maybe we just lost our capacity to think, if we ever had it. I’m not talking about the discursive process that goes on in one’s mind 24/7, or even about one’s level of political awareness. I’m talking about the capacity to hold the idea of another person’s mind, or the expression of another’s mind in one’s own mind. Our iPhones were made by real children. Really. Real children. Another human being really committed suicide because they couldn’t tolerate another day making our fucking iPods. And so on. If I can look at my Apple product and not think ‘Someone really suffered to make this’ that’s because the Apple product itself has eclipsed the thought of the other in my mind; iPod, slave child – iPod wins every time.

The American actor Mike Daisey recently toured Australia with his show The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. Daisey, a long-time Apple geek, visited the Foxconn complex disguised as a US businessman, fake business cards and all. I didn’t see his show being somewhat removed from capital cities, but in some recent interviews Daisey speaks very deliberately and lucidly about what he saw, and why we tend to not to want to talk about it very much.

Daisey points out that it was Apple’s choice to use Foxconn. Until the 90s Apple products were made in California. He also points out that the labour costs make up only a small part of the price of an Apple product. The production of Apple products by slaves isn’t part of the natural order. When Steve Jobs heard abut Daisey’s show he reportedly remarked that Daisey ‘didn’t understand the complexities of the situation’. Daisey commented that from Jobs who generally limited himself to ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Go away’ and variations thereof, an acknowledgment that there was ‘a situation’ at all was really something.

Sometimes I feel like I’m part of a Mafia family I can’t get out of. The consumer paradise we live in sucks massively. It doesn’t work, buys us off with transient fetish-objects, is gobsmackingly cruel, immensely destructive to other life forms as well as to human beings, and makes everyone culpable. It sets up a kind of ‘Macbeth trap’ where to protest or gainsay things is to expose oneself to the fact that connections of the Apple-Foxconn sort are everywhere. Macbeth decided he might as well go on slaughtering and so forth to the bitter end, because he had so much blood on him now it didn’t make any difference. It’s an argument that reminds me of the one put to me by someone who learning of Foxconn said, ‘Well, they are all just as bad as each other, so it makes no difference if I buy Apple.’

If you’ve read this far and are ready to shrug your shoulders in despair, just as you did over the Mavi Marmara or over Utoya or whatever, that’s probably not going to take you anywhere. This is the world we live in. The political consequences of apparently non-political choices are always present. There isn’t any choice we can make that isn’t political, and nearly every consumer choice we make is tied to a destructive end effect. This is the world we have made and any reasonable person would have to assume that it is only going to get worse. How one develops a life that manages to stay afloat amid this weird wonderland is another matter. Some of us develop severe mental illnesses as a way of coping, some of us start damaging other people, some of us become fascists, and all of us to some degree develop strange symptoms of one kind and another. (Some of us become writers for example.) But still, in all this, understanding what is happening, understanding how these things come about, getting a handle on the politics of personal circumstance is critical to one’s human presence.

Steve Jobs was not a saint. He was a businessman. Businessmen generally want to make a lot of money, make their idea the Big Idea if not the Only Idea and they are not too fussed about how that happens. It’s the usual corporate ethic, common to banks and oil companies as well as to Apple.

A computer or a phone is just a tool. It’s not your sexual partner, and it’s not your mother or your best friend. It’s roughly equivalent to your washing machine. The genius of Steve Jobs was to convince us that an Apple gadget was a kind of sex toy that could talk to you, an object that you could love and that could love you back, that would be your fun lovin’ friend forever. And it wasn’t really made by anybody in particular. Steve just imagined it with his genius mind, and there it was, just for you.

Stephen Wright

Stephen Wright’s essays have won the Eureka St Prize, the Nature Conservancy Prize, the Overland NUW Fair Australia Prize and the Scarlett Award, and been shortlisted for several others. In 2017, he won the Viva La Novella Prize. His winning novel, A Second Life, was published by Seizure, and also won the Woollahra Digital Literary Prize for Fiction.

More by Stephen Wright ›

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  1. Ouch. Thought provoking, as always, thank you, Stephen. I am not a grieving Jobsian (all condolences to his close friends and family, notwithstanding) but am now seeing that bloodied hand on my new (first ever) iPhone.

  2. The veneration of Jobs does, like all ideology, have a real base, though.
    If people feel more choked up about the death of celebrities than over actual acquaintances, it’s not cos they’re stupid. One of the effects of neoliberalism is that we don’t actually develop human relationships with many people, and so we actually know more about Jobs or Angelina Jolie or Michael Jackson or whoever than about the guy next door or the woman at work.
    Thus the paradoxical result that we feel closer to people we will never meet who are nothing like us than with those in our own class.

