The Macalope: The fine art of trolling


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There are those of you who will likely groan at the thought of the Macalope taking on yet another piece by Rob Enderle—but this time it’s for science. Endlere’s latest missive has prompted a question: How do we classify Rob? Now, for a long time the Macalope thought that Rob was some kind of a fish; that may or may not be true, but what we’re concerned with today is actually the state of his mental capacity.

Let us survey the horror, first, as Rob muses on what he calls “The impossible task of fixing Apple.”

Impossible! Apple is so broken that it cannot be fixed! Apple is like a delicate vase that has been thrown off a space elevator and landed miles below, in the space elevator parking lot!

Im. Possible. To. Fix.

This opus of Rob’s comes via John Gruber, who asks:

Is he really this much of an idiot, or, is he a sublimely masterful troll?

It’s difficult to say for sure without obtaining a sample of his brain tissue, but the Macalope has long maintained that Rob is just practicing the oldest profession: consulting. To that end, Enderle routinely keys these gushing mash notes to his clients who are, to a one, Apple’s competitors.

Of course, the horny one doesn’t have cold, hard evidence on which to base this judgment. But there are two major factors that lead him to that conclusion: First, the kind of person who could actually believe what Enderle espouses in this post would be unlikely to have cognitive powers high enough to actually use a computer. Or, for that matter, soup.

Second, a few years back, Enderle advised Microsoft (on behalf of Dell) that it was being penny wise and pound foolish by excluding features from Vista Home Basic. This was good advice, so, naturally, Microsoft didn’t take it.

The point is that the man is clearly not a drooling idiot, which he’d have to be in order to believe that this comparison, from the aforementioned article, is in any way rational:

Bernie Madoff, who was put in jail for losing $64B actually looks damn good against the Cook’s near 5X bigger loss.

Oh, yeah. Well, except, of course, for the fraud that landed one of them in jail for 150 years.

No, that’s some first-class trollery right there. An artist less tutored in the medium than Rob might have gone straight to Hitler comparisons, but Rob knows to go for the one that’s just enough to make people angry without completely veering into parody.

Given JCPenny just ousted Apple alum Ron Johnson as CEO for losing a tiny fraction of what Cook has lost, why is Cook still CEO?

The answer is, of course, because Johnson lost actual revenue. Cook has done nothing but gain revenue for Apple.

Steve Jobs was an iconic leader but he wasn’t known for sharing and was deathly afraid of someone being hired to replace him. He almost was fired again in the early 2000s for messing with his stock options …

Enderle has no basis for either that accusation or the amateur psychoanalysis. He saves his fact-based arguments for his clients, and apparently there aren’t enough facts left over for his Apple analysis.

Enderle says that the problem with Tim Cook (don’t throw your back out with this armchair quarterbacking, Rob) is that he doesn’t understand “that selling a premium product in stores like Walmart will destroy that premium value.” Which explains why Apple doesn’t sell that many iPhones.

Duhhh …

Look, Apple has already explained why it sells its products through the giant retail chain: Walmart has retail stores in a lot of places where Apple doesn’t. It’s a simple solution, and boy does it work. This is the ridiculous thing about the current “problem” with Apple. The company sells more and more products every day, but for some reason Wall Street remains bearish on its outlook. Jerks like Rob like to pretend that the company has some kind of problem with its fundamentals, but it doesn’t.

Maybe Apple will release a bad quarterly report on Tuesday, but you can’t indict Tim Cook on one bad quarter—especially when Steve Jobs had plenty of his own. Enderle knows this. He can read an income statement. He’s just playing for his home team.

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