The anti-Beatitudes: Calling Apple a religion

Macalope

Put on your special underwear and get ready to cut a goat! No, not because our Apple religion calls us to those practices but because arguing Apple is a religion just drives a Macalope to do some crazy stuff.

This haranguing of the Apple masses is brought to us by Emma-Kate Symons writing at Quartz about ”The canonization of St. Steve of Cupertino” (tip o’ the antlers to Rajesh)

Warning: The first five rows will get sprayed in the face with a firehose full of hackneyed religious references! Aaaand all the rest of the rows, too.

“And Tim Cook spaketh, and the word of the Apple God was good.”

Translation: “I love trite and overly simplistic explanations! It’s like saying things are caused by magic! It makes everything so easy!”

Steve Jobs cultivated the eccentric geek guru image to perfection when he built the secular church of Apple...

“I’m gonna lay it on thick like butterscotch pudding.”

It’s like she ate a Bible and is just spitting the words onto the page at random.

...and deliberately cast himself as a modern-day Messiah in turtleneck and jeans.

There’s no way to argue against this. You can either believe Steve Jobs when he said he chose to wear a uniform of sorts because it just made dressing every day easier, or you can choose to believe Symons who seems to think it’s some kind of devious attempt to make you worship him. Because turtlenecks are so cool. The horny one will let readers decide which one of those options requires the bigger leap of faith.

Having decided to cast Apple as a religion, Symons doesn’t have to make any sense anymore. It absolves her of any obligations other than writing a string of overblown religious reference checks that logic can’t cash.

But with his Apple Watch “New Testament,”...

Church, messiah, New Testament... Oh! Oh! Do tablets full of commandments next!

Of course, a real New Testament would represent a new covenant and therefore be more likely to require throwing out your iPhones rather than relying on them but she’s got a lot of religious metaphors to get through. They can’t all be chosen for accuracy.

...and aggressive campaign for the quasi-canonization of the late founder...

Who had “canonization” next in the pool? Whoever you are, drink. And never stop drinking. It’s the only way to get through this.

...CEO Tim Cook is taking the familiarly creepy cultish characteristics...

OK, alright, we get it, enough. There’s no point in pulling any more quotes from Symons’s Carmina Bananas. There’s no argument here we haven’t seen a million times before.

The best thing about dismissing an entire group of people by claiming they’re all brainwashed cult members, though, is that when they take exception to your brilliant argument that surely has never been made in such detail or with such care, you can point at them and cry, “See how the brainwashed cult members attack?!”

Which is, of course, exactly what Symons subsequently did. See, there’s nothing wrong with what she wrote. In fact, getting upset about it simply proves her point! Also, not taking exception to her argument would also have proved her point since that would have meant you were too deep in your Apple zealot echo chamber to hear her.

The thing is, Symons could have made her point—which is about Apple’s recent endorsement of Becoming Steve Jobs over other depictions of Jobs—without sounding like an entire summer at Bible camp played at 100x. Comparing Apple to religion isn’t clever, it’s lazy, it’s lame, it’s tired, it’s unoriginal and it makes a mythical creature’s antlers ache with a pain that no amount of sweet, leafy alfalfa can cure.

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