  3. I’m going to open this by saying one of the most apt comparisons I saw of Steve Jobs yesterday was to Lee Iacocca – complete with all the flaws.

    One of the reasons a lot of the technology community deeply respects Steve Jobs (and would come out in a similar manner for Wozniack, Vint Cerf, Richard Stallman etc.) is because he is directly responsible for the computer revolution unfolding in the way it did.

    Without the Apple II, IBM would have *never* gotten into the personal computing business, and the rest is history. Without Wozniack’s immense design talents (to get the cost down) and Jobs vision to see what personal computing could be – things would have taken a lot longer to unfold.

    It’s also entirely possible to draw a direct line from three of the major underpinning technologies that we take for granted today to that vision. Those three being Ethernet, GUIs and Object-Oriented Programming. Jobs wasn’t the only one to see PARC’s discoveries and realize the implications – but he was in a position to hire most of that team and ensure they got to turn it into a reality. Something the executives at Xerox didn’t care about.

    Then there’s Pixar (again a case of Jobs seeing where these people could take their talents to, and providing a way of getting them there)

    Of course, he was greatly remunerated for all of the above and he’s done a lot of bad as well as good – again the comparison to Lee Iacocca is reasonable (for all it’s warts) and Corporations as a concept are deeply flawed and we (as a society) need to reign in the excesses. Apple presides over a walled garden that is dangerous and horrifying, while at the same time is allowing a lot of small time developers to get paid (as long as you don’t tread on anything the almighty Apple wants to do!). We need to get to a place where we can have one without the other. This, however is a conversation that goes much higher than one company though to be fair Apple could be doing a lot more to fight it than declaring BluRay a “bag of hurt” while continuing to sell encrypted movie files via their own store 😉

    As for Foxconn, I trust you have the same disdain for Acer, Microsoft (virtually all their hardware peripherals are manufactured by Foxconn), Cisco, Dell, Nokia and Amazon (to name a few of the other manufacturers that use Foxconn). I see a lot of singling out of Apple by organisations but hey, they’ve decided to elevate their brand, so I suppose it’s only fair they pay (in a small way) by being used to identify endemic problems.

    I’m not arguing that the conditions there aren’t horrific. They are, and we need to do something about them. The invisible hand *doesn’t* work because of course, if Apple *were* to shift all it’s manufacturing to the US (*and* respect Labor laws – one doesn’t follow the other 🙂 ), it wouldn’t matter as the company would soon be out of business – all they’d be able to do in the US would be systems integration, the entire electronics industry sits on this horrific edifice.

    I’m also wondering what you think of the Maker movement? Much of that relies on cheap tools coming out of the same factories in China and yet may be the first step on the way to breaking the back of the way electronics are currently produced.

    To be sure, there were some horrifying examples of canonisation yesterday but one wonders how much of them were serious though I’m sure quite a few of them were – there seems to be some innate drive in some people towards Idolization – Extremism in all forms is dangerous.

    1. Brendan: Thanks for your comments. My rant is not really concerned with Jobs as a business-visionary and whether he changed the world of computing or not. And I think it’s clear from what I’m saying that the destructive, inhumane and rotten business practices of the whole neoliberal model is the problem, and where we as individuals sit within it.
      What’s different about Apple is the rather creepy Apple-love the entire world seems to have adopted, a state of mind that was once the province of Apple fanboys and that dovetails very neatly with the type of relationships we now prefer to have, the ones Jeff was identifying, where we feel closer to objects and celebrities rather than real, messy, emotionally untidy others.
      I don’t believe there’s an inate drive toward idolisation in us. It’s created and facilitated. Apple groom us in ways that other companies must really envy.

      1. Yeah people don’t really see the billion dollar company, the tens of thousands of employees or the exploited factory workers. They just see this man. An that is the only real magic here.

    2. ‘is because he is directly responsible for the computer revolution unfolding in the way it did’

      No, he’s not. Like Stephen said, he was a businessman. And all those technologies? They were not only built and developed by exploitation of poor labourers at Foxconn. How about all those developers, designers, and engineers?

      Sure, he participated in the world as we know it, but it’s a fantasy to imply that he built that world himself.

