The Macalope: Don't look back in anger or happiness


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Well, it was only a matter of time before someone published a piece saying Apple’s celebration of 30 years of the Mac spelled D-O-O-M, but the Macalope wasn’t really expecting it would be The New Yorker.

Writing for the magazine so venerable it can get away with un-ironically using a dude in a top hat with a freakin’ monocle as its logo, Yukari Iwatani Kane wonders “Why Is Apple Being So Nostalgic?”

Oh! Wait! The Macalope knows this one! Is it because the company’s run out of ideas and can only look backward now because, as we all know, only losers ever celebrate anniversaries? That’s probably it.

Seriously, people, if you celebrate your anniversary it means your marriage is in dire trouble, because your best years together are behind you. Everyone knows that. Except your spouse, who will murder you in the face if you forget your anniversary.

A few weeks ago, Apple’s longtime ad creator Lee Clow suggestively tweeted, “Gonna be a goodSuper Bowl. Mac’s gonna be 30 :).” People immediately started speculating that the iPhone and iPad maker might air an ad celebrating the Macintosh computer’s birthday.

Who? People. What people? Some people.

Any fans waiting for an Apple ad on Sunday night were disappointed.

Not as disappointed as Broncos fans, but disappointed nonetheless.

On Monday morning, however, the company released an online video that may have been what Clow was hinting at.


But, as beautifully as the video depicted how the company’s products have changed the world, it was also another reminder of how much Apple has changed since those days—not least because the old Apple, under Jobs, looked forward, not backward.

So, we’re in the third paragraph of this piece and already Apple has disappointed us twice. Once for not delivering a Super Bowl ad and once for the ad it did produce being backward-thinking, even though it was shot on and heavily features its newer devices.

In some ways, Apple’s celebration is well deserved.

No. In every way. Unless you’d rather go back to the command line.

No one could fault Apple for taking a moment to appreciate how far it had come.

You’re doing exactly that. Do you not even read the words that your fingers are typing?

Now Kane will go into full “all is not well at the house that Jobs built” mode.

People who shouldn’t be hired are being hired (like Apple’s former retail chief, John Browett, who tried to incorporate big-box-retailer sensibilities into Apple’s refined store experience).

Although, on the other hand, people who should be fired are getting fired. Like Apple’s former retail chief, John Browett.

Oh, wait, that’s the same hand. Care to argue that Apple’s hiring of Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts was a mistake? Thought not. At any rate, we all know that Apple never had an executive that didn’t work out before cough, Papermaster, cough.

Which you’d think Kane would know, since she wrote an article on his exit for the Wall Street Journal at the time. Very strange. It’s almost like she’s trying to promote some kind of idea here for some other purpose. Wonder what that could be.

People who shouldn’t leave are leaving, or, in the case of the mobile-software executive Scott Forstall, being fired.

This is just a thing you can say! You can say it without backing it up in any way! It’s so awesome! Was Forstall a big proponent of skeuomorphism, a design philosophy that many people felt was holding iOS back? Who cares! Was Forstall a gigantic pain in the ass who was driving other, equally talented executives out of the company? Who cares! Not Kane or The New Yorker, apparently.

Mistakes, in turn, are being made:

Unlike when Steve Jobs was CEO and no mistakes were made ever. Seriously, it’s fallen to the Macalope to remind people of Antennagate and the options scandal and iPod socks?

… Apple Maps was a fiasco …

Apple Maps mention! Take a drink.

… and ads, like the company’s short-lived Genius ads and last summer’s self-absorbed manifesto ad, have been mediocre.

Aaand we just won’t mention December’s Christmas ad. Because it was lovely.

Apple’s latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7, looks pretty but is full of bugs and flaws.

It is literally full of them. You can’t even add apps to iOS 7 there are so many bugs and flaws.

As for innovation, the last time Apple created something that was truly great was the original iPad, when Jobs was still alive.

The Mac Pro does not exist. Also, it was like three days between the iPod announcement and the iPhone announcement. Steve Jobs used to do these unveilings twice a week. These are just facts, people.

Although the company’s C.E.O., Tim Cook, insists otherwise …

What does that guy know?

… Apple seems more eager to talk about the past than about the future.

Not “showing an ad on TV” kind of eager, but …

A nostalgic, backward-looking ad couldn’t come anywhere close to “1984,” which challenged the status quo and started a religion.

Religion! Finish your drink!

It’s very strange. This is an article almost devoid of real content: It starts with a tweet and then tries to throw a bunch of stuff at the wall that, to a point, are belied by history. Why would someone …

Wait a second.

Yukari Iwatani Kane is a former Apple beat reporter for the Wall Street Journal. Her book, “Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs,” is due out in March.


Drink again.

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