Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Walter Isaacson’s STEVE JOBS is one helluva breezy read. Like Richard Nixon, Steve Jobs disproved there is no second act in American life. Jobs, who’d lost the company he founded in the mid 80s, found new success with Pixar and returned to a rapidly declining Apple not only as its savior but as the visionary who transformed it into the most valuable tech-company in the world. (But if Nixon’s second act was brought down by a scandal, Jobs’ was cut short by illness and death.) Perhaps, it could be said Jobs’ greatest achievement was to dissolve the barrier between hardware and software, the body and the soul of the computer. According to Isaacson’s book, no one did more to integrate hardware and software into a seamless whole as did Jobs. Apple products made hardware feel like the manifestation of software, as if technology evolved from a simpler lifeform to a more complex one, from a scaly or shell-covered cold-blooded reptile to a warm blooded mammal; there was a suppleness to the feel of Apple products compared to others. Initially, Jobs achieved this by spearheading the friendlier Macintosh in the early 80s; when he returned to Apple, he continued in this vein with iMacs with transparent casings, thus lending the impression of inside as outside and vice versa; finally and most importantly, he led a team of engineers and designers to create hand-held devices where hardware and software were so organically integrated that they seem to hum with its own life energies; instead of having an on/off switch, it ‘came to life’ or ‘awoke’ to stimuli. For some, an iPad may look like nothing more than a electronic sushi tray. But others might say it’s like a pool in a Japanese garden, calm and serene but vibrating with responsive ripples with the mere touch of one’s fingers; or a high-tech mirror designed to reflect one’s hopes and dreams. Given the display of Apple products in art museums, maybe we can even say they constitute a school of art: Art Stevo or Art Ivo—akin to ‘Art Deco’. Personally, I haven’t a clue to the real worth of Apple products as I never owned or used them—and don’t care to. Anyway, what follows is some random musings on Jobs and the book about him by Isaacson.
Like most people, I knew who Steve Jobs was since the 80s. He was the Apple guy. But until I read the book by Isaacson, I had little knowledge of and interest in what Jobs was about. I got interested in the book after reading a review by the Blogger Named Ernest, but I probably wouldn’t have bothered if Jobs’ mug on the cover hadn’t stared right at me from the ‘New Books’ shelf at the local library. Even then, I figured I’d read just a few chapters, but I found myself hooked. The book isn’t heavy on tech information(as it’s for the general reader), and besides, Jobs’ forte was in salesmanship, management, and design than in minute details of computer science. Trumped as a genius of ‘intuition’ than ‘intellect’, he’s the sort of person to give hope to millions of people who think they might make it with ‘charisma’ and ‘spark’ as substitute for the truly high intelligence that they lack. Of course, the real selling point of Jobs’ story is his personality and how it did and didn’t jibe with the cult of personality surrounding him. Even if Jobs had achieved less, he’d be interesting simply because he had more of a ‘personality’ than, say, Bill Gates who, at least publicly, doddles around like a turtle without a shell. Watching Jobs and Gates side-by-side is like watching Han Solo and Jabba the Hutt. But, there would have been no cult of personality if there hadn’t been a power of personality, a kind of ‘will to power’—though this concept has been done to death—, something central to Jobs’ success given his Achilles’ Heel, a limited knowledge of computer science.
Before I get on with the book, let me first confess I probably know and care less about computers than most people. Being more of a nature person, I’ve never much paid attention to technological advance. In the 80s when everyone was moving from LP album to cds, I was one of those who held out. When most record stores stopped selling albums, I stopped buying music—not that I missed much since the music scene got worse in the late 80s. I only began to use cds in 1993 when I got a cd player as a gift. I got a cell phone much later than most people and, outside the home, only use it in an emergency. Not that I’m a Luddite; I just happened to find most new technology unessential to life; and I happen to be allergic to hype of any kind, and so I naturally developed an aversion to Apple with its ‘1984' and ‘Think Different’ nonsense. (I must say though, ‘Apple’ is a pretty clever name. Apple in American as Apple Pie, Apple as in Eden and the Forbidden Fruit, Apple as in Isaac Newton and gravity, etc.) Also, my personality draws me to the past and resists ‘progress’, especially because the pace of change is ‘too fast’, wiping things out even before we’ve had time to absorb their full significance. We’ve had over a 100 yrs to think about what the telephone and film mean to us as a society and as individuals, but the advance of high-tech keeps handing us new things even before we’ve under the full implications of what we just had. It’s like being served a stream of new dishes even before we’ve done little more than have a little taste of the dishes in front of us. (Interestingly enough, Jobs’ approach to food in restaurants was rather like this according to the book. He’d taste a little of something, complain, order another and then another, as if his pleasure derived less from any one meal than from the process of meals constantly coming and going. In real life, I’ve always wanted to punch people like that.) When I return to places of my childhood, the rational part of me can accept and appreciate the changes—new buildings replacing old buildings and the like—as necessary improvements, but I still feel an acute sense of loss. I’m not the only person to feel this way, but I’m probably more sentimental in this regard than most. Though the superiority of the cd to the LP was pretty obvious, I’d grown accustomed to the ritual of handling and playing the LP—pulling it out of the sleeve, wiping the dust, cleaning the stylus, setting the stylus down on the grooves, the sound of stylus lifting after the end of one side, etc. And of course, the cover art really mattered with LPs. I also liked the idea of Side A and Side B. Even so, I can’t say I ever hated the music cd.
Such hostility was reserved for the computer, especially the personal computer. Foolish as it may seem now, I couldn’t stand computers for the simple fact that the ugliest, dorkiest, gimpiest, and most annoying geeks and nerds in school were obsessed with them. In high school, there was the ‘computer room’, and most of the kids—nearly all of them boys—looked like creatures from another planet. I also didn’t see how computers could be of much use to someone like myself. I didn’t like video games, had no interest in computer-related fields, and the so-called dos system looked Greek to me.
According to Isaacson’s book, the first Macintosh was truly an impressive product in the early 80s. Was it? I first saw a Macintosh when the younger brother of a friend showed it to me; he got it as a birthday present at the tender age of 10. It looked like a clunky piece of junk as far as I could tell. Even at the ‘beginning’, I failed to see anything that was so amazing about the personal computer and its operations. So, you could play some third-rate versions of arcade games. So, you could write stuff and make some graphics. So, what was the big deal?
I’m almost certain I wouldn’t own a personal computer to this day had it not been for the internet. When I first experienced the internet in 1996, I, in full agreement with everyone on the planet, knew THIS would change everything and was indeed a fantastic tool. This wasn’t like going from b/w TV to color TV, or going from LPs to Cds. It was going to change the way we think and live.
There has been many changes to the internet since, of which we’ve all been a part whether we like it or not. Internet has multiplied choices to the nth degree for the user, but one choice we no longer have is the choice not to change. Even if you own the same computer for several years, the Google you’re using today is not Google that you were using few years ago. Facebook keeps changing its formats and applications. You change as it changes, and you really don’t have any choice; but because the change happens so constantly, subtly, and ceaselessly, you come to accept it as the natural flow of life. Consumer technology is no longer just a gadget with fixed operations but something that keeps evolving through a gadget programmed to download ever new applications and services.
Even so, I’ve had little interest beyond the basic services and tools of the internet, which is why I know so little about recent Apple products. If a certain technology is indispensable, I will use it in a way that it suits my needs, but that’s about it. I’ve never felt a need to own something for its brand, iconic status, or whatever. As far as I’m concerned, a $19 dollar cell phone bought from Target does all I need with a cell phone. Sure, an iPhone may look better and all, but the only function I care about in a cell phone is to call someone. I feel the same way about watches. Watches, for me, is a device for telling time. I would have any use for a Rolex watch. Does it tell time better than Timex or even Mickey Mouse watch? Some people are crazy about cars, but for me, a car is something that takes you from place A to place B. So, if a car is decently priced, had good gas mileage, and will do what it’s supposed to, that’s my car. Of course, if I had all the money in the world, I might be tempted to buy something better, but status symbols have never been a passion of mine. The only kind of car that would truly amaze is one that can fly or go underwater. Otherwise, no matter how fancy or expensive a car, I see it as a four-wheeled vehicle that goes on place A to place B.
So, I never saw any reason to get an iPhone or iWhatever.
But there’s another reason why I tend to be allergic to such things. It has less to do with the products themselves—which may well be amazing as people say—but what’s becoming of our culture as a result of them. And nowhere is this problem better demonstrated than on vacation travels. I stopped going on trips with some people because they just have to bring this gadget and that gadget. What’s the point of going to different places if one feels a constant need to be connected to the familiar? On a car trip, I can understand listening to music, reading a book(for the passenger of course), having a conservation, etc. But watching movies on computers or playing videogames or fiddling with the internet? I mean enough already. While driving through the Rockies, a friend of mine just had to watch TOY STORY—a movie I especially detest. Another thing that drives me crazy is people who go on trips and talk on cellphones incessantly, upload every thought and photo instantly to whatever sites and pages they have, and so on. It’s one thing to own an advanced piece of equipment that can do amazing things. But why not wait til you go home to assemble them properly and then share with friends and families. Though Apple alone cannot be blamed for this—and I suppose it is only giving consumers what they want—, what we’re witnessing is the Rise of the iPodpeople. This constant need to be and feel connected cannot be healthy. Nor will it make people ‘think different’. How can they when they’re always connected or hooked to something or someone else, mostly to feel as a member of a cyber community or to stay linked to friends/family members at all times? (Needless to say, I HATE TWITTER!) The global connection made possible by the internet is profoundly important, but no less important is the sense of one’s individuality, separateness, and privateness. But if technological and consumer trends continue in the direction they’re going, then we can kiss ‘difference’ goodbye. There is a natural need for all people to want to belong to a community, to connect with others and share ideas. But for this to be a truly rich experience, people also need to maintain a wall between the social and personal, the private and the shared. It’s like in any restaurant, there’s the kitchen and the dining area. The chefs prepare the food in the kitchen, and it is served in the dining area. You don’t get rid of the wall between the two areas and allow diners to just grab and eat what the chefs are cooking. This isn’t to say one must think alone at all times; after all, much of Greek philosophy begins and ends as dialogues. Rather, certain ideas and thoughts can be fully explored and organized properly only when one maintains the barrier between the me and the we. I fear this is eroding with devices like iPhones, iPods, and iPads. It makes people so busy connecting and ‘sharing’ that they don’t learn to fully develop the autonomous I; they share and serve their ‘ideas’ and ‘opinions’ even before they’re fully cooked. Without such devices, one is likely to feel and turn ideas inside his or her mind, carry forth a conversation with oneself, and develop some semblance of thought before finally expressing oneself. Now, with Apple devices and services like Twitter and other social networking sites, people are shooting off impressions even before they form in any coherent opinion. Thinking and expression have become more of an attitude and style than presenting a substantive set of views, and we can see this events such as Occupy Wall Street. It’s as if anyone with a snarky witticism is an instant philosopher and revolutionary. It is the intellectual and political equivalent of the hook-up culture. Just as modern dicks and poons of the new generation connect and disconnect at breakneck speed without much in the way of social or emotional development or commitment, ideas and views shoot back and forth like ping pong balls with ever fewer people having the patience to gather and shape their feelings and opinions into anything resembling thought. (Maybe the devices should be called wePhone, wePod, and wePad.) Thus, experience of life turns into a kind of collage of snippetry of views, feelings, images, sounds, etc. Everything is a clip of something. This has, of course, been a problem ever since the advent of the remote control and cable TV. With the remote, even if everything on TV was rotten, one just kept flipping channels like playing a slot machine in the mindless drone-like hope that something good will pop up. Thus, one doesn’t so much watch TV as play TV. But prior to hyper-connected hand-held devices, channel surfing was a problem in the home. One was a free autonomous person outside, in the streets, library, park, etc. But devices like the iPad and iPhones—and other products by other companies of course—have made it possible for people to be hooked up all the time. Many people seem to think this is hip and liberating, but is it really? Isn’t there something infantile about the need to be/feel connected, umbilical-cord-like, to familiar places, people, and voices wherever one goes? When I see some foreigners with cellphones stuck to their ears in American malls, I think they’re using their devices like security blankets or teddy bears. Being in another country, the fact that they hear a familiar voice from 1000s miles away has a calming effect; it makes them feel like they’re still at ‘home’. When the entire world is turned, emotionally and socially, into one’s living room or bedroom, there is a kind of reality warp. It’s like people bringing dvds and video games on camping trips. I can understand this emotional need, but maybe we need to resist this over-dependence; and kids need to be reminded that the world is not their ‘home’. When I went on a camping trip alone last year, there were moments when I was overcome with disorientation in the wilderness. There were times when I wished I could watch some TV, even junk TV, just to feel some sense of familiarity. But had I given into such temptations, what would have been the point of the trip?
Despite Apple’s ad motto of ‘Think Different’, many people seem to be flocking to Apple products to own a piece of sameness, not only in iconic hipness but in feeling connected to ‘home’ and ‘friends’ at all times. Connected via Apple products wherever one goes, one can always be in the same state of mind. Of course, Apple users will be connected to different people, but they will all share the sameness in their sacrifice of private autonomy for the buzz of the linked community. Thus, Apple devices may look sophisticated and advanced, but what they’re pandering to the infantile need for people to cling to and suckle on something. .