  4. Jeff: When I was writing this last night, I flipped between speaking to the reader as ‘You’ (which I rarely do) and speaking of ‘Us’ (my more usual practice) trying to establish a sense of personalisation, for want of a prettier word, in this insane nexus we have with celebrities we haven’t met and Apple’s corrupt business practices.
    I’m not saying that ‘people’ (ie: us)are stupid for venerating Jobs etc (and I’m not sure if you think I’m saying that) but that there is a very real capacity for thinking of another that is really frighteningly missing in the ‘mourning’ over Jobs. As I tried to say, by ‘thinking’ I’m not trying to describe a measure of intelligence (and implying therefore that I’m smart and others aren’t)but a capacity to consider the world as composed of human beings.
    And it’s really difficult to get to know the person next door if I’m wearing Apple earbuds all the time.
    And my reCaptcha words are in Greek. That’s going to be interesting.

    1. No, I didn’t think you were.
      Was just thinking out loud, really, about people I know who are genuinely upset about this. I mean, there is a sense in which the death of a celebrity really does provoke more emotion than the death of someone from our everyday life, simply because we genuinely know more about the former than the latter.
      That being said, some people really have disgraced themselves.
      ‘And I thought to myself, by golly, it’s finally time to buy an iPhone. That will be my tribute.’
      Thanks for that, Andrew Leonard.

      1. I’m relieved to say that I don’t know anyone who is genuinely upset by Jobs death. But I move in limited circles.
        I guess we invest a whole lot of emotional longing, atrophied though it might be, in celebrity strangers. Celebrities don’t talk back, and can be whoever we want them to be. Other people we know tend to be less compliant.

    2. I don’t think people are stupid for being sad. But people think I’m being mean or nasty for suggesting perhaps steve and his products were not that great.

      1. Challenging the devotees of a saint on the alleged sanctity of the saint is a good way to get yourself lynched Marcus.

  5. One of the fantasies of neoliberalism/capitalism is that CEOs and capitalists are evil, soul-munching scumbags. And then Steve Jobs comes along …

  6. Great read Stephen. Interesting situation you’ve put me in, reading your words on my Macbook Pro with an iPhone next to me!

    Whilst I agree that Jobs was nowhere near a saint I was still sad that he had passed. I do have respect for the man, even if his company was the source of great suffering. It’s odd yes? The tangled inconsistencies that our minds construct in order to remain sane. I wonder if its a product of our capitalist world or if this is how we all deal with any difficult situation.

    In a world full of sinners(who hasn’t purchased an object built with the tears of a child?) how can we hope to identify and respect people without at least a little bit of moral inconsistency?

    1. Well I could identify with and respect say, the deceased Troy Davis, without any moral inconsistency at all Lucien. The moral isn’t separable from the political in any way. My point is that if we have to engage in mental gymnastics to justify to ourselves that we should own an iToy (and by that term I’m not restricting myself to items vendored by Apple) are we in fact very sane? Of course managing-out some unwanted info is part of how we get through life. But the dilemmas posed by our active participation in the neoliberal marketplace are of a different order, and this is where Apple, guided by Jobs, so spectacularly situated themselves. If the iToy is cool enough, Apple have shown us that there is nothing we will not ‘manage out’ (slave labor for example) in order to own it.
      And I’m (mildly) curious as to exactly what it is about Jobs death that makes you sad? And is ‘sad’ what it is? I think the global ‘outpouring of grief’ is very very weird and disturbing. I feel like I’m hallucinating, or feel like I’m somehow missing something. This IS Steve Jobs everyone’s so upset about, right?

  7. Good piece of writing. The disjunction of the reality of an apple gadget’s manufacture and its easy usability is almost magically cancelled out. That’s part of the Apple seduction.

    Take a look at people on the street or on the bus – the sheer number of people intensely focused on a palm-size screen. So perfectly removed from any concept of slave labour, so perfectly immersed in a net reality, the glow… it’s like we’re the ones servicing the i-culture, rather than it servicing us. It’s not even as if there’s people at the other end of the line any more, it’s just iphones talking to other iphones. Which the poorer peoples of the world have to sell a kidney to afford.

    Apple is seduction. Beguiling, dissimilating seduction. But it’s so very good at that. And this is also the reality we live in.

    iPhones: made by workers who are free to roam.

    (and no, I’m no PC advocate either. Typewriters, yes; gadget-fetish, no.)

  8. That’s a neat phrase “magically cancelled out.” That’s the sinister aspect of our neoliberal iWorld, a reality that’s actually quite hard to grasp because it involves so much magical thinking. Apple-style seduction is just that isn’t it? I really think of it like a kind of grooming; to have a groovy little device like an iPad all you have to do is….give up. Apple made capitalism super-hip at a time when it is really on the rocks. Whatever goes down over the next few years economically, no-one is going to want to give up their iToys.
    And by the way OL editors, I think its very cool that on the weekend when Apple is being universally deified across the world, OL is happy to prominently display an image of a bloodied iPod. Thanks

  9. deification is the word. Yesterday the SMH site had about 7 articles or lead-ins to Jobs in the main page. Is this the acceptable, shining white logo of acceptable capitalism maybe? Or a cult of personality without the brutal repression and stark realities – oh, wait.

    Thing is, and you raise this above – is the whole unquestioning/uncritical nature of all the reactions online to His death. I don’t think so many tweets and comments and editorials have ever said the same thing (about Jobs) in the same way with such banal consistency before. Surely there’s some sociological value in all this.

    1. That’s an interesting point. I don’t think it’s without value to look at the reaction to Jobs death as a sort of cognitive dissonance, a way of managing the anxiety about the very obvious approaching global economic meltdown. Here we are about to go pear-shaped again, only even more so than last time, and everyone’s in Capitalism Cathedral praying before the shrine of Steve, reading from the same hymn book.

  10. Maybe we created Jobs and Apple etal to help promote our efforts in denying reality – ie we die. Any sanctifying of Jobs is because he has been personified as one who helps us avoid – who we are, where we are, why we are. But we created what he stands for. And we need to except responsibility for that. Yes we have blood on our hands. What are we going to do about that? Blog it?? woo hoo.
    Personally I’m waiting for The Dr to deal with it. (not the current Dr mind you, I’d rather go back a few series if you don’t mind). Could we be any closer to The Age of Steel (circa 1996) coming true? Has Jobs included with all those sexy functions the Inhibitor Signal to prevent our human side from taking over? We certainly love the ear-pieces!
    Anyway, when something dies that we create we get sad. Celebrities don’t grow from nothing. We grow them, we put the fertiliser on.
    Afterall if we don’t construct something to fill the hole Jobs has now left we might have to look into that void – ooo too scary. Quick I need to download a new track at itunes.
    We don’t like looking at impermanence, even when it is clearly obvious that it is slowly coming (he wasn’t exactly struck by a car – or speared by a stingray).
    And we don’t like accepting our responsibility for what is around us.
    Ahh, the beauty of having no point at all.

  11. I think you have all missed the point. So much of the Steve Jobs outpouring was fuelled by a speech (circulating the internet) that he made to a bunch of college graduates a few years back.. If you have been living under a rock, the speech was about following your dreams and doing what you love even when the going gets tough, etc… It was an inspirational, moving speech in which he also talked about battling cancer. I think it is the human side of Jobs -the great CEO / corporate magnate – that people have resonated with. I mean he had his die hard followers to be sure, but on a broader scale he was a symbol of something innately human -the dying man, the rags to riches story, the college drop out who came good, the man who got fired and then redeemed himself etc etc. People identified with Jobs because he showed the world something that is generally absent from view when it comes to the worlds most powerful people. People are not “grieving” for Jobs because he was a celebrity, they are grieving because he was human.

  12. Acer Inc. (Taiwan) (United States)[16]
    Apple Inc. (United States)[17]
    ASRock (Taiwan)
    Intel (United States)
    Cisco (United States)
    Hewlett-Packard (United States)[18]
    Dell (United States)
    Nintendo (Japan)
    Nokia (Finland)[17]
    Microsoft (United States)
    MSI (Taiwan)
    Motorola (United States)
    Sony Ericsson (Japan/Sweden)[19]
    Vizio (United States)

    Above is the long list of Foxconn clients. So unless you live a technology free existence then I guess you also have blood on your hands.

    1. Misha: maybe I could ask you to re-read my post. My point is exactly that we have ‘blood on our hands’. That’s how the whole things works and keeps us compromised.
      I don’t think people have ‘resonated with the human side’ of Jobs at all. It seems to me that you are shearing the issue of any political context. And it also seems to me that is more an indication of how much we have emotionally invested in our iToys and the fetishising that goes with them. As for Jobs being a symbol of something ‘inately guman’. I dunno. The way you described it sounds like pure Hollywood to me.

    1. Kylice/Alice, your comment wasn’t deleted. First-time commenters are automatically delivered to the ‘pending’ box, which is WordPress confirming you’re not spam. Your comment is posted above.


      1. Kylie/Alice: You’ve raised an interesting point or two. When I read about Jobs death, my first response was ‘O he’s finally died’. He had in fact been dying for about 5 years. It was as if everyone was just pretending that he had just been losing weight.
        Of course the question, as with all these neoliberal dilemmas that we find ourselves in (blood on our hands), is how to function within them. I have no intention of proposing a program. I think that it’s just enough to understand (at the beginning at any rate) that that is where we are. Whatever action is initiated from that has to be grounded in that understanding, that neoliberal capitalism ‘works’ by compromising everybody. Our guilt or anxiety or whatever is displaced by comforting ourselves with iToys. That’s what’s so horrible about the 21st century consumer world. It’s not ‘out there’ located in the ‘system’ (though there are indeed systems to be brought down, ruptured and so on)but has very deep roots within every aspect our thinking, and behaviour. A blog probably does sweet fuck all. Except perhaps to bring this issue repeatedly to one;s own attention, and maybe ask others to consider it.

