Saturday, July 30, 2011

Apple and i

I'm riding the Apple wave kind of hard here, which is strange, because I have no interest in Apple.  I don't have any Apple products: no iPad/Phone/Pod, no Mac, nothing.  I have iTunes on my computer, but it sits there lonely and abandoned.  I understand that their products are held to be good, I get that.  I even get the sleek design ascetic, which has always suggested to me movies about our current time period that were made in the 60s.  They captured the future as described by the past and fed it into the present.  It's a sort of genius move.  One that, however, bypassed me entirely.

I'm just not their consumer, you see.  I don't really listen to music at all, for instance.  A child of the 80s, I spent a great many hours plopped down in front of various tvs watching MTV when it was all videos, and that was how I got my music.  I never got into buying albums, or going to see concerts, and as a result, when there quit being stations that showed music all the time, I just quit listening to it.  So the iPod, by the time it came about, was too late to get me involved in Apple.  And I don't care too much about the latest tech gadgets, which means that both the iPhone (which I do find delightful) and the iPad (again, kind of amazing) are both wasted on me.  At some point I'm sure I'll end with something like them, some sort of device that fills that function, but it will probably be in five or ten years when everyone else has moved on to something new and exciting several generations more advanced.  I didn't even get a cell phone until 2006, and that with much protesting, and only because the local phone company pretty much forced me to do it by not allowing me to suspend my land line for five months while I was abroad.  Had they done so, I don't know when I would have gotten a cell.  Much later even than that, I'm sure.  My friend Damon didn't get one until a year ago, and I would have probably been there right with him.  So much for me and an iPad or iPhone.  Not happening.

But Apple fascinates me.  The branding is so very strong.  I cannot comprehend how it came to be that such fervor has been built around it, but then, I can't believe that religion and political parties manage it either.  Still, they do it somehow, and Apple does it very well.  And at long last they've broken out of their narrow share that they, for decades, enjoyed: the Mac cultists, who constantly tried to get more than 5% of the world to agree that their way was better, and always failed.  With all the i products, Apple finally went mainstream, and they are making the most of it.  They're very impressive; a way of life, and a way to run your life, more than a tech company. 

Not for me, though.  I will watch from the outside, thank you very much.  Until sometime when they crack my defenses, and then I'll be inside with everyone else.  But for now, I reserve the right to be curmudgeonly.

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