The Macalope Daily: Making an example

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Electronista has a well-meaning editorial asking people to stop using Apple as an example of everything from what’s wrong with our culture to what’s wrong with cultures on other planets. But the Macalope thinks the site is wasting its cyber-breath (which is what you wake up with on the Tuesday after Cyber Monday).

Henry Blodget (who gets no links from this mythical beast) provides a perfect example of what Electronista’s talking about, using Apple as an example of what’s wrong with the economy. Blodget’s point is that Apple hasn’t created nearly as many manufacturing positions in the U.S. as GM did during the middle part of the previous century. Which is probably true, even when you consider the third-party jobs Apple’s created by making the App Store. So, there’s nothing really wrong with the piece, other than it’s just another in a continuing string of master link-baiting from Blodget, featuring Apple in a negative context with a caps-laden headline. Even if he says Apple’s perfectly within its rights to outsource manufacturing to China, it doesn’t mean he isn’t trying to link-bait.

A more obnoxious example would be last week when Gizmodo called the Business Software Alliance “Apple’s Pro-Censorship Software Alliance.” Are you guys still mad about that phone thing? Because that would be a real shame, if we cared how you felt.

People have long asked the Macalope to take on Mike Daisey’s The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. To rail against the anti-establishment, man! The thing is, while he might take exception with some of Daisey’s arguments, his goal of raising awareness about working conditions in China is something that the Macalope supports.

Daisey, like Blodget, is using Apple as a lens to look at a larger problem. Is it fair to single out Apple? Yes and no. If you want to make a point to people, it’s probably best to pick an example that will mean something to them. And who cares about Samsung’s business practices?

Whether it’s fair or not, no amount of complaining about this problem is going to stop it. Apple is going to continue to be the example shoved in everyone’s faces for “What’s wrong with X” because it’s a company at the top of its game that sells products people love. It’s precisely the kind of company that people want to use to school you about their pet peeve. Because only by hearing how many kittens and baby harp seals are clubbed to death to make each iPhone will you understand (it’s 11 and six, by the way).

Really, you’d have a better chance of getting Rob Enderle to shave his enigmatic mustache. As if. (Besides, word has it that the mustache is the brains of the operation. Rob doesn’t make a move without the mustache’s say-so.)

Like it or not, Apple’s going to be used an the example. As long as the use of the example is accurate, the Macalope suggests you just get used to it.

[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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