The Macalope: Commercial-induced insanity


Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by Macworld's Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect's Editors

We’ve been so swamped with the Apple-is-doomed commentary of late that this “Apple is a religion” piece by The Globe and Mail’s Sarah Hampson will seem positively refreshing!

If you’re a masochist, that is.

“iPhone, therefore iAm? Why Apple needs to get over itself.”

I’m the first to admit that I’m an iNut or an iFan or however else those of us whose lives have been changed by the sublime design simplicity of Apple products should call themselves. Bottom line: iGetit.

Hampson found a bucketful of i-jokes left over from 1999 and she’s going to force us to eat them even though they’re way past their expiration date.

These days, though, I am also iIrked …

Oh, come on! “Irked” already starts with an “i”!

… mostly by the tone of the technological giant’s latest marketing push, those “Designed by Apple” print ads and “Our Signature” TV spots unveiled at the Worldwide Developer Conference last month. They border on the messianic.

Because the messiah made electronics in California.

No, of course that’s not it. What it is, and stop the Macalope if you’ve heard this before, is that Apple’s a religion.

You were suppose to stop the Macalope. You came in late on that one. That’s on you.

True, Apple invented something as essential to life as sex with its iPhones and iPads and iPods …

Uh, you know, the Macalope has a head shaped like a classic Mac, but given the choice between sex and his iPhone even he would hurl the iPhone out of a moving car and into an erupting volcano, which may or may not be metaphoric.

Tone is everything in life …

Wrote the woman who compared a smartphone to sex.

… and the suggestion of sentimental self-regard in these promos makes me want to turn off my iPad, even though I’m writing on it at the moment …

Next time go with your gut.

But iPhones as the meaning of life? It could be a Monty Python script. Expressed earnestly, the sentiment is called hubris …

Yeah, it would … if that’s what the ad said. But it doesn’t say that. It says Apple tries to make products that enhance life. But it sure makes it easier to write an article if you just put words into the company’s mouth.

And it’s not like this concept is new.

“Coke adds life.” - 1976

“GE: We bring good things to life.” - 1979

“Samsung: We, uh, also make products that enhance life.” - coming in 2014

Unwittingly, the campaign also makes us think about how much we have let technology intrude on our lives. We can all think of a hundred ways technology has made life better – and even more on how it has made life worse.

More. Uh-huh. Sure, cuckoo bananas. If that’s true, why do people keep buying technology products? People are not always completely self-enlightened, but they like playing games on their iPads, they like being able to FaceTime distant friends and relatives, they like having instant access to information like news and weather and maps. The Macalope doesn’t know on what planet scolds like Hampson live, where technology is only making our lives worse, but it isn’t this one.

Couples who have instigated “no screen” rules in the bedroom understand how the promise of community interconnection interferes with the one-on-one connection that is the heart of meaningful intimacy.

Wait, what?! Is there some epidemic of people using iPads as an excuse to not talk to or have sex with their partners that the horny one is not aware of? The Macalope will suggest that the problem is not in the device but in the relationship. These people would just as easily use a book, a headache, or reruns of Banacek to ignore their significant other.

This argument is so tiresome. It was tiresome when it was television, it was tiresome when it was radio, it was tiresome when it was printed books and magazines, it was probably tiresome when it was stone tablets.

The Apple gods are going to decide how I will live (and improve) my life based on which products they deem essential?

Yes! That’s what Apple’s business is! That’s what makes the company successful and why other companies copy it! It designs devices that people want to use!

I just had a new feeling: iQuit.

Certainly you’ll be loads better off using products made by companies that tick features off on a list and then ship whatever Island of Dr. Moreau-esque monstrosity results. Or maybe you’re giving up technology entirely, in which case good luck the next time you’re driving around lost or stuck in a waiting room somewhere for hours.

All of our answers aren’t going to be found in technology. But neither are all of our problems.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon