Karl Rove loves his iPhone. He uses it all the time! (The entire Bush administration has good reason to love the little gizmo.) The roly-poly Machiavelli also recently admitted to owning a damn MacBook Air, the laptop whose sole selling point is its ability to fit in an envelope. Drug-addled radio tyrant Rush Limbaugh had to ask Apple to help fix his own new Mac. Your favorite propagandists love the sleek design and friendly usability of Apple products. Crypto-fascists—they're just like us! Which brings us to this plea: can we please, please end the tiresome trope of Apple having any sort of hip sensibility?
Apple itself is a gigantic technology manufacturing company. Which means they're killing the planet! Computers, computer chips, computer batteries, cell phones—all are made of poison. And all end up in landfills. Apple will recycle your old computer, btw, if you promise to buy a new one, from them. (Our boss doesn't care for this line of criticism against the technology industry, pointing out that they've reduced paper usage, but paper is made from wood pulp, not mercury.) But Al Gore's on the board! And they had some sort of corporate initiative with the word "green" in its name. Just like G.E.!
(Not to mention the DRM-laden iTunes store, the company's habit of suing bloggers to reveal their sources, and all the other Boing Boing-bait shit they engage in.)
Apple products have always been "hip" in the bourgiest sense of that word, but now they're simply straight-up lifestyle accessories —you paid an extra two grand for a laptop without a DVD drive because it said Apple on it. Your mouse has one button, because Apple thinks its users are morons who will become confused by a second mouse button. You're paying extra for the brand, and nothing more. While that's always been true of certain varieties of 'hipness', sometimes there's a corresponding raise in quality. (The $200 Levi's jeans are sturdier and better constructed than the $60 equivalents. We're told!) With Apple products, that extra money goes into making your USB port-less laptop look like a clean bathroom tile.
Look, we'll be fair: the primary benefit of most Apple software, the Mac OS especially, is a pleasant intuitiveness and out-of-the-box usability. They look pretty and usually they work. This is why Apple products are perfect for your grandmother! She'll have a much easier time figuring out a Mac than trying to install Firefox on XP. This is also why old white dudes like Karl Rove or Rush Limbaugh or Charlie Rose enjoy their fine Apple computers. Not that you'd know this from Apple marketing, which plays exclusively to the cosmopolitan grup demographic. Designers! People who like the indie rock! Kids who wear sneakers! These products were designed for you, because Apple thinks you're imbeciles!
No, they clearly, seriously do. The damn "I'm a Mac" ads have been proving that for two years now. You're a Mac! You're an unpleasant and unlikable little pseudo-hipster creep! The PC is a lovable wit and a fantastic writer! But he wears a tie, you see, so he's a nerd. And they've been insulting your intelligence since day one! The 1984 Super Bowl ad? How childish do you have to be to think that buying one overpriced personal computer over a competing one is in any way a blow against any sort of authority?
At least they finally dropped "Think Different." Because that slogan made us want to find a way to somehow pry the entire West Coast off the continent and send it to drift into the ocean.
We don't hate Macs, we think iPhones are probably a better trend for assholes than BlackBerrys, we own an iPod, and we'll freely admit that buying a computer pre-loaded with Vista was one of the stupidest things we've ever done. (Works fine after the downgrade to XP tho!) Ok? We're just sick of people thinking that because some marketing firm lackey introduced his boss to Feist, or because Apple hired a designer who's heard of Bauhaus, that that makes them a more creative, liberal, or hip company than, say, Dell. At least Dell doesn't condescend to us.