The problem posed by Apple products is an extension of the dilemma plaguing mankind since the very beginning: namely that something of great value when used intelligently will almost certainly not be used intelligently by the multitudes—worse, it may be used to cause great harm to the very fabric of society. In the modern world, given the social, economic, and/or political benefits of popularizing certain concepts, icons, and values(or counter-values) for the mass consumer, even intelligent people cannot resist profiting from the vulgarization of their ideas. Of course, smart original people often despair of what have become of their visions or arguments. In the 60s, many smart people in arts & culture argued for more sexuality and violence in cinema on grounds of fuller artistic expression; since sexuality and violence are part of reality, why should important artists be denied the freedom to express their vision? American cultural commentators often invoked the artistic superiority of European/Japanese cinema with greater leeway for sex and violence. Thus, more violence and sexuality became nearly synonymous with better art and social truth; heightened sex and violence were associated with Ingmar Bergman(in films like VIRGIN SPRING, SILENCE, and PERSONA), Antonioni, Godard, Resnais, and the like. And one of the most violent directors of the 50s and early 60s, Akira Kurosawa, gained the status as one of the premier film-makers in the world. Compared to the fuller expression of these ‘foreign films’, American cinema’s do’s and don’ts seemed quaint, even downright repressive. When greater violence and sexuality were finally given the green light in American cinema, they were famously conveyed in landmark films such as BONNIE AND CLYDE, THE WILD BUNCH, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, THE GODFATHER, and etc. The collaboration of the Italian filmmaker Bernado Bertolucci and the American movie star Marlon Brando in a film made in France, LAST TANGO IN PARIS, seemed to seal the international consensus that more freedom and candidness would lead to greater art and truth. In those heady days, there was still important debates about sex and violence, their implications and possibilities; most cultural commentators seemed to be on the side of freer expression. But what eventually became of most of this freedom? In sexual expression, it meant the mindless porn-ization of culture(to the point where even cartoons seen by young kids are filled with porn references and where our pop music culture is essentially soft-core interracist kiddie porn). In terms of violence, it meant mindless bloodbaths, sock-em-chop-em beat-up-fests, and lots of things blowing up for the sake of blowing up. And all too often, even genuine works of art go misunderstood by the audience who can’t tell the difference between GOODFELLAS and SCARFACE. (When A CLOCKWORK ORANGE inspired copycat crimes in England, Kubrick had the film pulled from theaters. He made it as a thought experiment, but many young people saw it as a manifesto of nihilism.) I suspect John Boorman made THE GENERAL as a counter-GOODFELLAS, not so much because he thought Scorsese got it wrong but because most people, being what they are, would get the movie wrong. Scorsese’s intention was to show the allure of the gangster life while, at the same time, unflinchingly fixing our gaze at the petty cruelty and sociopathic thuggery of organized crime, but there were too many people in the theater laughing at it all. (Though Americans are more sarcastic than ever, they don’ t seem to be very keen on irony, which isn’t the same thing. For example, all those people who worship Jobs and Apple seem to be blind to the irony behind the campaign of ‘Think Different’. And all those secular liberal rationalists seem to miss the irony of their near-religious devotion to Obama. But then, conservatives aren’t any better. Don’t they note anything weird about praying to Jesus for more wars in the Middle East?) During the 60s, there was the problem of drug use. Initially championed by cautious intellectuals like Aldous Huxley in the 50s and then taken up by Harvard psychologists like Timothy Leary, it soon unleashed mass lunacy among young people who thought instant enlightenment came with pot smoking or tripping on LSD to the Grateful Dead. Worse, many kids began taking drugs not for any higher, spiritual, or creative purpose but simply to party. What Huxley had hoped would serve as the anti-soma(mind-numbing drugs in BRAVE NEW WORLD)became a kind of hyper-soma. And even some serious people, for whatever reasons—arrogance, vanity, power, madness, etc—, chose to embrace the vulgarization of what had originated as a serious idea. By the mid 60s, Timothy Leary became the pied-piper of the Counterculture.
This is as true of guns and religions as with drugs and art. Make guns available to a whole bunch of Negroes, and there’s going to be perpetual civil war. Give religion to the masses, and it will often degenerate into mass lunacy, which is one reason why the Catholic Church insisted on a strict hierarchy whereby Church doctrine would be decided at the top and not be vulgarized by the ever changing passions/fashions of the masses. (The problems of the Catholic Church highlight the dangers of the ultra-elitist approach as well.) Make available lots of prescription drugs to the masses, and every insipid clod with trivial aches and emotional ‘problems’ will demand more drugs. In many cases, smart people know there’s a lot of abuse of legal drugs by people who shouldn’t take them, but smart people also know they can make a lot of money by investing in and inventing such drugs. Who cares if it’s good or bad as long as it can make you rich? Perhaps the willingness of super-rich people to fund philanthropic causes betrays their sense of guilt regarding how they made their money: vulgarizing their products to the point where they do more harm than good for society. Is there really any great pride in having concocted expensive but essentially useless drugs marketed to the gullible masses who wanna take anything to feel better? But then, mass consumers deserve a lot of blame too. Many don’t seem to be interested in finding a real cure; instead, they take some perverse pleasure in knowing they’re so ‘fuc*ed-up’. Having aches and pains conforms to the values of our victimological age, and being ‘neurotic’ and needing drugs means that maybe you’re sophisticated and complicated, even cool. After all, many famous artists and celebrities seem to have emotional problems and be dependent on drugs(as well on psycho-analysis).
The vulgarization-dilemma also plagues the high-tech industry, perhaps more acutely than in other areas. Social commentators often express anxiety about ‘rich getting richer and poor getting poorer’; some say the poor are getting poorer because the rich are getting richer. (Personally, I don’t see the poor getting poorer since they keep receiving government benefits that increase every year—under Bush and Obama. Besides, the poor pay no taxes, and many show no desire or will power to better themselves. They seem to think they are entitled to ever expanding litany of ‘rights’, which means they should receive more free everything. The sector of America that may really getting poorer is the middle class and the working class, much of it owing to globalization, which has vastly enriched the upper class and the government class; status and statism are what the new economy is about.) Similarly, one could say the smart are getting smarter and dumber are getting dumber; paradoxically, it could even be said the dumber are getting dumber because the smart are getting smarter. It’s often been said one of Jobs’ main goals was to make computers-and-related-devices simpler to use. In one part of the Isaacson’s book, we hear of some illiterate kid in South America picking up an iPad and learning to use it on the spot though he’d never touched a computer before. (I suppose it’s kinda like the Moonwatcher ape-man in 2001 coming up the monolith.) On the one hand, it’s an inspiring story of how Apple produced something that can bring the world together, something that can be understood and used by just about anyone. (Something similar had been said of the AK-47, a rifle so easy to use that even a child can learn to disassemble, clean, and reassemble in 15 minutes.) Imagine the access to the world of knowledge for any child around the globe with something like an iPad. And most of us, who know little or nothing about computers, can only marvel at the ultra-fine and brilliant engineering and design that went into creation of such devices. Apple might as well change its name to Appeal. But the downside of the ease of use means a whole bunch of dummies will be ‘empowered’ with so little input on their part. Should so much information, fun, and even power be made available to so many people, many of whom are useless and anti-social? This is not an economic question. I’m all for the right of Apple to make whatever it wants to make, and I’m all for consumers freely choosing. Rather, it is a moral question. After all, the number of people involved in—indeed are capable of—hightech research and innovation are relatively few in number. As their knowledge and smarts in their special field increase by leaps and bounds—to the point where most of us have absolutely no clue what they’re doing and probably wouldn’t understand even if we spent years studying the subject—, we are left with no choice but to be mindless and uncomprehending consumers whose lives have become intricately linked and inseparably bound to technology created by a neo-Brahmin class. I fear the IQ differences between the super-smart and the very dumb might gradually become like the difference between man and ape. Cerebral may become the new racial, or cerebracial; indeed, it already feels as though we are all ruled by the elite of super-intelligent Ashkenzai Jews with control over just about everything. Though Jews are generally smarter, not all Jews are very smart, so the new elite is made up of super-smart Jews, super-smart whites, and some super-smart Asians. Though smart people always had an edge over most people, the power/tyranny of intelligence was checked in the past by the role of Church, military class, and political class. In the End-of-History triumph of liberal democracy, economic power accrued from social freedom is the real source of power. More freedom means more power of the super-smart over the less smart. (To be sure, democracy allows the masses of dummies to vote for higher taxes to ‘take from the rich and give to the poor’, but even the government has now come under the control of the Jewish oligarch class. People like Cass the ass Sunstein basically wanna use government to control us like guinea pigs. Given that Obama the ‘socialist’ is essentially the creation of super-rich Jews, it cannot be said that democracy represents the power of the masses, especially since most people will think what the mass media tell them what to think; who owns the mass media? Super-rich Jews.) With rise of high-tech, super-smart people have a tremendous advantage over dumb people. Also, when science and technology weren’t so advanced, a man like Henry Ford or Thomas Edison—very smart men but not super-geniuses—could use their ingenuity and pragmatic intuition to do great things. But as technology becomes ever more advanced, it’s gonna be survival of the fittest at the top—along with token well-connected people like the Clintons, Gores, and Obamas, who will serve as public relations people for Silicon Valley Jews. In this sense, Jobs, though hailed as a futurist visionary, may be one of the last of his kind, for his strengths were more akin to the intuitiveness of an Edison or Ford than the super-genius that defines the Google Kids, Brin and Page.
There was a time when only a few could read while the vast unwashed couldn’t. So, the ability to read was almost a sacred power. In ancient India, only the Brahmin could read stuff like the Rig Veda. Today, most people can read, but how many can read computer codes, which is like the new Sanskrit of the hightech age? Though computers have become more user-friendly and easier, their codes have become more complex. For most of us, the study of the advanced science of computers is like learning to read DNA codes. It’s only for the experts. Super-smart people who understand computers are out to make a lot of money by offering products to the masses, and since the masses are dumb, easier the device the better. Things like iPod, iPhone, and iPad may look cool and smart—and one might feel cooler and smarter to have them—, but their appeal is they can be operated even by a dumbass. Since the super-smart keep inventing, producing, promoting, and marketing things that assure us that we can stay dumb—and become even dumber—and still enjoy the latest in high-technology, one could argue that, in an odd way, smarter our technology becomes, dumber the rest of us become. The creativity and genius needed to make these products demand higher intelligence at the top, but the childlike ease of these products means that we can be like that illiterate Latin American kid.
Now, of course, the objective of any company is to create products that are friendly and useful to the consumer. Who would build a car that requires the user to know lots about cars? And most people, including myself, wouldn’t want a ‘difficult’ car. And of course, making our lives easy in one area frees us to invest more time to be more creative in our own respective fields. If cars can easily take us from place A to place B, we can use the saved time and energy for whatever we need to do. Imagine if Einstein had to spend hours every day cooking and going from place A to place B. So, for people in the high-tech field, creative field, or innovative field, technology that makes their lives and activities faster, easier, and more efficient is a great boon. Where would much of American economy be if everyone owned a Model T?
But what applies to the elites doesn’t apply to the masses, many or perhaps most of whom will never have a knack for achieving anything in life. The most obvious example of the problems caused by the easy availability of services and products like social networking and cell phones is black flash mobs. It’s almost like apes equipped with high-tech gadgets. When a dumb Negro kid holds a cell phone in his hand or takes part in social networking, not an ounce of thought is involved. Instead, it just riles up his ego to go wild, and the extent of his ‘creative’ use of such devices is to hook up with a bunch of other thugs to go robbing stores and beating up people. When a Negro kids look at something like an iPhone, he doesn’t for a minute wonder how it was created or what kind of effort, ingenuity, and brilliance went into its development. He just sees it a cool toy to fuc* with so he can fuc* up more people. It only makes him more ‘niggerish’.
But even among non-violent kids, there’s something pathetic about their robotic fixation with such devices. You can see them everywhere, the mindless drones who sit for hours staring at their iPhones or iPads, sending insipid texts back and forth, as if they need to feel connected to familiarities at all times. Given the reality of the IQ gap and the fact that most people will never play any meaningful role in an innovative or creative field, the mass availability of devices such as Apple products may dissolve the souls of young people in a pool of goo. Of course, one could argue that if such devices didn’t exist, the dummies would simply be dumb in other areas. If Negroes didn’t have iPhones, they’d dribble a basketball, watch TV, or shake their booties to rap music all day. If white trash didn’t have high-tech devices, they might just go outside with BB guns and shoot squirrels, which would actually be worse than being an Apploid drone. It’s not as if, in the absence of high-tech devices, most people are gonna take music lessons or read THE DECLINE OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. Even so, I find something disturbing about countless young people so devoid of thought having access to things created with so much intelligence and brilliance, especially when the technology of genius is too often used for idiocy, violent or non-violent. If TV was called the idiot box, iPad might be called the idiot plate.
But there’s another problem. Though the top talents in Silicon Valley are surely many times more intelligent than most of us, there is something queasy about so much wealth, power, and influence flowing to the geekocracy or nerdocracy, many of whose members are tawdry and insipid outside their narrow field of genius. According to the biography, Jobs was special as a kind of insider/outsider in the computer community. He didn’t fit the image of the hacker geek that comes to mind when we think of computers. His expertise wasn’t in computer engineering; he was more a leader of geeks than a true geek. Indeed, one of the running themes in the book is Jobs’ aesthetics, taste, and dream of synthesizing science with the humanities. So, if most geeks have brains but no taste—with Bill Gates being a typical example—, Jobs and his proteges represent the cultivation of science as art.
But, here’s the problem. I don’t see what was so special about the Macintosh even in the context of the 80s computer scene. Okay, so it looked better than other computers, but I still don’t much artistic merit. It turns out Jobs’ position became more tenuous at Apple, until he was finally ousted from the company altogether. And this might have effectively ended his career as a key player in the industry. His next company, fittingly called NeXT, didn’t go anywhere, not least because Jobs had a poor grip of reality in terms of what was possible and practical. What made Jobs’ second act possible owed to luck—and the total lack of taste among the American public in my not-so-humble opinion. It was the success of Pixar. George Lucas, embroiled in divorce proceedings, needed cash and sold his computer animation company to others, among whom Jobs was the most prominent. Thus, John Lasseter, who started working for Lucas, ended up with Jobs, and the company they built together, Pixar, made (computer)animation history, delivering one blockbuster after another. This is what made the second coming of Jobs possible. Typically, Jobs expounded on the success of Pixar movies as proof of the importance of creativity and taste in technology. My views on Pixar movies probably relegate me to the dissenter’s corner since both critics and the masses seem to love Pixar movies. I still say Pixar movies are utterly tasteless. Every character looks like a bouncy-wouncy and rubbery digital gumby or goofy Stretch Armstrong. Though some Pixar movies are made with lots of wit and razzle-dazzle, the overall impression ranges from ugly to overly cute. And for all the fireworks, there’s little wonder and magic. When you watch a Disney classic, the beauty of the story and images lingers long after it’s over. But when a Pixar movie ends, it really ends. They are like roller-coaster rides with lots of thrills—some of them executed with dizzying brilliance—but no real vision. It’s like being caught inside a pinball game, bouncing all around, but without any narrative or emotional coherence. TOY STORY strikes me as one of the ugliest children’s movies ever made. I skipped most Pixar movies, but praise for FINDING NEMO was lavish that I gave it a chance. It was like just obnoxious from beginning to end. The action, as in AVATAR, was so non-stop, thrill-a-minute, and insane, I wished the barracudas had eaten Nemo too. I will admit INCREDIBLES and UP have their moments, but they don’t leave any lasting impression. Pixar movies are incapable of delivering the kind of emotional climax to be found in SLEEPING BEAUTY or LAPUTA: CASTLE IN THE SKY.
