by pro-Microsoft’s evil empire Darth Civilizer
First off, you have to understand the depths of the black, icy antipathy I feel towards hippies. I was at the movie theater a few weeks ago, taking in a moving-picture show, when a trailer showed up for a movie called “Across the Universe,” which, as far as I can tell, is about how “the artists” (read: sullen teenagers who will never be gainfully employed) are the ones who have it all figured out, and down with The Man, and isn’t Vietnam is a total bummer because it busts up your pot-smoking, self-absorbed daily routine of talking about “your music” or whatever and instead makes you straighten up, cut your damn hair, and be useful for a couple months. And the story is told as a kind of musical, all set to Beatles music. I had to fight to keep my gorge from coming up.
The conventional wisdom is that hippies have more or less sunk into the bong water of history. And it’s true, you don’t see many of them around anymore. Hell, this generation re-did Woodstock some years back, the hippies’ high water mark of peace and love, and it took just a couple days for it to devolve into rioting, looting, and arson. Nevertheless, it is my contention that hippies are alive, well, and plentiful. They don’t wear those awful clothes anymore, and they shave their armpits now, but they’re here. They are on your bus, your plane, in your office, in the parks where your children play, the gym where you pretend to work out but are instead ogling the attractive people, on the sidewalks, and in your doctor’s waiting room. For the hippie, consistent with the Reader’s Digest Eastern philosophy that he or she pretended to understand, has reincarnated. Yesterday’s hippie is today’s Apple customer.
By “Apple customer,” I’m not talking about somebody who bought an iPod, or a Mac because there was a student discount. I’m talking about those people who loooove any and everything that Apple disgorges into the marketplace. Those people who think Steve Jobs walks on water on his way to work everyday, and then turns the water coolers into wine casks upon arrival. If you simply own some Apple products because they were the right purchase for you, or you just have iTunes on your desktop, I’m not talking about you. If you lined up overnight to get an iPhone, or would have if you had the money, I’m talking exactly about you. Damn hippies.
The modern Apple customer is the new flower child, evolved into its present form after being acted upon by some of the dominant cultural forces of our day – superficiality, contrarianism, poseurism, and corporate branding – into the marketplace’s most irritiating hypocritical consumer. These people are the new hippies because they have bought into, wholesale, this marketing fantasy constructed by Steve Jobs and Co. in which we can make the world a more enlightened, more colorful, more creative, more peaceful, more fun, safer for dancing, everyone’s your buddy, techutopia. The original hippies tried to make this happen with sex, drugs, and overrated rock and roll, and the Apple hippies think this perfection will arrive with an iPod, iTunes, and the iPaidTooMuchForThisPhone. The vintage hippies made a lifestyle out of anti-establishmentarianism. The Apple hippies do too, only in a highly diluted form – they’re anti-PC establishment, or anti-Microsoft. It’s a class of people who embrace the (advertised, marketed, and hyped) “Think Different” ethos by all wanting to buy the exact same thing. And it drives me insane.
This is the opening salvo in what will become a recurring feature of All Things In Their Place: the anti-Apple manifesto. I’m sick of all the salivating, downright obsequious coverage that saturates the media (the mainstream media, not just the tech media) whenever Steve Jobs dumps a new gadget into the tank. I’m sick of Apple hippies who walk around with their iPaidTooMuchForThisPhone like they’ve got the Higgs boson tucked in their pocket. I obviously won’t change anybody’s mind – Apple hippies are like the people that think global warming isn’t happening…try and tell them otherwise and they plug their ears and start singing White Stripes songs really loud so they can’t hear you. But I will feel better, and that’s what a blog is all about – solipsism.