October, 2016 Edition

by Ms. Duh
Contributing Columnist

I’m back.

Um. Yeah. It’s been a while. 2008? That long? Not quite a decade. Honestly. I don’t know where the time has gone. But, I’m back and full of Mac, so that’s a great thing.

Yeah, your kid is 8 years old now. Eight long years. I know. A lot has happened.

This is good because, now I have a lot to write about before the well goes dry this time. And it’s going to be mostly Mac related. Ain’t that a kick?

But, first, to some business. The ninja story? I wrote an ending for that.

“…and everybody got ran over by a truck and died. The End.”

It was getting weirder and weirder anyway. You want weird and non sequitur, go watch “Mr. Robot.”

So, a bunch has happened in the last 8 years, eh boys and girls. First and foremost, I will not be relaying Mac lifestyle tales from the land of Oz anymore. I will, however be relaying them from Hee Haw, as I have moved to the very heart of the south. I am warning you now, I am not fond of the south, nor do I mince words with my feelings in living in the ultimate manifestation of what it must be like living inside the brain of Boss Hawg from Dukes of Hazzard. What fun am I having the last 8 years? About as much fun as David Duke at a Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. concert. So, that’ll be slipping out every once in a while. Offended? Direct all inquires to Idontcare@gmail.com and I’ll get right on it. And some of life outside the mac universe will slip in, just to warn you on that. I’m a Beiber hating, Bob’s Burgers loving, Adult Swim addict who loves the Science channel and misses Saturday morning cartoons. Plus, I am a political junkie, and a news-a-holic, and since the world has gone to hell in a handbasket, I most certainly will be giving my best John Oliver/Jon Stewart -esque take on all of it. I welcome discussing and debating my opposition and invite them to write me at buggeroff@gmail.com. But until then, lets begin the madness. Since we are, as a nation, on the verge of Armageddon in the form of a large angry sack of sweet potatoes being elected president, I thought I’d get some last bit of funny in before I dye my hair black, composing emo poetry and move to Canada.

My first topic is Steve Jobs. As it should be. And I want a moment to be serious, and a bit sad as well as nostalgic.

A lot has happened, especially here in the Mac community. One, I want to write about in particular, is the passing of Steve Jobs.

Ever since I was old enough to know what a computer was, there was Apple and Steve Jobs. I have never known a time without Steve Jobs/Apple in the last 37 years. My first Apple computer was an Apple IIc and I have never since left the company or their products behind. Even in the dark days of Macintosh, when I was just starting out as a designer and had to maybe consider getting a PC if Apple cease to be, I was a rabid loyalist. I talked up Apple and Mac, considered myself one of the special ones and identified with not only the computer and company but with the identity and ethos. And Steve Jobs was always one and the same with Mac, even when he wasn’t there. Steve Jobs was just always THERE. Mac was just always THERE. I had never even considered that one day he wouldn’t be. Maybe I thought he was immortal… like Zeus or Wolverine.

On that dark day in 2011, when Jobs passed, I had felt a surprisingly large hole in my being where all the air had been sucked out. It’s not that Jobs was solid and tangible to me. He was this icon that represented so much to me, so I was mourning, not so much the man, but what he had represented to me for all these years. He represented that slice of my life that was my youth, the parts and parcels that carried my professional and personal identity. I had held myself as a computer person, a designer, a special Apple kind of dreamer. When we all take the yarns to weave our lives out for all to see, I took a part of what IS Apple, and what IS Macintosh - the facade it presents to the world, the image (however real or not) it presents to all the people, I wanted a part of that to be my identity. So much of what I did, and who I was involved Macintosh. So much of what I was interested in was Apple. As I grew into this identity that intertwined with of all things, a computer company, I became part of the community and culture. Most all my friends and colleagues are of this community. I got all the “in” jokes, I knew of all the backstory and history, I was a part of the group, and to some extent for a while the group represented a kind of idealistic rebel. And who doesn’t want that? Especially if you’re young, struggling to be special and unique.

My strongest ties to Apple/Mac and to Jobs happened in my 20s and 30s (although my association with the computer started when I was about 13) and the strongest image that was presented for consumption of this fabulous universe and its people, was of the rebel, the special ones. MacAddict was my favorite magazine, and we were at WAR with the beige normality of everyone else. This is what Apple/Mac will always represent to me, and this feeling is what died with Jobs October 5th, 2011.

After he died, I read the biographies and devoured all of what I could on the history of Apple. Getting into that wayback machine, I think I was trying to recapture some of the feeling it was when I was young, and Apple was new. I had for a while tried to define just what it was that saddened me about the passing of Jobs that seem so personal. Of course it is a loss of a great mind and leader. Of course it is a loss of a slightly crazy visionary and the reality of what he could have brought to the world. But I wondered why there was a PERSONAL tug of saddness when he passed. I do believe it is because it represents a loss of that youthful Apple spirit of rebellion. That feeling of being special and knowing about this superior sort of universe that only a few knew. Apple has become more mainstream, and that's fantastic. Apple has become more normal, and that’s great. There is no need for evangelizing or the platform wars. Macworld has died away, most all of the maccentric magazines and events I knew are gone. The community that once was very tight knit and powerfully enthusiastic is older and dispersed, assimilating into the culture at large. Apple/Mac has become… normal. I am no longer…. special.

This was/is the main reason Jobs’ passing was a hit to me, a vaccumming out of the air in the room, a loss on the level of when Johnny Carson went off the air. Sounds insane? Well, it was. It was gloriously insane when Apple was Jobs and Jobs was Apple.



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