There have been two main schools of animation: the beautiful and the grotesque. Disney generally made its name with beauty while Warner Brothers Looney Tunes were the masters of the grotesque. (Disney did produce characters like Donald Duck, but they were ‘safe’ and adorable compared to the truly wild characters like the great Daffy.) Though I can admire the greatest achievements of Disney, I prefer Looney Tunes with its wild and grotesque characters, especially Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, and of course the king of them all, Daffy Duck. One could say there’s a stronger Jewish element in the grotesque form of animation; one may even find parallels between Looney Tunes with Jewish vaudeville comedy and modern art with its distorted shapes(and subversive irreverence). Generally, grotesque-animation has depended on wit and inventiveness while beauty-animation focused on purity and vision. Beauty-animation may also be said to be elitist while grotesque-animation is populist, but this isn’t exactly true since wit is a rare attribute. So, while grotesque-animation, in its irreverence and identification with the underdog, may seem to represent populist sentiments, they could also be said to represent the supremacy of elitist Jewish wit over the pretty but dimwit goyim. After all, Bugs Bunny the Jew-like rabbit is always puling a fast one on goy archetypes like Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, and the Tasmanian Devil. In contrast, though beauty-animation appears elitist in their emphasis on prettiness, there are probably more attractive people than smart people. Also, smarts usually trump looks, which is why so many ugly Jews, with their higher IQs, own pretty goy actors and actresses in Hollywood, sports, music, porn, etc. Generally, it’s not pretty people who have power over smart people but smart people who have power over pretty people. (I suppose if you’re pretty and smart like Natalie Portman and Paul Newman, you can have the best of both worlds.) An ugly guy with lots of money has greater mating power than a pretty boy with little money. A poor pretty white girl with a poor handsome white boyfriend will run off to an ugly rich Jew at the drop of a hat. And these fears are reflected in some Disney movies based on fairytales such as SNOW WHITE, CINDERELLA, and the like. In both stories, the pretty character is oppressed by the less pretty or downright ugly; it’s as if a pure-hearted and pretty but not-too-bright goy girl is dragged through the mud by powerful ugly Jewesses, which would have fitted into Disney’s general dislike of Jews and their cultural influence. As America grew freer, less inhibited, more rebellious, and wilder, the culture of grotesquery overshadowed the power of beauty. Bob Dylan was like a walking, talking, and singing Looney Tunes character. Disney experienced steady decline since the late 50s. Without the guidance of Disney, the rising costs of animation, and changing tastes, it became less and less relevant. Of course, all animation studios faced the same problem, and few classic animation of any kind was created in the 60s. Even so, the two most successful animation works of the 60s, FLINSTONES and JETSONS were on the grotesque side. One of the advantage of grotesquery over beauty is the former allows for greater wit. Beauty has either a fragile or stiff quality; it breaks if mishandled or it is unyielding in classic poise; so, it has to be handled with great care or left alone in its narcissism. (The femme fatale is interesting as a kind of dark beauty whose shadow belies its outward appearance.)
But since the grotesque is ugly to begin with, you can play with it like playdo and do lots of strange things. (This is why so many movies adapted from serious works tend to fare worse than movies based on trashy works. In awe of a serious novel, the filmmaker dutifully goes into stiff respectable mode, whereas free-wheeling creativity may be unleashed when handling trash.) Since beauty, especially the generic kind in popular culture, can be boring and since TV entertainment called for new thrills for restless viewers, wit became essential to entertainment. Also, if people enjoy anything, it’s to laugh, which is more instantly pleasurable than staring at beauty or feeling moral(with stuff like THE WALTONS or LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE). Humor, in its orgasmic pleasurableness, is like porn for the belly.
Though Jews saw the cultural advantage of favoring witty grotesquery over pure beauty—since Jews were known for their wit and grotesqueness than for beauty and dignity—, they were smart enough to hedge their bets. While many Jews gained prominence in the area of wit and irreverence, another bunch of Jews wallowed in the neo-fascism of American superhero comic books. By creating techno/mytho-fascist superheroes like Superman, Batman, Ironman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, and the like—most of whom were ‘Aryan’ archetypes—, Jews also came to own the appeal of ‘will to power’. But since these techno-mytho-fascist superheroes were often and officially at war with the Nazis and fighting for democracy, they were said to be anti-fascist. They were fascist tropes employed either to battle fascism or to enable Jews to own fascism as a iconic weapon and cash cow. The Jewish creation of Obama as a kind of superman messiah isn’t dissimilar to how Jewish comic book artists created the superheroes. Actually, Obama is all the stranger for he is the beauty-Aryan-supermanization of what used to be considered ugly-and-grotesque. He is the product of a disgusting African radical having humped a disgusting leftist race-traitor mudshark. But since the biggest agenda of the Jew is to drive a wedge—in the form of the Negro penis—between the unity of the white man and white woman, the Jews have taken this putrid and grotesque creation of miscegenation and propped him up as a utopian ideal of what all Americans should shoot for. It’s the Jew Frontier. It is the Jewish Will to Destroy White Power. Thus, the jug-eared tarbaby who looks like Louis-Farrakhan-lite has been hyped and promoted as the new look of American beauty. And white liberal women, brainwashed by all the pop culture and public education, are trying so hard to make themselves believe that Michelle Obama is really smart and pretty. Jewish power over white people is indeed incredible.
Generally speaking, the lower-budget grotesque-entertainment dominates TV while beauty-entertainment(often fascist in style)dominates the big screens. It’s SIMPSONS and FAMILY GUY on TV and AVATAR and BATMAN on the big screen. Thus, Americans laugh like retards watching fat slobby characters spouting vulgar-witty dialogue in zany situations in TV cartoons and gape & gush in ecstatic awe at the mega-spectacles of Cameron, Spielberg, and Zemeckis. Be cynical with SOUTH PARK and be redeemed with LOR. Given that people want variety in entertainment as in anything else, this shouldn’t be surprising. But, it is somewhat unsavory given the extremes of our culture. While Looney Tunes were wild and crazy, they weren’t anti-human and disgusting, and while people loved grand Hollywood spectacles of yesteryear, they were understood as fantasy. So, the cultural divide between irreverence and reverence wasn’t as wide in the past as it is now. There is something a bit perverse about someone who laughs like a retard at the foulest jokes and situations in a putrid show like FAMILY GUY and then mushy-gushy weeps and believes in the redemptive power of FORREST GUMP or GREEN MILE. It’s like our emotions are geared to flip on and off between the polarities of extreme cynicism/misanthropy and extreme faith/devotion. And in the case of Oprah, you get the whole contradiction in one package. Oprah is a funny-looking woman, a fat hippo-like creature, indeed little more than an updated mammy act. Her fans seem to be drawn to her easy accessibility as something like a cartoon caricature. Yet, she has been hyped as a neo-spiritual figure second only to MLK himself. It’s almost as if Aunt Jemima has become the new god of Americans. Such stupidity couldn’t have been possible without the triumph of a debased pop culture, and there’s no question that much of this debasement was pushed by Jews—and because conservatives, in their creative mummification, had nothing to counter it with.
Anyway, if one looks at the general trajectory of American animation, it has emphasized grotesquery over beauty, wily wit over mythic posturing. Also, in the cases where the new Disney favored mythic beauty/poise over grotesquery, it’s been to serve multi-cultural agendas in works such as THE LION KING(wherein white children are made to identify with blacks as their soul parents), LITTLE MERMAID(where the white sea water enchantress boogies to Jamaican jigger-jive beat), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST(which, like SHREK, slips a miscegenationist message about how a white girl should go with some giant Negro-looking creature), POCAHONTAS(where some American-Indian woman sings likes a Negress), and MULAN(with a Chinese heroine and cross/dressing gay-feminist message). But even in these beauty-animations, notice how the looks are different from the more ‘Aryan’ model of original Disney works. The characters are either non-white or made to look more ‘ethnic’ or exotic. It’s as if Jews controlling popular culture are reluctant to showcase white beauty as white beauty worth preserving.
Now, for white beauty to survive in the future as white beauty, the white princess must go with the white prince and have white kids. But Jews want beautiful white women to hate white men and go with hook-nosed/hairy Jewish men or with mighty Negroes. So, new Disney is different from old Disney. Given this has become the new cultural standard, even white gentile filmmakers and animators don’t dare to create animation with proud Aryan princes and princesses. (300 the movie was an exception, but Hollywood probably approved it as neocon war porn directed at Iran. To be sure, there is an element of white mythic pride and power in the LOR series where shining white knights beat up and destroy literally millions of non-whites warriors and black Orcs, but then its main narrative focus is on the midgety Hobbits than on upstanding warrior heroes.)
Oddly enough, the main source of white beauty-mythic animation is Japan. In the late 80s, many cultural commentators noted and even criticized that Japanese animation characters looked ‘Aryan’. Some say Japanese animation or anime is a form of anti-miscegenationist propaganda, sort of pop-geek-Nazism. Yet, given that Japanese consumers of anime and manga(Japanese comic books often made into anime)consider the ‘Aryan’-looking characters in anime to be Japanese—and some characters, as in AKIRA seem to have both Asian and European features—, one could say anime is miscegenationist in the Eurasian way than in the mulatto way. Even so, given that the official cultural policy has been to uphold white/black race-mixing as THE highest ideal—with the Rock and other mixed-race wrestlers having replaced the likes of Hulk Hogan and Big Boss Man—, the popularity of anime has been upsetting to many liberals. (Anime is somewhat shielded from overt criticism since it’s created by non-whites, just as the ‘misogyny’ of rap music is overlooked because rap is black music. If anime were mostly created by conservative white males, it would probably come under far more cultural critical abuse.)
Japanese, being what they are, tend to be deficient in the wit department. If you compare Japanese ads—you can find tons on Youtube—and American ads, you can tell Japanese ads tend to be crazier than American ones. Since Jews dominate American advertising, the ads tend to emphasize design and wit. Since Japanese lack advanced wit, they rely more on sheer ‘nonsensu’ zaniness. Being deficient in wit, anime tends to favor heroism, beauty, and action. For some American viewers, this may seem ‘fascist’, ‘elitist’, and anti-human. (It also seems a bit pathetic since most Japanese look nothing like the characters in anime.) A Jewish friend of mine once told me his mother rented out MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO to show to her grandkids but turned it off in 20 minutes because she found it ‘evil’. Now, ‘evil’ is a strong word. Why would anyone find something ‘evil’ about a cartoon about two girls befriending a big lovable monster named Totoro? Could it be the suggestive element of pedophilia in Miyazaki’s work, something which I’ve detected too, by the way? (Miyazaki’s female characters up to PORCO ROSSO teeter between adorable innocence and blossoming womanhood, and there may even be an excessive fetish for girly panties and suggest camera angles—which once led to a debate as to whether Nausicaa wears an underwear beneath her skirt. In LAPUTA, the villain says Sheeta, the young prepubescent heroine, is to be his wife so they can start a new whole new race of Laputaeans. In PORCO ROSSO, the pig pilot hero fights a full grown man for the right to own, presumably sexually, some young girl. I wonder if Miyazaki was fighting his own demons in a way.) Or, was my friend’s mother offended by the fact that MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO emphasizes natural wonder and human beauty over wit and cleverness? (I was told she really loves HARRY POTTER. Now, I find THAT evil.) Did she find in the paganist nature worship of TOTORO something akin to the nature-worshiping Teutonism of German culture? I don’t know, but I can see how Jews would not be too crazy about anime, even as they admire its certain aspects. (There are some pretty good works of anime from the 80s, especially GUNBUSTER, NAUSICAA, LAPUTA, BUBBLEGUM CRISIS, URUSEI YATSURA ONLY YOU, SPACE ADVENTURE COBRA, and few others, but the creative well dried up by the early 90s and nearly anime since should be avoided like a plague. Oddly enough, Miyazaki reached his greatest fame and acclaim in the 90s and 2000s with MONONOKE HIME, SPIRTED AWAY, and HOWLING WOLF CASTLE, but I say MH is a misguided failure and SA and HWC are absolute disasters. Eventually Disney bought the right to distribute Miyazaki movies around the world, but I wonder if Disney did this to bury Miyazaki, for none of his movies was properly promoted, which is especially upsetting with NAUSICAA and LAPUTA, which, in terms of vision and imagination, are perhaps the greatest works in animation history. LILO AND STITCH is a near-perfect melding of the best of American wit with Japanese imagination; it’s like an irreverent and endlessly inventive twist on TOTORO.)
The works of Pixar, as far as I can tell, tend to be bigger on grotesquery than beauty. I found most of FINDING NEMO way too ugly. And the fat China boy in UP made me sick, as did the big fat nosed and massive drooping jawed old man. I don’t mind caricatures as caricatures but I must protest when animation asks me to feel human emotions for what are incredibly ugly, weird, funny, or gross-looking creatures. (For one thing, animation lacks the moral/emotional depth of HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME to humanize grotesqueness, which, in animation, is used to primarily make us laugh.) Though I’m aware of the wit and cleverness of THE SIMPSONS, I could never stomach the ‘humanization’ of its repulsively retarded characters. The episode where Krusty the Klown turns out to be Jewish, which then elicits a moral lecture from Bart(from all people!)about tolerance just made me feel sick; it’s like madonna yammering about spirituality. Or when we are asked to sympathize with the gross Homer as a real character with genuine feelings, it’s like asking us to hold a blanket of shit and pretend it’s a baby. I hate SOUTHPARK too, but at least it has a certain consistency: it’s shit made by shitheads. Ugly and grotesque can be funny and amusing, but it just doesn’t work when it begs for empathy. This isn’t to suggest that we shouldn’t love or sympathize with ugly people, deformed people, mangy homeless dogs, etc. Life is filled with misfortunes and accidents, and human dignity isn’t just about looks; the film ELEPHANT MAN made this point eloquently. For Christians, there’s the story of Jesus going among the lepers and saving a whore from self-righteous people who would stone her. But, in total contrast, ludicrously ugly characters and gross creatures in animation were made for the purpose of amusement; so, when ‘artists’ create such figures for fun but then ask us to emote with them as if they’re real people with three dimensional feelings, it just doesn’t work. This is why I love BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD. They are ugly and grotesque and meant to be taken that way. They never tug at our emotions. And though I’m not a big fan of KING OF THE HILL, I can see how that works too. It engages our emotions, but then, its characters are recognizably human. They are not disgusting freaks of THE SIMPSONS.
As far as I can make out, John Lasseter, the top creative figure at Pixar, doesn’t have an ugly soul like the smug Matt Groenig, the trashy Trey Parker & Matt Stone, and the foul creatures behind FAMILY GUY. Watching THE SIMPSONS is like smelling the ass-fumes from Groenig’s crack. Parker and Stone’s infantile brand of libertarianism mistakes mere bad manners and rudeness for honesty, courage, and truth. FAMILY GUY is cartoon comedy as porn. The works of Pixar have a certain sweetness—though way too sweet for my taste—, and I can see why so many parents and their children love them. (Besides, there isn’t much decent and ‘safe’ entertainment for kids, which also explains why something as stupid as HARRY POTTER has been vastly overpraised.) And given the amazing cutting-edge visual fireworks of Pixar works, I suppose there’s something for adults too—though it’s precisely the kind of graphics I don’t much like.