        1. I dunno Stephen, I still feel uncomfortable with your ‘functioning within them’ language. It’s hard to put my finger on. But I do agree that it’s not ‘out there located in the system’. But I find these ideas a bit contradictory.

  13. I don’t need to re-read the post to know that you have singled Apple out. I am not excusing their deplorable manufacturing record but what I am saying is that they are merely one of many, many companies who outsource products to Foxconn. I know what you are trying to say and I agree that this is the world we have made but I am sure you can acknowledge that Apple would go bust if they manufactured their products in the US because it is a highly competitive market.
    I just don’t like the way Apple and Jobs are singled out when an entire industry is using the exact same methods. Just because their products are well-marketed does not mean we are devoid of free will in our consumer choices, otherwise everyone would own a macbook and an Ipad.
    The reason we have Iphones and Ipods is not because Apple products are seductive, it’s because technology is evolving and even if Apple were out of the picture, we would still all be running around with Iphones and Ipods and you only need to look at all the imitation products to know that is true. Yes Apple use unscrupulous manufacturing practices but so does virtually every other competitor and you failed to mention their names.
    A few more examples would have balanced the post because it does read as though you are singling Apple out.

  14. Misha: I suggested that you might re-read my post because I appear to be repeating myself. I am indeed singling Apple out, because (a) their chief guru died, and (b) the public response I find disturbing (c) they exemplify something in their marketing which I find both creepy and also emblematic of 21st century consumer life, something qualitatively new which Jobs was brilliant at exploiting.
    My understanding is that Apple would not go bust if they kept manufacturing in California. I think that was one of the points of Mike Daisey’s performance that I referenced.
    Yes, technology is evolving and yes iPods etc are useful to many. Again, that’s exactly my point. However it is not just their usefulness I am highlighting, but something else,
    their status as love-objects that enables us to use them to exactly cancel out any thought as to how they were manufactured. We use them not just as tools to play music, talk to each other, but as methods for throwing a whole political and moral context into shadow so that we don’t have to look at it.
    And we are indeed seemingly free of free-will as consumers. That’s the ‘Macbeth trap’ I mentioned.

  15. Thanks for your terrific post, Stephen.

    I hate to admit it, but I too was caught up (momentarily), in the hype surrounding the death of Steve Jobs, and I’m not even into technology or Apple products for that matter.

    The media response to the passing of Steve Jobs is a reminder of how powerful the media are in shaping attitudes – seems a shame that eulogising another ruthless businessman is more important than making Apple accountable for the suffering caused in the production of technologies, that in spite of all their bells and whistles, pretty much reinforce the status quo.

    1. No problems anonymous Trish. Amazing isn’t it? For a moment there we all nearly believed that Steve was as groovy as we wanted him to be..

  16. Hi, Stephen

    I did write on my blog about the example left by Jobs regarding the individualism (October 12). Obviously the human being has more than a face and frequently a dark side. I would like to reproduce on the blog parts of
    your vision about him if you authorize me, with the due credits and indicating your Overland Literary Journal. If I wrote about his bright face, why not introduce his other face?

  17. I do not understand the canonizing of Mr. Jobs either. Last time I looked, his car was parked in a handicapped zone and he’s also remembered for never donating a cent to charity. It’s as confusing to me as the veneration of Mother Theresa, who refused to allow technology (including sterilizing of equipment, IV’s, and nurses, for heaven’s sake) into her “hospitals.”
    I appreciate your pinpointing of the fact that people get mob-hysterical and emotional over the death (or the wedding) of a highly publicized celebrity that they barely know. That’s just not right–maybe it’s time to bond with the people we live and work with, get to know them in three dimensions and over time. Maybe taking the risk of bonding with our literal fellow-people is a better use of our potential emotional energy.
    This Jobs thing got way out of hand before the dirt was tapped on top of Steve’s grave. I’m going to ponder it for a few more minutes. Then I’m going to go make out with my husband or something.
    PS I own nothing Apple. but probably one day, I will.

    1. Jobs has zipped through the levels of canonisation without even having to rack up a couple of miracles to his name. I suppose iPods and Pads were deemed miracles enough.
      The politics of looking-after-each-other rarely gets much attention. It’s too hard to give a lot of time to others – unless they are inside your iPhone.

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