The Macalope Daily: Writing bad
Every once in a while the Macalope will advise you to take a moment, before wading into a particular piece, to prepare yourself through whatever means you use—calisthenics, wind sprints, stretching, what have you—because this one’s going to be a doozy.
This is such an instance.
So take a minute and offer a prayer to whatever gods you worship before daring to read “How Apple’s story is like ‘Breaking Bad’” (tip o’ the antlers to Andrew Wadsworth).
This … is CNN. The most trusted name in tortured analogies.
Yes, congratulations to Omar L. Gallaga for committing an atrocity that, while not specifically proscribed by The Hague as a war crime, certainly violates the spirit of international humanitarian law.
If you want to know how Apple’s epic run turns out or how its ongoing battle with longtime rival Microsoft is resolved, you can watch the series, which ends its current half-season of eight episodes with a finale Sunday night.
No, actually, you can not. It’s one thing to loosely draw a parallel. It’s another to claim they’re one and the same.
Most obviously, Apple’s story mirrors that of “Breaking Bad” in the way the TV show began: Walter White, a chemistry teacher, is diagnosed with terminal cancer and decides to use his science skills to cook methamphetamine.
The Macalope feels Gallaga left something on the table here by not talking about how meth must affect the same part of the brain as using an iPhone. Really, who cares if it’s true or not at this point?
It’s hard not to think of Apple co-founder and longtime CEO Steve Jobs, who fought pancreatic cancer from 2003 until his death last year.
Because nobody else ever got cancer ever.
But let’s leave aside the cancer theme, which has in more recent seasons of the show been on the back burner as Walt has been in remission.
And Steve Jobs has been dead. Analogies are hard!
What makes Apple so successful? Like Walter White, it has mixed the proper elements at just the right amounts to create highly pure, addictive products.
He got paid to write this.
But like Jobs, and Apple as a company, Walt’s ego sometimes prompts him to make damaging mistakes.
Heeeeeeere we go …
When Apple’s iPhone 4 was found to have an external antenna problem…
It was clearly the same as when Walt had someone murdered in season 4. See how deep the parallels are? And suing Samsung? It’s probably like missing the birth of your child to deliver some meth.
You know, it’s an analogy, people. It doesn’t have to fit perfectly.
Or, apparently, at all.
Android developers and casual observers alike claim that Apple may be stifling competition and fighting its battles in court instead of in the marketplace.
Android developers and people who can’t be bothered to actually read the verdict and figure out what it was that Apple won.
Will Apple’s turn as ruler of the roost last so long, or will the ultimate business comeback story turn into the tale of an empire that too quickly fell victim to its own hubris?
What Gallaga calls hubris, the rest of us call the Apple double standard. Only Apple is expected to make a phone with no antenna flaws and only Apple is expected to fight against its competitors with one arm tied behind its back.
But other than that, Apple’s story is exactly like a guy who makes meth.
[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]