That said, Pixar works are too grotesque to be beautiful and moving, and too sweet and cute to be really fun. We are back to the problem of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, the creations of Disney that I never liked. When it came to beautiful or lavish fairytales and children’s fantasies, Disney in its heyday was second to none. But when it came to far-out funny stuff, it couldn’t hold a candle to the madhouse antics of Looney Tunes. With Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny, you knew anything was possible. With Mickey and Donald, you knew everything ultimately had to cute and cuddly, inoffensive. For Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck—odd-looking critters—to really work, they needed to be wilder and crazier(as with Popeye characters). Mickey Mouse may remain one of the great icons of 20th century popular culture, but no one wants to see Mickey Mouse cartoons anymore whereas classic Looney Tunes remain as popular as ever—and still ahead-of-its-time in many ways. The problem of Pixar movies is they are, at once, to ugly-crazy and too cute-sweet. I couldn’t stand to look at the chubby gooey-looking Chinaboy and the repulsive-looking old man in UP and feel anything for them. Also, the inventive cleverness—in which UP abounds—turns into a kind of clutter as there’s too much of a good thing, never allowing the narrative or any emotion to set into gear. LAPUTA has lots of crazy action, but there are moments when time stands still, giving us a chance to take in the grandeur or wonder of it all : consider the scene where the girl’s necklace stone lights up minerals of the cave rock like galactic constellations; or when the boy, navigating the glider through a thunder storm, hallucinates the apparition of his lost father; or, when the girl, facing the arch villain at the end, explains why the civilization of the sky castles failed. These moments are not just beautiful but linger long after the movie is over. Pixar movies, in contrast, certainly offer lots of bang-for-the-buck, but there’s no emotional payoff at the end of the rainbow. When they’re over, they’re really over. Remember at the end of TRUMAN SHOW, how right after Truman’s saga is over, a guy glued to the TV switches to something else? The emotions of Pixar movies work the same way. It’s full of movie magic, but there’s nothing really magical; it’s like watching kiddie cereal commercials that go on forever. (“Silly Rabbit, TRIX are for kids!”) And though they’re packed with wit and ingenuity, there is no sense of strangeness and mystery. Mere weirdness is not same as strangeness. Though Disney’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND is far from perfect, it really takes you places. It’s like an adult story for children, whereas Pixar movies are, at best, children’s stories for adults. Works like ALICE IN WONDERLAND, LAPUTA, and PINOCCHIO offer children a glimpse of a reality(psychological no less than physical)beyond the familiar comfort zones of the kiddie realm. In contrast, for all the wit and brilliance, Pixar movies only serve up comforting time-worn cliches, albeit via the graphics of new technology.
People make such breathless claims about Pixar movies’ state-of-the-art-cutting-edge-ness, but this is to mistake technology with vision. Needless to say, better technology allows greater realization of vision. When used properly, it can produce masterworks like 2001, BLADE RUNNER, and TRON LEGACY. Those are movies with vision + technology. But when technology itself becomes confused with vision, the result is something as dreary as Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS and Cameron’s AVATAR. I think a lot of people were fooled by their scale and/or the hype surrounding the new technology. Images of 100,000s of gigabyte warriors clashing and non-stop big-screen video-game gimcrackery of LOR were enough to impress not only millions of moviegoers but movie critics who should have known better. They mistook visuals for vision; worse, I don’t think the visuals amounted to much except in the final installation, RETURN OF THE KING, but more for the sheer scale than quality. It’s like the battle scenes in the Soviet version of WAR AND PEACE are impressive for the mere fact that they were and still remain the biggest production of their kind.
AVATAR was considerably worse than LOR trilogy, but hey, it offered a new kind of 3D experience(from the man who made TITANIC), so all the suckers lined up to see it again and again. I If you want real vision, go with EXCALIBUR and 13THE WARRIOR.
I detect a psycho-cultural link between the great success of AVATAR-LOR-Pixar-movies and Apple products, the mindset being that nothing is hipper than ingenuity for ingenuity’s sake and technology for technology’s sake. This is all the more weird, even offensive, when we consider that these movies and products are promoted as counter-cultural, organic & pro-nature, and visionary objects. In truth, AVATAR is a complete perversion of real nature, Pixar movies are too busy manipulating the audience to settle into real storytelling and character-development, and LOR is European-pagan mythology reduced to dungeons-and-dragons arcade game. Not having used Apple products, I’m willing to accept that they are indeed works of engineering genius.
Also, there is a crucial difference between Apple products and so-called ‘visionary’ movies. Apple produces technology as technology whereas creative people like Jackson, Cameron, and Lasseter pretend to use of technology to convey higher truth or deeper emotion. Technology can succeed for technology-sake, and one could even argue that Apple products go beyond technology and possess, in their design and elegance, artistic value, a view I’m willing to accept. But, movies are not merely about technology but about using technology to put forth a poetic, mythic, or spiritual vision. But when one watches stuff like AVATAR, LOR, and Pixar movies, one gets the impression that the prevailing ‘taste’ among many culture critics and the audience is to conflate technology with vision. This problem is actually nothing new but has been made worse by the fact that we’ve become more tech-obsessed than ever—not least thanks to the promotional hype of companies like Apple. When RETURN OF THE JEDI was released in 1984, there was a heated debate on Nightline(then hosted by Ted Koppel)between Roger Ebert & Gene Siskel on one hand and John Simon on the other. Though I disagree with Simon on many things—probably most things—, how prescient he was about the future of cinema.
Simon agrees the technology of RETURN OF THE JEDI is amazing but fears the dazzle may blind the audience to the movie’s lack of meaningful vision, story, and characters. Siskel and Ebert, on the other hand, were uncritical cheerleaders of the blockbuster mentality, painlessly adapting to new cultural outlook of the late 70s and 80s. Nowadays, most young people go to movies to the latest offering in ‘cutting edge’ special effects. Never mind IRONMAN, TRANSFORMERS, and SPIDERMAN movies are awful in most respects. If they zap the audience, they’re THE cool thing at the moment. (On the other hand, with the prominence of youtube vlogs, cell phone cameras, reality TV, and the like, we also seem to be drifting into a new primitivism. Could the wild success of movies like BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and PARANORMAL ACTIVITIES indicate a growing preference for personal expression? Or, are they, in their own, no less techno-centric than the big spectacles? After all, the real main character of BLAIR WITCH is the camcorder, as if to say technology is now so cheaply available that it goes wherever we go. And PARANORMAL ACTIVITIES isn’t so much low-budget horror movie as but a low-budget horror concept about how technology permeates every aspect of our lives, even to the point of videotaping ghosts in middle class suburban homes. And, the new primitivism also confuses technology with vision. The makers seem to bestow value on something for the simple fact that it’s been shot. “I shoot, therefore I create.” It’s like the creative process has been reversed; technology isn’t so much servicing an idea/vision as the idea/vision is ‘created’ by the simple use of technology.)
Again, this isn’t to knock technology itself. A master like Spielberg knows how to use technology in service of a vision. The scene where the paleontologists fix their gaze on dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK is as magical today as when first screened. The technology doesn’t just call attention to itself. The latest installment of INDIANA JONES series—KINGDOM OF CRYSTAL SKULL—works for the same reason. Hacks like Michael Bay have no grasp of film grammar and no sense of wonderment; they are merely effects drive, mechanical than organic, and their film language consists of visual texting of ‘wham’, ‘bam’, ‘pow’, etc. In a way, the rise of 3D movies is only a natural extension of prevailing trends. I do not attack the technology per se, but it may be that for most people, 3D is less a creative possibility as the fulfillment of virtual connection with the fantasy itself, regardless of how tawdry the fantasy may be. So, the feeling of being directly connected with the world of AVATAR has its parallel in the need for people to feel directly linked at all times to the global network through devices like iPad; they’ve become iddicts. Connectivity has become a kind of addictivity. The problem was never with Jobs melding software and hardware into a seamless unit. The problem, even danger, lies in the power of new technology to dissolve the barrier between reality and fantasy into a kind of zone called ‘virtuality’, which may not be so virtuous. Who knows? As artificial intelligence and seamless organic designs making machines more lifelike, maybe we, in turn, will become more machinelike with implants and the like, equipping us with the sixth sense or inner-dream-sense powered by artificial software. If such day arrives, Apple will have played a role in paving the way. And we’ll be so amazed by the technology and its possibilities—and companies will be so thrilled by the money to be made—that we won’t give much thought to its full implications.
Anyway, the second coming of Steve Jobs probably wouldn’t have been possible if not for the misfortune of George Lucas(with his costly divorce proceedings), the talents of John Lasseter(the real brains and creative spirit behind Pixar), and the sheer incompetency of people who ran Apple during Jobs’ absence. For these reasons, the stars aligned perfectly for Jobs’ triumphant return. Having being ‘exiled’ from Apple, maybe it also allowed him to approach and understand technology from more angles than he’d been used to.
Of course, he also had a great asset in the force of his personality. Mean and demanding personality without talent merely offends people and drives them away. But many tech wizards knew that Jobs was smart and a man with vision. So, when challenged by Jobs’ hostility, they were driven to excel even harder to win his alpha-male approval. This psycho-social dynamic is actually quite common. If a teacher is lazy and mean, you just despise and hate him. But if a teacher is serious, dedicated, and mean/demanding, you wanna work harder to prove your worth and win his respect. Jobs had a personality that was quirky, strong, and fascinating enough that many smart people not only felt the magnetic pull but wanted to prove their worth. Though Jobs’ arrogance and meanness could sometimes drive them away, his powerful vision thing had a way of pulling them back—to offer better ideas to win his respect and approval.
But there was another logic to Jobs’ managerial madness. It’s as though Jobs understood the revenge factor and knew how to harness to his own end. In boxing, the loser wants another chance to take on the champion. One wants to be a contender fighting the best, not a palooka fighting other palookas. Since Jobs played the champ and beat up on everyone, they wanted another chance to take to take on Jobs. But the only way they could beat Jobs was by offering better ideas. But when Jobs heard those better ideas, he, judo-like, grabbed them and used them to his own advantage. So, trying to beat Jobs by out-thinking him and coming up with better stuff only made Jobs stronger since his role was to take the best ideas of his workers and use them to develop new products—and even claim the ideas as his own. In a way, what Jobs did with his subordinates and colleagues was like what the shepherd did with the collie. Dogs have a natural instinct to attack sheep, but in the case of sheep herding dogs, the instinct to hunt sheep has been turned into an instinct to chase and herd sheep. Similarly, the natural instinct of his workers, after being abused by Jobs, was to take their revenge and attack Jobs, but their creative/innovative proposals to outdo Jobs merely allowed Jobs to take those ideas and use them as his own. Jobs knew how to harness their hostility toward creative ends. Whether Jobs understood what he was doing on an intellectual or intuitive level, we’ll never know.
The first third of the book is mainly about Jobs’ body odor. It could be called STINK DIFFERENT. We are told Jobs heartily embraced the Counterculture and its ideals, and this led to him to all sorts of weird diets. He thought if he ate only vegetables and certain fruits—and performed regular enemas—, his body would be free of odor, something his colleagues seriously disagreed with. The most disgusting part of the book involves Jobs walking around at work barefoot and then dipping his foot in the toilet for to relieve foot pain.
This is one of the great paradoxes of Jobs. He did so much to purify his inner body—by eating fresh organic fruits, fasting, and through intestinal purgation—, but he seemed to have been oblivious(for a time at least) to the grimy, sweaty, and stinkiness of his outer body. It seems he felt so clean inside that he thought his purity would naturally radiate outward without having to wash—except to dip his foot in the toilet bowl. Maybe there is a parallel between this side of Jobs and his overall business personality. It could be he was so outwardly offensive because he felt so righteous and pure on the inside. He felt so psychologically right that he failed to see how he could be wrong(to so many people)in the social realm. Jobs saw himself as a blunt person unafraid to speak the truth; it was as if his soul had been cleansed of deception and lies. Since he was on the side of truth, how could he really be offending people? If they felt offended, it was not his fault but their own. They felt offended because his pure truth exposed their compromises and lies. Jobs may have felt this way, but according to the book, he as often as not fooled himself and lied to himself as well as to others.
But his spiritual conceit(premised on Buddhism) and the power of his vision made him blind to the extent of his own deceptions and compromises. People who feel so right often do much wrong. But there was an another aspect of Jobs that prevented his defect from becoming fatal. If Jobs had been a political dictator raised with conservative values in the Middle East, his vanity might have gotten the best of him. But, though Jobs was born with a tyrannical personality, he grew up under the influence of 60s counterculture and underground-ism. It was the creative tension between his tyrannical and his rebellious nature that made him flexible when he needed to be. On the one hand, he could be a micro-manager like Stalin or Hitler(at least during WWII). But the difference is that while Hitler and Stalin could never admit they were wrong or give much credit to others, there was always a voice within Jobs that said, ‘keep your mind open’. So, even though the tyrannical side of Jobs did push his underlings around and he often took credit for work done by others, he also had a keen appreciation for talent and profusely rewarded many people around him as integral to the success of Apple. And at Pixar, he wasn’t going to argue that Lasseter wasn’t the real creative talent. So, in this way, the counterculture valued served Jobs well in business.
While it’s true that the biggest rebels often make the biggest tyrants, certain rebel-tyrants are wise enough cling to the spirit of rebellion even after they’ve amassed power, and it seems Jobs always reminded himself of where he came from. Of course, the nature of capitalism forced him to be open-minded and to adopt change. Jobs couldn’t just lean back like Castro and Gaddafi(once their power seemed secure) and coast on past achievements. Castro and Gaddafi, through their control of government and media, could take their power and righteousness for granted. But no business in an free economy can expect to win forever. It’s sink or swim, and Jobs was smart and energized enough to want to keep swimming.
Even so, one gets the impression that Jobs was not an emotionally rich or deep person. In the book, he often seems shallow and callous. And even his ‘taste’, though real enough in design, seemed to have been rather limited. There is something to be said for his preference for minimalism, but it’s almost as if Jobs had a near-phobia for the fullness of life’s experience. This partly comes through in his eating habits, often eating just one thing for days on end. He would go to a restaurant and taste just a little of this or that like a finicky cat. At its best, Jobs’ ‘taste’ and sensibility could be nimble enough to design elegant, smooth, and fine products made by Apple, but at its worst, it could be an intolerance for the fullness of life and reality.
Jobs’ preference for the ‘closed system’ seems partly to be an extension of his psycho-philosophy of life. Jobs dietary habits generally preferred one set of foods over another. He insisted on organic purity, and he generally disdained meat products. He insisted it was good for his health, but it wasn’t. If anything, his protein deficiency would worsen his problems with cancer. (Maybe his lack of proteins made him hungry to gnaw on his employees.) It was as if Jobs saw his body like a temple, and only good and pure things could enter the temple and nothing else. He was something of a dietary-xenophobe. And one might say his approach to computers was techno-xenophobic. He wanted the Apple system to be pure, a world unto its own. He didn’t want Apple products to be invaded by ‘foreign’ technology; he didn’t want the purity of Apple codes to ‘miscegenate’ with non-Apple programs. He wanted the internality and externality of Apple products to be of a unique whole incompatible with ‘impure’ systems lacking in ‘taste’.
Though Macintosh computers were heralded with an a 1984-themed anti-Big Brother TV commercial, Jobs’ vision of apple was a technological version of ‘racial purism’. Jobs wanted to maintain strict borders between Apple and other computer programs. And Jobs was furious when he thought the pure beauty of Apple systems were stolen by impure people. When the Google Kids came up with Android, an open system, to compete with iPhone, Jobs erupted much like the white supremacist who killed a Jewish plastic surgeon for ‘stealing Aryan beauty’ and grafting them onto non-‘Aryans’—a hot news item in the 90s.
