Whilst LTW boss John Robb has argued that Apple are ‘The Beatles of these times’ and wonders how he could do all his creative stuff without Apple, David Newbury disagrees with him…
The death of a man in his 50’s from cancer is a truly awful event. My heart goes out to those close to Steve Jobs, an innovator, a loved family man. Thousands die each year from pancreatic cancer with each death affecting family, friends and loved ones, but the death of Steve Jobs affects not only those close to him, but also the victims of a culture subjugated by Apple.
Jobs’ impact on the 21st centre is unarguable: He created a culture of the throwaway and the elitist-a society trained to obsess over the ”Ëshiny shiny pretty nice’ like a missionary showing a candle to the imperial colonies. Each new Apple product is launched with the pomp and ceremony of the World Fair and immediately renders redundant all previous models.
The recent launch of the iPhone 4S will generate millions for Apple-from people who ready own iPhones- purely for a better camera and a faster chip. The iPad 2 is just a thinner version of the original with a camera. This is Apple’s legacy, have an idea-rehash it over again, make people spend more. Technology became disposable and therefore passÃÂ©. The wonders which enable blogging on the go, is now so engraved on society that creative writing, thinking and comment is diminishing.
The Daily Mail’s recent online publishing of the wrong Amanda Knox verdict exemplifies the fall in standards Apple’s access to information has created. The need to know information NOW means the checks which took place in journalism is no longer there- such a false piece would never have seen the light in purely print. As with the Primal Scream/ Theresa May debacle-a spot of research would have revealed it was The Dandy Warhols, but a retweet on an iPhone meant it was suddenly unsubbed truth.
Apple’s obsessions with making content available to everyone all the time could potentially affect our legal system. The naming of super injunction claimants on Twitter is a libel and something professional press wouldn’t touch (Giles Coren doesn’t count) but throwaway consumerism still wants it and iPhones and iPads enable it. Ed Milliband recently said Journalists should be licenced, which is a stupid idea of course. Journalists are trained professionals and a NCTJ and NUJ card should cover it. Licencing Bloggers on the other hand”Â¦..
Besides, Jobs’ products are expensive. A decent Macbook is a grand, iPad ÃÂ£500, and an iPhone on a contact around ÃÂ£150. Only a few people can afford new products. Yes it’s cheaper for older ones, but these are obsolete- it’s like buying a band’s bargain bin first album when they’re on their third. Apple addressed this by releasing iPod Nano’s and Shuffles, but are these entry level products for kids or merely the Aldi of technology?
There is a privileged elite who can have these pretty things while the rest make do with clunky old PC’s. As John Robb mentioned in his tribute, we used to carry around type writers-with no delete- but at least it proved a desire and determination to write. Nowadays, 147 characters poked into an iPad is merely a hobby under the pretence of authority.
Then there’s iTunes. 69p a song. Surely songs are worth more than that. 99p for a 7inch felt like a scandalously cheap theft, but at least it was a badge of honour. There’s no need for a digital vs physical debate, it’s over. Just try to make sure you buy music through Pledge Music and honour Record Store Day, at least then your money is going direct to grass roots music rather than a multi-billion dollar mega corporation. Actually, don’t bother. Just download an app of record your own song in Garageband, everyone’s a creative now so it’s bound to be just as good as The Clash, Pulp, or anyone on your most played playlist.
And that’s Jobs’ legacy. Creativity is throwaway. Why have professionals when you can do it yourself- as long as it’s pretty and user friendly its legitimate. A billion voices battling for attention, but who’s really caring.