The Macalope Daily: Scum and villainy

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The Macalope and his editor agonized over how to approach this. We really did. There are some people who are so callous and self-absorbed that they don’t even deserve the direct attention our scorn would give them. On the other hand, not giving their names allows them to continue to perpetrate their atrocities without consequence. That’s not right, either.

It’s a sad fact of life that there are inveterate jerks who will take the death of a man (however flawed) like Steve Jobs, and try to use it for personal gain, or just as a self-righteous and hate-filled attack on the values of those who cared about him.

But here we are.

This isn’t an argument over tech specs or market share or the normal baloney we discuss ad nauseam every week. This is about the life’s work of a man who was passionate about what he did, and whose passion created tools that changed people’s lives and created an economy that fostered people’s livelihoods.

So today there will be no links and no quotes. You don’t need to hear the ridiculous blathering of these people. You just need to know who they are so the next time someone at work suggests using the “branding” firm of Siegel+Gale or that you read an article on Gawker, you can feel free to push them into an open volcano.

To David Srere, the “branding expert” who no one ever heard of before he sent out a press release declaring this the “first day of the decline of Apple” and asking if journalists would be interested in interviewing him: No one gives a crap about your uninformed opinions. Here’s a little brain teaser for you, David: Of what value is the “branding” opinion of a man who’s so eager to pimp himself that he sees the death of Steve Jobs as an opportunity, without realizing what that says about how cheap his own “brand” is?

Don’t wrack your brain, David. The answer is “zero.”

To Hamilton Nolan, the punk at bottom-feeding “gossip” site Gawker, who claims to have never used an Apple product but feels no qualms about lecturing us on how ridiculous our mourning of Steve Jobs is: Maybe the people who make the products you use don’t mean anything to you because their products suck. Ever think of that? Or, another thought, maybe they don’t mean anything to you because you’re dead inside. Also worth considering.

This piece is so mean-spirited that it’s hard to quantify. Jeez, he just made products, people, stop getting all emotional. You know, Gawker and Nolan could have said nothing. They could have simply let people express their feelings and quietly rolled their eyes. Or, they could have found a way to raise their complaint about mourning a titan of industry more than an unsung hero of civil rights without trying to take a giant crap on people who genuinely admired Steve Jobs, and were directly affected by his vision. But they didn’t do that. Why? Because taking a giant crap on people who felt something that Nolan and Gawker thought was stupid wasn’t an unfortunate side effect of the story, it was the goal.

Correct the Macalope if he’s wrong, but if Nolan is so concerned about civil rights, shouldn’t he be writing about that instead of gossip? Maybe the reason people mourned Steve Jobs more than Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth is that there are too many jackasses like Nolan trying to turn the business of technology into a high-school drama.

Steve Jobs lived large, affected the lives of millions, and left us too young. So sorry if the fact that we find that sad bothers your tender sensibilities. So very terribly sorry.

As a chaser to this disgusting shot of rotgut, the Macalope will leave you with the words of Stephen Fry, who eloquently sums up people like Nolan that consider themselves too smart to use Apple products:

Only dullards crippled into cretinism by a fear of being thought pretentious could be so dumb as to believe that there is a distinction between design and use, between form and function, between style and substance. If the unprecedented and phenomenal success of Steve Jobs at Apple proves anything it is that those commentators and tech-bloggers and “experts” who sneered at him for producing sleek, shiny, well-designed products or who denigrated the man because he was not an inventor or originator of technology himself missed the point in such a fantastically stupid way that any employer would surely question the purpose of having such people on their payroll, writing for their magazines or indeed making any decisions on which lives, destinies or fortunes depended.

[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.]

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