When Jobs had no choice but to allow integration with non-Apple systems, he insisted it be done his way, with Apple setting the standards and policies, i.e. with Apple as the sun of cyber-solar system. It was kinda like Hitler’s idea of a united Europe where Germans would set the policies for all other nations to adhere to. Since Hitler knew some European nations were non-or-less-‘Aryan’ than Germany, he had no choice but to tolerate and work with them; but it had to be on his own terms; thus, Romania would be allowed to sell its agricultural produce to Germany but it would not be allowed to build its own industry; it would have to buy machine products from Germany.
Thus psychologically, despite his liberal politics, Jobs was something of ‘xenophobic purist’. In a way, his view of technology was rather like that of his biological grandfather. In the book, we are told that the grandfather could not accept his German-American Christian daughter having a kid with some Syrian-Muslim guy. Jobs, socially and politically influenced by counterculture, didn’t have such views on race and nation, but there was an element of exclusivist personality in his approach to food, health, and technology. To be sure, this aspect of Jobs could have been purely cultural and not genetic. Perhaps, it had something to do with his having grown up as a spoiled kid adored by his adoptive parents. Used to having everything his way, maybe he never developed a tolerance for things he didn’t like. (In a way, one could say Apple is essentially a toy store for adults. Though Jobs made a lot of noise about beauty and art, his approach to computers and related devices had some of the excitement that kids have with toys. Maybe Jobs loved to play with toys as a child and then later found new toys in computers and the like. Though I’m sure that some people use iPads for serious reasons, it appears many people buy them because they want something to constantly fiddle/toy with. Since it won’t do for adults to play with dolls anymore, why not putz around with an iPad for hours on end? In this sense, Jobs’ whole life has been one big Toy Story.)Or maybe it was the influence of Buddhism with its emphasis on shedding all falsehoods to embrace the one pure truth.
Though Jobs rejected his biological parents just as they had rejected him, he seems to have absorbed some of their personalities. If his obsession for the purity of closed system seems inherited from his maternal grandfather, his bohemian nature seems to be have been inherited from his mother(if indeed she was accurately portrayed in ANYWHERE BUT HERE the movie—I haven’t read the book), and his knack for salesmanship seems to have been inherited from his Syrian father. It turns out his biological father gave up academics and went into the restaurant business, and few times, they’d even unknowingly crossed paths when Jobs ate at the man’s restaurant. It seems Middle Eastern people—perhaps most famously Jews but Arabs too—have haggling in their blood, and one of Jobs’ biggest assets was in the area of salesmanship. Interestingly enough, Jobs’ salesmanship style tended to be aggressive and wild than smooth and mannered in the Anglo style(exemplified by Sculley who ran Apple for a time). Like an Arab businessman, he relied not only on verbal skills but on getting in the faces of people. Though he could be charming at times—so can Jews and Arabs—, his default approach to business was to make a lot of noise. At times, Jobs’ business style could have been like in those movies where hook-nosed Arabs gesture wildly to sell their trinkets and slaves.
In this sense, Jobs very much exemplified the melting pot ideal. His character, soul, and personality was like a hodge-podge of Germanic insistence on thoroughness and purity, Arab-Jewish haggly-waggliness, Japanese Zen and some Hindu stuff too, suburbotopia(shared by Steven Spielberg), and on-the-road counterculture bohemianism, though in the end, he pretty much ended up living and dying around where he was born.
Perhaps he saw himself in Bob Dylan because Dylan too was an amalgam of so many different cultural strands: various forms of American music, small town America, big city America, hostile cynicism and rebellion, spiritualism and traditionalism, European poetry, and etc. Dylan took all those different strands and created a new kind of style, attitude, and music. Similarly, the wholeness of Jobs was the sum of various cultural strands and biological strains. While the blending of various cultural and racial elements doesn’t guarantee success—after all, most Latin Americans are racially mixed, but most are no more special than pure blooded people—, the different elements may have coalesced in a unique special way in the case of Steve Jobs.
It also probably helped that he was smarter than his adoptive parents. Had he been raised by highly intelligent(and emotionally stable)parents, he might have come under their authority and been more likely to do as told; even as a smart kid, he would have been in awe of his smart parents. But as a young boy, it hit Jobs that he was a lot smarter than his (adoptive) parents. This made him feel special. Feeling special, he thought HE should run the house and do as he wanted. And his parents seem to have conceded to a lot of his demands because (1) as adoptive parents, they kinda felt sorry for him and maybe even a bit guilty since they were not his real parents (2) they didn’t know how to handle such a smart kid.
When a child begins to feel, from a young age, that he’s smarter than his own parents, the world turns upside down. Kids grow up thinking, ‘my parents know everything’. Of course, eventually, kids discover their parents only know so much. Jobs learned this at a pretty young age, and that may have led to the Kid Emperor Complex. In a way, it is a variation of the Yid Emperor Complex. Jews growing up among goyim learn that they are so much smarter than gentiles. Even Jewish kids, at a tender young age, discover they are a lot brighter than their goy teachers and goy adults. Thus, from a young age, Jewish kids feel a mixture of contempt and arrogance in regards to goyim; they also feel resentment and hatred because the dumb goyim outnumber them and might unite to stand in the way of Jewish power. In a way, the history of American immigration can metaphorically be seen as Anglo-American parents adopting Jewish immigrant kids. Anglo-American settler parents thought Jewish immigrant kids would become good little Anglo-Americanized adults like Irish-Americans, Polish-Americans, and etc. But, the Jewish immigrant kids discovered that they are a lot smarter than Anglo-American settler parents. Just as Steve Jobs’ adoptive parents, in their decency and awe, allowed Steve Jobs to run free and do as he wanted, Anglo-American settler parents allowed the smarter Jewish immigrant kids to run free. But if Jewish-Americans are filled with contempt and hatred for Wasp-Americans who first founded and created this nation that made Jewish success possible, Steve Jobs had a deep appreciation for his adoptive parents. For one thing, the adoption wasn’t just metaphorical, but personal and close. His adoptive parents were really there for him ever since he was a baby.
Even so, his family story may have unnerved Jobs in certain respects. At Apple, Steve was a ruthless perfectionist. He favored and promoted the best of the best—the A workers—and made sure that lesser workers understood and accepted their lower status or got fired. So, one part of Jobs was intolerant of ‘dummies’ and the inferior folks. But the fact was his smarter biological parents had dumped him while lesser intelligent ‘dummy’ parents did so much to take care of him and provide him with a decent and stable middle class life.
Maybe, his biological parents, as high IQ college kids, thought they were entitled to full-fledged ‘creative’ freedom and saw baby Jobs as an obstacle to their brilliant liberty. According to the movie ANYWHERE BUT HERE, Jobs’ biological mother was an eccentric who just followed her whims wherever she went. And Jobs’ biological father seems like a man whose main thing in life was following his dreams, even if it meant divorcing his wife and leaving his kid(s). Jobs’ personality seemed to have a lot in common with those of his biological parents; he too was willful, self-centered, eccentric, and uncompromising. He too got some woman(a real weirdo)pregnant and abandoned his own kid, though he later helped her out some. It may have occurred to Jobs that though he was, personality-wise, closer to his biological high-IQ parents, the people who did the most for him for ‘ordinary Americans’ with square values. Though he loved being a free-wheeling cosmopolitan, the fact is his free-wheeling cosmopolitan biological parents didn’t do much for him. So, when he later became a parent, he was probably torn between the temptations of his true nature—to ignore his family and pursue his own excellence/freedom—and a sense of moral obligation to family out of appreciation of his square Middle America parents who may not have been ‘cool’ but were there for him. According to the book, Jobs seemed to have been dualistic in his parenting, at once caring and callous.
Despite his liberal political views, Jobs’ personality was closer to some of the nutty characters in Ayn Rand novels, especially Howard Roark in FOUNTAINHEAD who is ruthlessly and self-righteously committed to his vision and doesn’t care how many people he might offend in its realization. (Of course, one could say modern liberalism is really a form of narcissism than generosity. To claim that one is liberal is, as often as not, to show off how noble, caring, decent, compassionate, and blah blah blah one is. It’s a form of Jesus/saint complex, a form of moral exhibitionism. It’s like Bono wanting the whole world to know that he cares about black babies in Africa. Liberalism also serves as a kind of intellectual vanity. While it is true that most top thinkers, intellectuals, and artists are liberal/leftist, the fact is most liberals are no smarter than conservatives. But by making a big deal of the fact that one listens to NPR and supports ‘gay marriage’, even a dumb liberal comes to feel ‘sophisticated’ and ‘intelligent’ by association. Liberalism is less about being empathetic than showing off that one is empathetic. It is a form of cultural and moral vanity.) If Jobs hadn’t grown up with his adoptive parents, he might have had more of a sneering attitude toward dumb square Americans. But because he grew up under the care of decent people with limited intelligence, it might have tempered his natural arrogance; it may have reminded him that intelligence and talent aren’t everything. And to his credit, once he did get married and had kids, he stuck with them to the end. (In one chapter, we learn that Jobs’ liberal wife refused to meet with Rupert Murdoch when he came to discuss matters with Jobs. This just kills me. According to one account, Jobs’ wife had secretly ‘stalked’ Jobs and harbored intentions to marry him even before they met. And before that she was an investment banker. So, she was a rich bitch who wanted to marry a super rich famous guy. She wasn’t an egalitarian committed to marrying some salt-of-the-earth Mexican lettuce picker but an elitist who wanted a super rich mate and have intelligent kids with him to be raised in privilege. Now, I got nothing against people who love money and success. But when these people act like they’re paragons of equality and act hostile toward conservatives because the latter supposedly “don’t care”, I just wanna puke. Jobs’ liberal wasp bitch wife is just as foul and shitty as hypocritical liberal Jews who want the entire pie but lecture to us about ‘equality’ and ‘justice’. I’m sure Jobs’ shitty wife would gladly have welcomed George Soros to her house. You see, the billionaire Jewish moneychanger is a ‘caring liberal’ too, just like her precious self! Jobs was something of a political jerk and hypocrite too. Though willing to cut a deal with Murdoch, Jobs admonished his new business partner to cut out the negativity on Fox News. According to Jobs, politics was no longer a matter of right vs left but ‘constructive vs destructive’. Now, I do not say this in defense of Fox News, which I don’t watch—except a few clips here and there on Youtube. Furthermore, I have no respect for creatures like Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and other lying sons of bitches who are more than willing to be whores of Zionists and Wall Street Jews. But the idea of Jobs preaching about the evil of ‘destructiveness’ is just too funny. I mean here was a guy who mercilessly chewed out so many people, a person given to insulting everyone around him 24/7. And I wonder how Jobs felt about people like Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Michael Moore, Mike Dyson, Tavis Smiley, Stephen Colbert, Lawrence O’Donnell, and other creeps on the Left who are no less obnoxious, dishonest, and repulsive than the blowhards on the Right. But of course, rage on the right is ‘destructive’ while rage on the left is ‘constructive’. It’s wrong for conservatives to have strong opinions, but it’s cool for liberals to have strong opinions. It’s wrong for conservatives to associate with extreme figures but it’s okay for Obama to associate with the likes of Jeremiah Wright and nominate a scum radical Jewess like Elena Kagan and appoint a Maoist like Anita Dunn. It would have been one thing for Jobs to say, “Rupert, I hate your news show because I’m liberal.” At least it would have been honest. But for Jobs to have said he’s offended by Fox News because of its destructiveness, what a lot of shit. It’s like how American Jews bitch and whine about Joseph McCarthy’s ‘destructive’ ways but not minding the far more destructive power of political correctness. So, the issue is not ‘destructiveness’ but WHAT it is that is being destroyed. Jobs really hated Fox News because it attacked some of the holy cows of the Left. But speaking of destructiveness, what has been more destructive than open borders? Just consider what illegal immigration has wrought on California in terms of finance, crime, and violence? What has been more destructive than globalism that shipped millions of American jobs overseas? What has been more destructive than enforced egalitarianism in lending, which led to the massive housing boom followed by a massive housing/financial bust? What has been more destructive than Section 8 Housing that shipped millions of Negroes into working-and-middle-class white neighborhoods, leading to increased black-on-white violence? What has been more destructive than rap music, where dumb ‘nigga’ thugs rant on and on about beating and shooting people and express contempt and hatred for humanity and refer to women as ‘hos’? What has been more destructive than the porn industry, where vile venal liberal Zionist Jews exploit poor white women and train them to be cumbuckets of gross ape-like Negroes? What has been more destructive than Jewish control of Wall Street that brought down the world economy and then used their boy Obama in the Oval Office to receive ‘bailouts’ at the expense of Middle America? What has been more destructive than the cynical, ugly, and disgusting shows on TV like FAMILY GUY, SIMPSONS, and even worse, all made by liberals? What has been more destructive than gay culture that set off the AIDS epidemic and now, working in tandem with powerful Jews, wanna destroy the institution of marriage by conflating gay sex as the biological and moral equal of real sex? Yet, Jobs seemed to have nothing to say about any of that. Oh no, the biggest enemy of America is Sean Hannity! Hannity is a Jew-ass-kissing tard, but he’s a nothing compared to the real power-wielders in this country. That said, Jobs doesn’t seem to have been a typical liberal. When it came to foreign aid, he tended to be skeptical. He’d come from a working class family and worked hard all his life to make his own money, so why give it away to losers? Just as Dylan couldn’t stand the conformist mindset of the folk protest movement and went off to do his own thing, Jobs seemed to have possessed a contrarian and independent streak that didn’t sit well with going along to ‘save the world’. Even though he adopted the counterculture of the sixties, he seemed to have been appreciative of his square middle class parents; he didn’t see Middle America as the root of all evil. Maybe it also had something to do with the fact he once spent some time in a tough school and was bullied by rough kids—some of whom may have been appalling Negroes. Maybe the fact that he appreciated his square middle class parents, devoted himself to counterculture, and was interested in computers/machines had a balancing act on his political views. If most counterculture people steeped in the cult of nature/spirituality saw IBM/computers as the enemy, Jobs was among the first of a new breed to see computers and technology as an aid to freedom, i.e. if computers are owned only by big companies and the government, they can serve to oppress people, but if computers could be personalized and if millions of people could use computers for their own interests, computers could serve the power of individuals. Jobs also seemed to have gained valuable lessons from certain counterculture figures, especially a venal Jew who ran a peach orchard and exploited naive hippies by saying one thing while doing another; he’d put the hippies to work on the orchard to harvest peaches, but he raked in all the profit. Also, Jobs’ personality was too blunt and candid—notwithstanding his ability to be charming and deceitful when necessary—to be suited for feel good liberal goo-goo-ness. In the book, there’s a part where Jobs tells Obama that American companies need to be regulated and taxed less if manufacturing is to remain in America. When he says things like that, he sounds like some Reagan-Republican for whom the solution to everything is less regulation and less taxes. Jobs also blamed America for not producing enough engineers and wanted Obama to allow more foreign engineers to get visas to work in America. And we know Apple developed very close relations with China to assemble many of the parts there. All this indicates that Jobs had a libertarian streak, but this may not have been anything special in Silicon Valley. It could have been Jobs was more forthright than most. After all, Microsoft and Google play the economic game very much like Apple, doing whatever it takes to win the globalized economy. Most of these liberal bigshots say one thing in public, but when it comes to competition it’s all about the money and market share, and they’ll do anything to expand their turf. But given that the financial sector is the biggest in America and so many people got rich doing nothing but moneychanging like dirty George Soros and Bernie Madoff, one can’t but admire Jobs for investing his energy in creating products that produced real jobs, even if many of the jobs are ‘over there’ than over here. Besides, even if many Apple products are assembled ‘over there’, they need to hire people over here to market and sell them. Purely in economic terms, the world would do better to have more Jobses and fewer Soroses.)
