Our local NPR affiliate carries a show called Soundcheck, and on my drive home yesterday I caught a feature called the Soundcheck Smackdown, which on most days sounds like the arguments between the record-store clerks in “High Fidelity,” only not as funny.
Yesterday’s discussion was over the most influential figure in popular music in the last quarter-century. The host nominated Steve Jobs. Most of the rest of the free world disagreed. I noted many of the comments were yet more of the Steve Jobs hate that some have been expressing since the Apple CEO stepped down from his position, presumably to await the fate coming for us all.
A couple stipulations here: Y’all know I’m a Mac girl. I don’t revere Jobs in any way, although I do respect him. I’m on record as saying, “It’s an operating system, not a religion,” despite how many people want to treat it as such. My loyalty to Macs goes back to when I bought my first computer in 1994, and learned that formatting a floppy in the Windows OS would require a series of commands including colons, backslashes and the like. In the Mac, I’d get a window that said, “This appears to be an unformatted disk. Would you like to format it?” Sold. I knew, when I handed over my credit card, that I was paying a steep premium for that ease of use, but I was a total dolt with MS-DOS, and I knew that if the curtain of Windows was ever pulled back — and it often was, with that generation of PCs — I’d be powerless.
In subsequent years, both systems have improved immensely. But I like my Macs, and will remain a customer. They speak my language.
During those years, I occasionally come across someone who will remark, “Oh, you have one of those toy computers,” when they see the apple on the case. “When are you going to buy a real one?” I sometimes ask them if they’d buy a car you had to raise the hood on several times a week, just to get it started. A computer is a tool I use to do my work. I don’t want to spend time fixing my tools.
But man, ever since Jobs announced his exit from the company’s top office, the vitriol. Much of it has been in comment sections and hence, not credible, but you have to wonder about a person who would cheer the impending death of someone because that person made a product they disapproved of — that wasn’t poison gas or electric chairs.
I’ve been particularly interested in Jobs’ patents, a story that splashed in the big papers the day after his announcement, which I have to figure was planted by Apple. To be frank, I don’t know if I’d like to work for him — while an undeniable nurturer of creativity, he also had the sort of micromanaging style that has always made me nuts. That said, he had enough creative people who would die for him that I imagine he kept it under control when he had to.
What a late start today. Sorry, I’m down at Wayne, meeting with my students and writing in between. So this blog by Paul Campos at Lawyers, Guns and Money strikes a chord, about the financial bind too many college students find themselves in today:
I graduated from college in 1982, in the middle of what would turn out to be the worst post-WWII recession until the current mess. But I had no debt, because I went to an excellent public university that charged very low tuition. This, I realize in retrospect, made a huge difference in regard to my psychic as well as economic health. A few years later I went to a top state law school for not exactly free, but for a low enough price that I could earn the total cost of tuition from summer jobs. Today if I had done exactly the same thing I would be graduating with easily six figures of non-dischargeable educational debt at 7.5% interest.
A couple weeks ago, a former Michigan Supreme Court justice now running the state’s Department of Human Services was the human face on a policy change that ripped the food-stamp rug out from under thousands of Michigan college students who had previously qualified for same. In a staggering Marie Antoinette moment, she said those students should “get a part-time job, like I did,” if they had trouble putting food on the table. I meet my students at this urban university, and I am stunned and awed by the challenges they’re juggling to go to school. Part-time job? Most of them are working at least two, and many are full-time workers who wedge classes in around the edges, along with family responsibilities and many others that would, or should, shame a woman who could say such a thing. Never mind financial aid — these young people work harder than I ever did in school. “Get a part-time job?” Why not get a clue instead.
OK, I need a palate-cleanser. I see Mary threw those krazy Kardashian girls into the mix, here if you missed it. The Kardashian Kollection of — underwear, I guess — is for Sears. Yes, they spell it with a K, just like Khloe and Kourtney and Kim. Never underestimate the power of hustling white trash, I always say. Here’s Tom & Lorenzo on one of Kim’s grocery-shopping outfits. (Does she always have her makeup applied with an airbrush? I need to do some research on these girls.)
And with that, I’d best get rolling.