According to Isaascson, Jobs had a ‘binary’ way of seeing the world. Everything was either totally great or totally sucky. Jobs supposedly made comments like this all the time at work. He would praise something as great or shitty; or he would say it’s shitty one day and then great the next day—as if he’d never thought otherwise. I suppose in political terms, it’s like seeing the world in Manichean terms of good vs evil; or, it’s like the ‘us versus them’ mentality. While this kind of hot/cold or black/white view of things seems to have been intrinsic to his personality, it could have been no less cultural in origin or tactical in purpose. Jobs, steeped in counterculture, was obviously used to exaggerated praise and sardonic putdowns. According to hippies, something was ‘far out’ or ‘uncool’. In Timothy Leary’s mind, humanity was divided between bold beautiful people who opted to turn-on-tune-in-and-drop-out and conventional squares who clung to the same old same old. Though some people who use LSD develop a keener sense of the interconnectedness of all things, in the case of Jobs, LSD may have made him see reality in terms of groovy people and boring people, in terms of enlightenment vs boring reality. Also, the virtue, as well as the vice, of youth culture is simplicity. When one listens to loud rock music, it works or it doesn’t work. It’s not a culture that demands or requires much in the way of patience or ambiguity. Rock fans expect the music to turn them on right away; if jt fails to, it sucks. A song is a hit or it’s nothing. In its most basic form, binary-mentality can be found in Beavis and Butthead, for whom everything is either ‘cool’ or ‘sucks’. For dumb kids, reality may be comforting filtered through such simplicity, but among more intelligent people, such binary-ness might serve as a kind of shield against accusations of pomposity. Jobs was into hallucinogenic drugs, Hindu stuff, Buddhism, and humanities. His interest in that stuff appeared to have been genuine. But people into such stuff can also be accused of being pretentious, flaky, and phony. Since Jobs wanted to be a tough guy, he may have developed two sides of himself. The inner-self remained mostly private; in that realm, he may have been a far subtler thinker of great nuance than he ever let out. But in his public persona, he played the tough guy, something of a cowboy who knows who’s good and who’s bad. For him to win in business, he had to play hot and cold. If he played warm, his workers might feel relaxed than edgy and see him as a softy paralyzed by ambiguities. But if he alternately poured hot and cold water on his colleagues and employees, they would know he was boss and there was nothing soft, warm, fuzzy, or ambiguous about him. It’s like a detective going after criminal may privately aware of the social and psychological complexities of the criminal. He may consider the tragic factors that condemned the criminal to a life of transgression; the killer too could be a victim of circumstances in some way. But the role of a detective is not to play psychologist but to catch the criminal; when it comes to doing his job, he had to think and act ruthlessly. Life is never simple, but the system of justice must deal with ‘guilty’ or ‘innocent’, even if such ‘binaries’ are ‘unfair’. Similarly, to win in business, Jobs had to have a hard instinct for what would work and what wouldn’t. There couldn’t be any ‘in between’. Nevertheless, I suspect that beneath the veneer of his famous binary-ness, there lay a keen mind with a grasp of complexities and ambiguities. After all, Apple products weren’t created simply as ‘this’ as opposed to ‘that’. Rather, they were created by integrating various ideas and functions that outwardly seemed contradictory or conflicting. Jobs’ great achievement was to harmonize the binary opposites, the things that many of his colleagues and employees told him were ‘impossible’. So, while one part of Jobs tended to see things in terms of ‘cool’ vs ‘sucky’, another part of him saw possible connections between what most people deemed to be irreconcilable concepts, values, or forces. This then is the paradox of Steve Jobs. In one way, he insisted on purity of simple design and the closed system, yet the seemingly holistic unity was the product of melding different ideas and functions into one. He may have gained insight into such processes by brainstorming through LSD sessions. According to the book STORMING HEAVEN by Jay Stevens, a person under the influence of acid senses something like the unthreading of one’s mind. Under normal consciousness, a sound is a sound, image is an image, taste is a taste, etc. But under LSD, one becomes aware of the complex mechanism of sound. One doesn’t so much hear something as hear the hearing of something; under higher dosages, maybe one hears the hearing of hearing of something. And one doesn’t merely taste something, but one tastes the process of tasting something; one might even become aware of the process of digesting and etc, which may explain why Jobs became so obsessed about eating clean organic foods. LSD also produces synesthesia, where different senses blend together. Thus, one comes to understand that the five senses, though seemingly separate under normal consciousness, are all threaded to a common sensory root. Through LSD, one may be able to probe into the core of sensation/perception/consciousness. In such states, Jobs may have become acutely aware of dense layer of complexity beneath the semblance of surface simplicity; and it might have made his intelligence more sensitive to the inter-relatedness and inter-connectedness of seemingly separate things, thereby more intuitively aware throughout his career of the possibilities in technology. While most geeks pored over one problem or another, Jobs perhaps possessed a kind of hallucinogenic ability to see more than others were seeing; he could see the bigger picture of science as art, and art as science. On the other hand, given the tendency of LSD to turn people into New Age flakes or solipsistic vegetables, maybe Jobs reminded himself to always resist the temptation to drift irretrievably into belly-gazing lotus land. This willful resistance to LSD’s beckoning him to ‘surrender to the void’ might actually have made him tougher. The natural tendency of spiritualism is to let go of material desires; the natural tendency of materialism is to be skeptical of spiritual demands. Though Jobs loved John Lennon, he didn’t wanna end up the same way. Beginning in 1966, Lennon began to use LSD and pretty much lost himself. He went off the deep end, and Apple Corp, the company founded by the Beatles, was a total disaster. (In the book, we learn Apple Corp’s lawsuit against Apple computers for using the name netted $500 million in 2010. Looks like Jobs did more for Apple Corp than the Beatles ever did, and all because of a stupid name.) LSD may have a way of ‘waking’ the mind to higher consciousness, but it could also turn off the body—just look at the zombies in GIMME SHELTER(concert movie). According to Albert Goldman’s LIVES OF JOHN LENNON and Bob Spitz’s THE BEATLES, Lennon spent much of his time in the late 60s lounging around on his sofa on drugs. And it got even worse with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Jobs, being 15 yrs younger than Lennon, was a late boomer, and as such, he might have been keenly aware of many of the failings of the 60s. He loved the counterculture but he couldn’t have been blind to how so many ideas and figures of the 60s burned out and faded in relevance. So, it appears there were two sides of Jobs. One part wanted to carry the torch of the counterculture, but another part wanted to resist its dangers, solipsism, and pitfalls. So, one part of him used LSD and was into stuff like Whole Earth Catalog. But another part of him knew that the ‘dream was over’—as Lennon sang in the song ‘God’ in the album PLASTIC ONO BAND. Though the 80s are remembered as the Age of Reagan and the resurgence of conservatism, in truht, many of the young leading lights changed the economy were people like Jobs who, rather being ‘conservative’, were neo-counterculture-ites. They didn’t so much reject the 60s as take what they deemed to be its best qualities and integrate them with the real world of business and technology.
So, to say that Jobs was binary-istic in thinking doesn’t do justice to his real mental strengths and intuitive ‘genius’. In one part of the book, we are told Jobs visited a Sony plant in Japan and inspected technologies that were later used for creating Apple products. In other words, Sony had many of the basic materials that could have been integrated and assembled together to create great products, but no one at Sony have the vision, imagination, and boldness to pull all the pieces together. It reminds me of the TV documentary CONNECTIONS—written and narrated by James Burke—where, in one episode, Burke says the Chinese had so many of the basic ideas and inventions—weaving, gun powder, compass, paper, printing, etc—that could have led to great scientific and technological revolutions, but the Chinese were never able to grasp their full potential. Sony, once a cutting-edge company in electronics, seem to have lost its way. It became an overly bureaucratized company where top executives manage but don’t lead. But then, many giant high-tech companies seem plagued by similar problems. Indeed, the same thing happened to Apple after Jobs was left in 1985. Under the management of Sculley, Apple became more about business than about products. Jobs made a distinction between caring about profits and caring about products, which kinda sounds ridiculous, even hypocritical. After all, don’t companies make products to make profits? So, in the end, the desire to make better products means hunger for more profits. True in a purely business sense. But, caring more about product than profit means to have a kind of work ethic(and creative ethic). The difference between a person with work ethic who works hard and a person without work ethic who works hard is the former believes in the goodness and virtue of work whereas the latter works only because he has to. If the latter were given a million bucks, he may well be content to laze away the rest of his days by a swimming pool. But if the former were given a million bucks and could quit his job, he would still believe in putting his energies to productive/creative use.
Similarly, a product-person had a passion for ideas and designs whether profits are involved or not. So, even if someone like Jobs were to end up in a prison cell for the rest of his life, he would still probably dream about making nice things—and work at certain hobbies. But a profit-person has no passion for whatever he’s doing; he’s managing or investing just for the cash flow. The difference between product-person and profit-person can be seen in the difference between Spielberg and Michael Bay. While Spielberg loves money and success, he has a genuine love for movies; it’s been his dream, religion, and obsession from childhood; and no matter what project he’s working on, he pours 100% of himself because it’s as much about pride as about profits. Even if Spielberg hadn’t made it big, we know he would be involved in movie culture one way or another. Bay, on the other hand, seems to be the sort of hack favored by Hollywood moneymen who only care about making hits and money. (Sad to say, Bay has also worked for Spielberg. While Spielberg the product-person seems to be personally and emotionally involved in his own directorial projects, Spielberg the profit-person will hire hacks to direct movies like GOONIES and TRANSFORMERS.) A profit-person has no special love or passion for what he happens to be involved in; his main interest is ‘how much money can I earn from this’? Though he may make smart decisions in finding and coordinating the right talent, more often than not he will blind to the kind of people and ideas really needed for great breakthroughs; also, profit-persons don’t make inspiring leaders to people who really care. Product-persons who believe and take great pride in what they are doing wanna be led by someone who shares and appreciates their passion. Sculley at Apple was a profit-guy, not a product-guy. Though I don’t much care for Pixar movies, there’s no doubt that much of the success owes to the fact that Lasseter is a product-person; he really believes in what he’s doing, and indeed he would almost certainly still be involved in computer animation even if he’d never had much success.
In many cases, product-people don’t succeed because of their purist devotion to vision, principle, and ideals. Generally, we tend to divide the world between the unsoiled starving artist devoted to something of higher/deeper value and the gluttonous moneyman who will sell anything to the vulgar masses to rake in lots of dough. In cinema, there’s long been a dichotomy between the Hollywood movie and foreign/independent art film. But there are cases like THE GODFATHER and MIDNIGHT RUN where great talent and popular appeal meld into one. (And of course, some genuine artists are also masters of self-promotion and marketing, which is why Picasso died a rich man. The example of Warhol shows one could suck as an artist but be a great self-promoter and make lots of dough and gain lots of respect.)
Given the relatively modest lifestyle of Steve Jobs—though lavish by the standards of rest of us—, it seems Jobs was less about money than about power. And not just power for power’s-sake, but power-as-an-instrument-for-new-possibilities. Since more money funded research and innovation, money was what Jobs wanted. This was different than some people wanting lots of money just to have lots of money. Many Wall Street sharks don’t seem to be interested in anything but using whatever tricks to make more money. Thus, much of the finance industry has turned cannibalistic, with moneymen feeding off other moneymen, and when that well runs out, they use the government(which they control through campaign contributions) to be ‘bailed’ out, as happened in 2008 and 2009 under Bush and Obama. Wall Street Jews hold a gun to our head and rob us and then display a bomb-vest around their waist and say unless we give them more money, they’ll blow themselves up and kill us too in the bargain. Though Zionists warn us about Muslim suicide-bombers, the Jewish kingpins on Wall Street are economic suicide terrorists. Nearly all Jews in 2008 and 2009, liberal and conservative, insisted that super-rich Jews on Wall Street had to be bailed out—and spared from prosecution—because if they went under, they would take the whole economy down with them. (If anyone wants to understand why there was so much antisemitism in the 1930s, they should just study the situation we are in today. What’s really strange is not the antisemitism of the 1930s but the sheer lack of it today given that many powerful Jews are now far more repulsive than their ancestors had been in the early part of the 20th century. Given the Jewish hand in globalism, open borders, radical gay agenda, interracism and porn, foul music industry promoting the hateful rage of rap, politically correct censorship of free speech, financial robbery, anti-white public education, media monopoly, tribal networking at the expense of gentiles, and much else, antisemitism, or more accurately counter-Jewism, should be the mode of most gentiles, especially white folks. (‘Antisemitism’ implies that ALL Jews are at fault and/or ALL problems are caused by Jews, which is, of course, not true. Many Jews have done good things, and many problems are caused by non-Jews, especially wild Negroes and stupid Christian Fundamentalists. Therefore, we’re better off with counter-Jewism which counters and confronts Jewish power where it does wrong, not simply because it’s Jewish power.)
Money can mean pleasure, power, or potential. It seems a lot of Latin Americans love money for pleasure. They have a hedonistic streak. They wanna dress well, look fabulous, and show off. But some cultures are less ostentatious and nakedly narcissistic. Thus in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Mr. Potter wants more money because he wants more power, not because he wants to show off his wealth. Jobs too seems to have been obsessed about power. But not all power is the same. There is Scroogy power, as that of Mr. Potter, and there is Nietzschean power. If Scroogy power tends to be conservative, Nietzschean power tends to be visionary and revolutionary. It strives to create something new; it tries to change the world, turn it upside down. To be sure, a bit of Scroogism and Nietzscheanism can go hand in hand. Both Jobs and Hitler had elements of both. On the one hand, Hitler was a visionary-artist-as-leader. He didn’t just want to rule Germany but radically transform it into the 1000 YR REICH owned and dominated by beautiful noble ‘Aryans’. But at the core of Hitler was a petty Scrooginess with a very limited concept of creativity and beauty—a kind of postcard neo-Classicism. And his concept of humanity was morally and culturally limited, to say the least. ‘Aryans’ were supposedly the only truly creative people while others ranged from pretty decent to downright subhuman. Similarly, Jobs was visionary in his boldness to create and market new products, but he was almost obsessively stingy in his insistence that Apple share as little of its programs and applications with others as possible. He believed in the closed Apple system and was dismissive of anyone who didn’t share his ideas. (Jobs wasn’t much of a charity person either.) He was the very opposite of Steve Wozniak who believed in the open system and sharing things for free(whenever possible). It must be said, however, that there is a paradox about Wozniak too. A hacker is a what? He’s a thief who breaks into other systems and steals files. A thief could be said to be greedy in ripping off something that isn’t his. So, it’s interesting that Wozniak was both a grabber and a giver; maybe he was willing to give so freely precisely he stole so freely(as a hacker; “I hack and give it back”). In contrast, Jobs was not a hacker and didn’t believe in sharing anything Apple produced.
Speaking of Nietzscheanism, there are many folks in the so-called Alternative Right community who make a lot of stink about ‘superiority’. In fact, however, superiority doesn’t amount to much as an abstract ideal. One is truly superior when he is superior at something, and this is what almost everyone in the Alternative Right community lacks. Given the mediocre nature of most Alternative Rightists, they would do better to stress the HUMANITY than the purported superiority of white people. Invoking superiority smacks of arrogance and contempt, but it’s downright laughable when those making the most noise do not possess superior qualities. Anyone can say they are superior or wanna be superior, but most people cannot prove or demonstrate that they are superior because they’re mediocre. Since most of us are mediocre, we should be embracing humanity of the white race, which isn’t to deny the humanity of other races. But given that each race has its own uniqueness in terms of history, culture, and achievements, each race has a right to preserve its own version or variation of humanness. This isn’t to say each race or nation must only consist of like-minded and like-shaped people. Interaction with other peoples/cultures and having some minorities can be a blessing in many areas of life. But each people have a right to maintain their own strain of humanness. Thus, Jews have a right to insist on Israel remaining a nation for Jewish humanity, Japanese have a right to maintain Japan as a nation of Japanese humanity, and etc. The reason why this form of humanity has come under assault owes to the ideological fanaticism of the ‘anti-racist’ Left rooted in Christian universalism. And Jews promote this form of globalism because Jews, being minorities in most nations, depend on loose borders to ply and expand their powers. Germans are powerful in Germany, and Japanese are powerful in Japan; in contrast, Jews are powerful by crossing back and forth among borders. Thus, while gentiles see borders as protection of their power, Jews see borders as an obstacle to their power. Of course, gentile elites have gained great profits from globalism, and they too have been Jew-ized in this way, but the gentile masses have not gained much from globalism, and in the case of white people in the West, globalism may lead to permanent destruction of their culture and race(which is part of the vengeful Jewish agenda against the white Christian West. The Jewish id can be seen in Jewish-controlled porn. Jews want white men to be pussified and white women to be humped by big muscular Negroes and give birth to mulatto babies, which is what the Jewish-supported Obama presidency is REALLY about). Faced with such problems, the New Right or Alternative Right community should be defending white people as a humanity, but the stupid vain clods who run sites like Alternative Right and Cross-Currents are always yammering about ‘superiority’. But talk is cheap. Joe Louis didn’t go around saying he was the greatest boxer; he demonstrated his superiority by knocking out everyone—Max Schemling in round one for example. Jews don’t go around saying how superior they are in intellect—though they know this privately—, but they’ve amply demonstrated their superior smarts in science, medicine, computers, culture, economics, and so many other areas. And Steve Jobs demonstrated his superiority by actually devoting his life to create amazing products. Given most white people are not superior, they needed to be defended and led as a humanity, not pumped with idiotic cult of superiority. Of course, one could make a case that Western Civilization dominated by white folks achieved more than all other peoples/cultures combined, and this something to be proud of. But pride and arrogance are different things. Too many on the Alternative Right are in arrogant mode, which is rather amusing since white people who’ve succeeded most in the last 200 yrs tended to have been liberals than conservatives. Besides, why invoke Nietzsche if one’s major theme is collective superiority? Nietzsche’s ideal of superiority was individualistic and shamanistic; it transcended national and racial borders. He even sounded like a self-loathing German at times, and he had a rather high opinion of the subversive power of Jews in overturning conventional values and assumptions. Though Nietzsche may be useful to creative forces on the modern right—though, to be sure, the modern Left made more creative uses of Nietzscheanism in philosophy and popular culture as in the ‘fascist anti-fascism’ of New Hollywood—, most white people are not creative, and therefore, their humanity need to be stressed since they are victims of massive non-white immigration, black crime and violence, and Jewish globalism.
Indeed, suppose it were true that white people were even less intelligent than Negroes. Would that mean white people should accept rule of Negroes? Of course not. Though the insistence on IQ differences in the Alternative Right community is necessary for the simple fact that it’s true and explains much about social phenomena, that alone doesn’t address white people’s needs. After all, it may well be true that many black Africans know that whites are smarter, but they still insist on black African nations being ruled by black Africans because they believe in the autonomy and power of black humanity. Suppose it could be demonstrated that Chinese-Americans are smarter than white people. Does that mean white people should submit to Chinese-American dominance? Of course not. Humanity is about a people, race, and culture; it’s not just about superiority or ability. A white rightist should care about a fellow white person with an IQ of 90 as much as he does about a white person with an IQ of 140; only thus, will there be a united sense of white humanity; and I don’t see much use in pumping low IQ whites with ‘Nietzschean’ superiority complex; all it leads to are swastika tattoos on their buns.
Though a functional modern nation allows individual freedom and benefits from the achievement of smart people regardless of their cultural or race, it’s also true that the majority of any nation will naturally want to maintain some kind of political, cultural, and racial dominance over the destiny of the nation. So, there’s no problem with Jewish-Americans succeeding and doing great things in various fields. But when Jews use their power to gain political dominance and media monopoly to undermine the very survival and dignity of white humanity, they need to be challenged and brought down a peg, or several pegs. It is war, after all and one that happened to be waged by Jews against whites. But the fools at Alternative Right are blind to white humanity and only keep yammering about white superiority.
Yet, most white people with genuine superior qualities don’t even share the political views of Alternative Rightists. Furthermore, superior people in many fields wanna feel decent and generous, not haughty and arrogant 24/7. Besides, it’s also good public relations for a superior or powerful people to show that they ‘care’. It’s all very amusing when white people with genuine superior abilities and qualities tend to be more humble in their ideology than Alternative Right white guys, most of whom don’t own an ounce of genuine superiority. It’s like the difference between a man with a big stick speaking softly and a man with a small stick barking loudly.
It’s long been my suspicion that the Nietzsche cult of superiority is appealing to Alternative Right types because they are not superior at anything real, substantive, or specific. They are not good at sports, in looks, in science, in math, in technology, in business, in arts and music, in charisma, in thought, in etc. Since they are not superior in actuality, they need to wallow in superiority as an abstract cult. By invoking Nietzsche, they can feel special even though or precisely because they possess nothing concretely superior to present to the world. Thus, Alex Kurtagic, the in-house master idiot of Alternative Right, claims superiority of rightwing rock music; not because the music is any good—the music released by his label stinks to high heaven—but because it bellow themes about white superiority. This is also called ‘judging a book by its cover’. If you’re not superior as an athlete, artist, politician, economist, filmmaker, musician, thinker, writer, poet, scientist, mathematician, computer engineer, or anything specific and concrete, just use the cult-of-superiority as a crutch. Thus, you can be mediocre in every way but feel superior because... uh... you’re into the Nietzschean stuff about the Overman or Superman or whatever. Thus, Alternative Right spends an inordinate amount of time yammering about its superiority while demonstrating its inferiority—as well as imbecility—with the very things it promotes as superior, such as Jonathan Bowden’s dreadful ‘paintings’ and Alex Kurtagic’s abysmal taste in music.
In a way, the difference between superiority and achievement is like the difference between profit and product. In the case of the product-person, the profit is the reward for his passion for product. Similarly, for an achievement-person, superiority is the reward for his ability and commitment to achieve something. A superiority-person, like a profit-person, got it backward. He is so obsessed with the babyish need to feel superior that not only is he blind and dismissive of the superiority of others but too lazy to work hard at achieving anything of worth. Consider how Alternative Right bemoans the popularity of black dominated sports. If Alternative Right is so obsessed about superiority, why is it so hostile to black athletic superiority? Shouldn’t people who go on and on about superiority admire what blacks have achieved in sports?
Personally, I’m not a great fan of black superiority in sports either. Though I can admire black athletics, I’m far more worried about their social implications. If blacks are physically tougher, it means blacks are gonna whup a whole lot of white folks in the street and public places. It means white women are gonna turn into mudsharks since women, for all the official egalitarian crap of feminism, gravitate to Men of Power. But you see, I’m honest, and as such, I stand for white humanity than for the putzy ideology of white superiority. I admit Jews are smarter and Negroes are tougher; and for those reasons, I say whites need to emphasize unity as a common humanity whose origins arose in Europe. But there’s no such honesty in the Alternative Right community. Though time is running out, fools like Richard Spencer can’t help sucking on the teat of cult of superiority like pitiful little babies. If white rightists really wanna own a piece of superiority, they need to earn it. They need to do something great as Steve Jobs or Steven Spielberg has done. But all they can come up with is playing a little Wagner before their silly little podcasts. Wow, that sure takes a lot of brilliance and brain power, doesn’t it? Play a little LOHENGRIN or DIE WALKURE before some hee-haw interview with a goofy nut. Of course, I’m generalizing. There are people in the Alternative Right community with a measure of humanity and honesty, such as Paul Gottfried, but they are the exception than the rule.
Though Jobs proved his superiority in his field, his story offers valuable lessons on how a relatively inferior person can hold sway over superior people. After all, Jobs didn’t have an extensive grasp of computer engineering, and many of the famous Apple designs were actually the work of Jonathan Ive than Jobs himself. Jobs made a big deal of A players working with A players, but he must have been well aware that when it came to the nitty gritty workings of computers and electronics, he was no match for the A players. In contrast, Bill Gates understood computer engineering. Sergei Brin and Larry Page of Google are said to be among the most intelligent people in the industry. Jobs, though plenty smart, is no match for super-smart people, especially the Jews. And of course, Mark Zuckerberg wrote the codes that made Facebook what it is. It was the Jewish Steve Wozniak who wrote the codes for the original Apple computers, not Steve Jobs.
There’s something to learn by comparing Jobs/Apple and Zuckerberg/Facebook. Jobs the less intelligent gentile, from day one, took control of Apple and busily made his presence felt to everyone(perhaps a bit too much that he was kicked out in 1985). But when he returned, he also made sure he was boss and left his mark on everything, even if it was in the form of criticism and advice than innovation. Thus, with the sheer force of his personality, workaholism, and manic ego, he gained and maintained control over many people many times smarter than him. In contrast, consider the relations between the Winklevoss twins and Zuckerberg in SOCIAL NETWORK. Based on the movie(I haven’t read the book), it seems the Winkles took things in stride; they offered an idea to Zuck and then sat back and waited for the smart Jew to deliver what they had ordered. Winkles were too busy with sports and big-man-on-the-campus-ism to really check up on Zuckerberg and look over his shoulders(as Jobs did with all of his A players). Maybe, the history of Facebook would have been different if the Winkles had stalked Zuckerberg every day, kept watch over him, and hounded him constantly about the progress. But they just put all the trust in Zuckerberg, and Zuck the brilliant and clever Jew just took and used the whole idea for themselves. If the Winkle twins were Jobs twins, they would never have let Zuckerberg out of their sight. Even with Zuck doing most of the grunt work, the hypothetical Jobs twins would have made their presence felt. And Zuck, feeling the sheer pressure of the Jobs twins, might have relented, and Facebook would then have been the joint-venture of Zuck and the Twin Jobs. But the twins in question were not two Jobses but two Twinklevosses who didn’t know how to be real bosses.
On the other hand, maybe even Jobs twins couldn’t have maintained control over Zuckerberg. Maybe, Zuck is like Wozniak and Jobs rolled into one. He has the coding genius of Wozniak and the will-to-power of Jobs. Maybe if Wozniak had been more like Zuck, he and not Jobs would have been the shining light of Apple.
There are two kinds of Jews: the Hobbity and the Nibenlungenish. Wozniak the Hobbity Jew took things in stride, was in it for fun, and wanted to be liked. He was not obsessed about power and money. I don’t know the real Zuckerberg, but the one we see in Fincher’s movie is a Nibelungenish Jew to the max. He’s resentful about being an ugly short asocial Jew, and so he vengefully plots to take over the world. To be sure, the difference between Woz and Zuck could be generational. Woz grew up in the 60s and was shaped by counterculture values; being five years older than Jobs, he would have been more familiar with the 60s spirit of being groovy and such. Zuck grew up in the 90s when the talk of the town was, “wow, that guy became the new gazillionaire with such-and-such start-up company.” And of course, when we look at guys like Cameron, Spielberg, and Lucas, it seems like the boomer generation produced some of the biggest materialists around, and so why shouldn’t their children be any different?
Same goes for Jobs. He may have been into 60s culture and all, but when he first tasted success and power, he knew he had to have more of it to ‘change the world’.
In the 60s, some lovey-dovey folks thought they could change the world with love, peace, drugs, and music; they tended to shun money, technology, and power as all part of industrial soul-destroying capitalism. But as the boomers grew older and couldn’t rely on their parents allowances anymore, they discovered the only way to change the world is to have money and power. But once they kept making more money and gaining more power, it became a pissing contest of who had more power and more money. And their children who grew up in the Reagan 80s and Clinton 90s thought, ‘yeah, yeah, lots more power and money to change the world’. Thus, ‘greed’ got justified with ‘change-the-world-ism’, and ‘change-the-world-ism’ got infected with ‘greed’.
Anyway, if you’re very smart but not super-smart but wanna maintain control over super-smart people, it wouldn’t hurt to ponder the difference between Jobs and the Winklevoss twins. Maybe Winklevoss twins would not have been so lax if they’d grown up in a working class milieu as Jobs did. Born to privilege and members of the most prestigious club on the campus, they thought things would work out their way simply because. But in fact, they found themselves spinning out of the orbit of Zuckerberg, the real sun of Facebook. Generally, inferior forces orbit around the superior force. There was a certain Ptolemaic aspect to what Jobs achieved. He should have revolved around smart people, the real innovative sun of Apple, but he made them revolve around his forceful personality. (He had the power to gain control over other people’s minds, like Jedi knights in Star Wars.) There was something odd even in the way he forced engineers to comply with aesthetics of the design. Some might call this a form of Procrusteanism, but it worked; Apple products don’t look like technology crammed into design but technology and design evolved into an single organism.
Of course, many super-smart people end up taking orders from less intelligent people for the simple reason that not all super-smart people have balls or strong personalities to lead. Many of them are social gimps and prefer to work at geeky tasks.
There are also charismatic ‘leaders’ who are really little more than frontmen for conniving and ruthless smart people. In 2008, liberal Jews came up with Obama. Jews publicly fawned on him as ‘impressive’ and possessed of ‘staggering intellect’(according to New Republic), but super-smart Jews liked him because he was their musical wind-up monkey toy. In a way, Obama was like an Apple product, which may explain the appeal to many SWPL folks. Obama is an integration of various symbols, hopes, fears, tropes, and fantasies in American culture and history: there are elements of jungle fever interracism, black radicalism, Oprah-ism, Kennedy-ism, MLK-ism, neo-racialism, beyond-race-ism, black masculinity-ism, effete gayishness-ism, etc. It’s all there in one simple package. (His book should really be called DREAMS FROM MY POWERFUL JEWISH HANDLERS.) In reality, he’s just a clever and reasonably bright Jafro-jiver, but the packaging and marketing fooled a lot of people.
Finally, though I’m not qualified to judge the quality of Apple products—I’ll take it on faith that they are amazing—, I think the whole cult around Apple has been on the ridiculous side. Isaacson mentions the legendary launching of the first Macintosh with the 1984 ad directed by Ridley Scott, but I hated it then and I hate it now. If it’s interesting in any way, Scott may have been one of the pioneers of what might be called ‘fascist anti-fascism’, though, to be sure, 1984 by George Orwell was more anti-Stalinist than anti-Hitlerian, not least since Nazism was history when he was working on the book.
In the ad, the bald-headed conformist drones outfitted in same uniforms are liberated from Big Brother by what looks like an ‘Aryan’ heroine from a Riefenstahl movie. Indeed, Goebbels could have used it as propaganda extolling the heroic courage of the mighty hammer-wielding ‘Aryan’ against the drab collective mentality of Soviet communism. Though Scott has put down fascism in interviews, his aesthetics, along with that of Michael Mann, James Cameron, George Lucas, and many others, owes something to fascist imagery and visionariness. The ad championed Macintosh as the heroic underdog taking on the big computer companies, but the implication is that Apple, the underdog, should destroy the status quo and become the new master of the computer universe. Apple was not saying it’s better simply because it’s stacked up against bigger computer companies; it was saying Apple must be the new topdog. The ad is less about ‘fight the power’ than ‘will to power’.
In a way, the aesthetics/message of the ad both revived and betrayed the spirit of the 60s. The hippie generation said power should be countered with flower, hate with love. The Beatles and so many other groups sang about love, love, love, love, love. But there was another side of the 60s calling for radical violence; and if some rockers played it mellow and sang of peace, others sang loud as if they could slash-n-burn the world with their shamanic power.
The Macintosh ad is very MTV-ish in it slick packaging; it revives the 60s spirit of rebellion but also favors slick formulation over organic authenticity. It’s rather like Jefferson Starship’s music video “We Built This City”. Just as the once abrasive and unique Jefferson Airplane morphed into a slick music machine called Starship, Jobs as the computer salesman changed with the times. Though the Macintosh ad promised the consumer something ‘rebellious’, it was appealing because the message was so simple: if you buy a Macintosh, then you are ‘rebellious’. Why work hard at being rebellious when you can own it simply by plunking down some cash? Even back then, Jobs was trying to package and sell ‘difference’ and ‘rebellion’ as marketable commodities.
Yet, the irony is the Apple computer was appealing for their easy accessibility to people who understood nothing about computers. It didn’t demand much of the consumer except pushing a few buttons. Of course, we wall want products to work well and easily, but the more most of us become dependent on such products, the more we become like everyone else.
Maybe the simple-minded brashness of the Macintosh ad was just what the people wanted and needed. With the 60s having burnt out, Watergate dispiriting Americans, Carter presidency disappointing the nation, late 70s and early 80s music culture being so hokey, and economic problems mounting in the early part of Reagan presidency, Americans were hungry for something new. What the Apple ad offered was something that was both new and familiar. The simplicity of the narrative and message could be understood by anyone: forces of good against forces of evil, 1984 turned into a MTV video. Yet it was ‘different’ in how the brazen quasi-fascism of the video declared something revolutionary. And within the context of the Reagan presidency and the ongoing Cold War, it could even be seen as triumph of capitalism over communism.
Wittingly or not, it somehow fit in with the culture that would give us the ‘Morning in America’ ad, RAMBO movies, ROCKY IV, and Springsteen’s BORN IN THE USA(which, for all its progressivism, wrapped itself in the flag). Personally, I don’t have fond memories of many 80s products, though I suppose anything was better than the culture of late 70s and early 80s when the air waves was dominated with disco, Journey, the Knack, Styx, Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical”, and etc.
Though many people came to define 80s as the antithesis of the 60s, this wasn’t really true, not least because there were two 60s: the optimistic Kenney era 60s that lasted until 1966 or maybe 1967, the Summer of Love, and the other 60s(gaining full force in 1968 with RFK and MLK assassinations)that were defined by massive anti-war protests, social radicalism, and other craziness that finally came to a close with end of war in Vietnam and Watergate. Though Kennedy died in 1963 and there major race riots as early as 1965, much of the 60s up to 1967 was defined by optimism and high spirits, a sense that everything was getting better, and a happy kind of materialism. The Kennedy era 60s was slick and polished, with 007 movies, Beach Boys music, Beatles, Vidal Sassoon hair cuts, Italian fashions, and shiny cars; and much of these good feelings extended well into 1967. The concert film MONTEREY POP teeters somewhere between the optimism of earlier 60s and the wilder tendencies of late 60s and early 70s.
In this sense, Reagan 80s was not so much channeling the Eisenhower era but the early 60s era. Reagan himself had more in common with Kennedy than Ike, especially in style and charisma. So, in a way, much of the 80s optimism was a replay of the 60s but with the good guys winning. If the Kennedy 60s of the New Frontier crashed-and-burned into the Nixon-Woodstock-Altamont-Watergate 60s—with US finally losing the war in Vietnam and fall of presidency from scandal—, the Reagan 80s of Morning in America stood firm and won the Cold War; and Reagan, unlike Nixon, managed to survive a scandal, the sordid Iran-Contra affair, that could have been potentially far more damaging. So, in a way, the success of the Reagan 80s was like the redemption of the lost hopes of the Kennedy era, not least because Reagan did precious little to curtail the welfare state. And like it or not, many liberal boomers were at the center of the Reagan Revolution.
One of the glories of the Reagan 80s was the replacement by new industry—such as computers—of old rust-belt industry. In this sense, there was a symbiotic relationship between Reaganism and Silicon Valley-ism, despite the fact that most Silicon Valley people were politically and culturally liberal. It was a time when Reagan won California twice.
Because Reagan pushed government policies favorable to the rise of the new economy, many observers thought the new rich made up of boomers would be pro-Republican for many yrs to come. But a seismic political shift of the boomer rich toward Democrats happened because Clinton in 1992 was savvy enough to understand that the old Democratic party dependent on blue collar working class could no longer be a viable political force. For Democrats to be in the game again, they had to be pro-business. Since the boomer entrepreneurs tended to be culturally liberal, the new Democratic Party that was both culturally liberal and economically pro-business was irresistible to them. And so Clinton was able to win two terms with solid support among the boomer rich. If Clinton in 1992 had run as an old-style Democrat, many of the boomer rich might have gone with Bush for the simple fact that they were into ‘free trade’ and economic liberalization that was making them richer. But once Clinton ‘stole’ the thunder from the Republicans, the boomer rich were bound to lean Democratic, and ever since then, the Democratic Party became more and more the party of the boomer rich. (The fact that the GOP got culturally dumber by pandering to Deep South Christian Fundie dummies also drove many educated rich to the Democrats. Who wants to go to a cocktail party and sing hosannas to the likes of Bush II and Sarah Palin?) And in 2004 and 2008, Democratic candidates raised more money from superrich folks than did Republicans. This new reality may lead to major political alignments in America, perhaps as important as when the South went from Democratic to Republican, but the GOP hasn’t yet learned to adapt to the new order. Instead, it still talks of lowering taxes for the superrich, most of whom are liberal and/or Jewish. What a bunch of dodos.
Anyway, when Jobs returned to Apple in the late 90s, the culture had changed. If America stuck in the doldrums of the early 80s needed to be jolted awake, a rush of something ‘new’ like the 1984 Macintosh ad and RAMBO, most Americans were feeling pretty good in the late 90s with massive economic growth and rising stock values; Clinton presidency was like yet another successful replay(following Reagan’s) of the Kennedy era New Frontier-ism, albeit with post-Cold War and post-Great Society overtones in the New World Order; in a way, it was more significant since the Boomers, exemplified by Clinton himself, were now firmly in control, politically as well as economically. Also, the Cold War seemed like a distant memory, and US was the only superpower and as the undisputed leader in high-technology(with paralysis that overcame the Japanese economy). With consumers being saturated with new things all the time I the internet age of the ‘New Economy’, Apple could not regain the spotlight with the smash-and-torch boldness it used in the early 80s. An ad like ‘1984' in the late 90s would have been shrill and embarrassing given the dot.com era was abuzz with newness.
This is when Jobs’ Buddhist shtick served him well. His “Think Different” campaign, though promising something new, was quiet and subtle. It has an air of calm. If the ‘1984' Macintosh ad exclaimed the arrival of a new era, “Think Different” seemed to say that newness has become a cliche, and so the true way to be special was to step back and reflect . And if the Aryan-like hammer heroine in the 1984 ad was like a creature from the future—like the bodyguard warrior in THE TERMINATOR—, the icons of the “Think Different” were not only figures of the past but many were not even associated with science or technology. When everyone was talking about computers, technology, and machines, Jobs of the new Apple seemed to be offering something other than technology. Initially, there wasn’t much Apple could offer in product line to take on the competition, so it relied on the Look. The new Macintosh machines weren’t anything special, but they looked ‘different’. But in time, new Apple products didn’t just offer better technology but technology-as-something-different. In a way, it was fitting that some Avon woman, Andrea Jung, served on the Apple board because there was something almost effeminate about Apple products. An iPod or iPhone has elements of cosmetic products. Take the compact case in the film L’APPARTEMENT or WICKER PARK; it’s more than just a powder case with a mirror but a thing of beauty with special meaning for the owner. Perfume is potent even or especially in small doses. Apple products would use energy like fragrance. Many Apple devices, according to Isaacson’s book, don’t even have a on/off switch button. The energy that turns on or off is subtly sensitive to touch of the user.
Be that as it may, I think it would be foolish for us to regard Jobs as any kind of guru. Personally, I found the commodization of historical figures by the ‘Think Different’ ad to be rather ridiculous if not offensive. Besides, ‘Think Different’ assumes people are thinking at all, which is less true thanks to political correctness. So never mind ‘think different’; it’d be nice if people could just think. Besides, good thinking has nothing to do with ‘different’ or ‘same’. It has to do with guts and truth. Truth may against the grain of conventional wisdom or prejudices, but then it might not. Furthermore, how ‘different’ were some of the people on the Apple ‘Think Different’ ad(a kind of Jobs’ own SGT. PEPPER cover)? Michael King, aka Martin L. King, was hardly a thinker. If anything, our nation is drowning in MLK worship to the point where anyone critical of that hypocritical cretin has his career destroyed faster than any ruined by Joseph McCarthy. So much for ‘think different’. Recently, Ron Paul—the only candidate to think differently about anything—was attacked for what his newsletter had said about MLK in the 80s. MLK is the icon of ideological and political sameness, not least because both liberals and conservative kiss his big fat ass. Even in the 60s, King didn’t present honest debate and discussion of racial matters but shamelessly promoted himself as prophet-guru whose bogus soulful yammerings were to be accepted as the truth and nothing but the truth. The fool spoke in cliches, and his blubbery sermons that made you wanna puke, and indeed, he wouldn’t have amounted to much if not for Jewish money and support(and had he not been shot by some idiot). Though Einstein was a true intellectual giant of the 20th century, what is so special about using him as an icon of ‘difference’? EVERYONE recognizes and admires him. Same can be said of Picasso. ‘Think Different’ also featured John Lennon of the Beatles, but again, how ‘different’ were the Beatles by the late 90s? They had long been established as international stars. And Dylan’s long been institutionalized as the ‘spokesman of his generation’, and boomers had been marking just about every Dylan anniversary since the 70s. If Apple really wanted to emphasize ‘different’, it should have featured Velvet Underground and other such bands. For the hype about ‘different’, most of the figures used in the ad campaign were generic icons. A big deal was made of various mugs not being named, but only an idiot wouldn’t be able to identify Gandhi, Einstein, Lennon, Dylan, MLK, and the like? (Even so, I found it less detestable than those milk ads featuring celebrities with wet white marks under their noses—a perfect metaphor for the infantilization of Americans.) There’s something a bit queasy about a corporate company turning thinking into a commodity. If Apple of the 80s tried to turn ‘rebellion’ into a corporate product—later magnified by MATRIX movies and other Hollywood blockbusters hyping slick narcissism into ‘rebellion’—, it’s as though Apple since the late 90s sought to trademark thought itself. But, owning an iPod, iPhone, and iPad isn’t thinking. And maybe iPod turns kids into ipodpeople hooked to endless pop songs. With the song-centrism of iTunes store, one can even say the Apple’s way of selling music has destroyed the album as the central form of expression of rock musicians, which is rather ironic since 60s rock, one of Jobs’ biggest passion, reached their artistic peak in album form. Prior to acts like Dylan, Beatles, and others, the pop album tended to be a collection of few hit tunes and filler material. That changed when Dylan and the Beatles used the album to convey a larger vision. Thus, songs on RUBBER SOUL and BLONDE ON BLONDE came to be unified by theme or concept. Individual songs, in relation to one another became integral to one another, and so the rock album became more than the sum of its parts—in the way that Apple products combined different technologies to produce a more profound technology.
The way iTunes works, listeners can forgo the wider vision of the artist and pick and choose only what they wanna hear. It’s like being allowed to eat just the cherries from bowls of fruit cocktail. Given the nature of the internet and the changing trends in the industry, we can’t blame Jobs for having done what he did. If anything, iTunes didn’t so much create the new reality as find a way to adapt and survive, what with free ‘illegal’ downloading wreaking havoc on the music industry. Even so, I don’t see how this did anything to facilitate better or different thinking. There’s nothing wrong with a company selling iPods, but there’s something goofy about linking the selling of consumer electronics with thought. Worse, there may actually be some people who think they ‘think different’ because they happen to be Apploids. The mere fact of using Apple products may give them the sensation of thinking because of brand associations. But this is like someone with a gold crucifix necklace thinking she’s close to God through the symbol itself. It is a form of idolatry.. or ipodatry.
PS. In Adam Lashinsky's INSIDE APPLE, he argues Steve Jobs belongs in the 'productive narcissist' personality type as opposed to, say, the 'erotic' or 'obsessive'. An 'erotic' personality feels a great need to be loved, and people in that category tend oto excel in social work, teaching, and nursing. According to Lashinky, Jobs as CEO was incredibly tough on his employees and colleagues, not caring if he hurt their feelings or lost their affection. He fought for the power to lead, and he ruthlessly carried forth his vision. But, there may be two kinds of 'erotics': those who need to be loved by close ones and those who need to be loved by the larger public. Paradoxically, Jobs' rudeness to close associates was to make Apple create great products so that people around the world would love him. So, I think he was as much an 'erotic' as a 'productive narcissist'. He didn't play hard just to win in power but to win great affection from a world full of strangers. He sacrificed the love of people close to him to win the adoration/adulation of millions of people he didn't know.