Tuesday, July 03, 2007
A point of clarity is obviously needed on my piece from yesterday. Apparently, some have completely misinterpreted my central point. Let me be very clear about one thing in particular: my issue is not with Apple, Inc. Many who've posted comments are indeed correct. Steven Jobs is a brilliant entrepreneur. A true visionary who's created revolutionary products that have had tremendous positive impact on society and have literally changed the way we live, work and communicate. Products that I myself are in awe of and use every day. On this point we clearly agree.
But Apple and Jobs are not what's wrong with our culture today. It's the people who seem to care more about high-tech toys and gadgetry than what really matters in the world. Next time you walk down the street observe how many people have a cell phones stuck to their heads or iPod earphones in their ears or Blackberrys between their fingers. We've become a society of people who seem lost in the technology. Go into a cell store and see just how much time our youth devotes to choosing the right phone. Yet, in the 2006 election just 25% of them felt it was worth choosing a new Congress. Go into a coffee house and see how many people are talking to each other versus being alone with their laptops.
Our young people today are Instant Messaging and texting their way through life. Email has become the new "relationship-building" technique. Teenagers who haven't a clue about the Iraq war know about the battle between Apple/iTunes and Universal/Vivendi. The point is, that gleeful young man in the photo represents much of our disaffected, disillusioned, disconnected and disinterested youth. How do we get these young people inspired to show as much enthusiasm for global warming and politics as they have for their iPods? Say what you want about the 60's generation, but back then their relentless protesting brought an end to war. And the media back then focused on truth and justice and brought down a president. Today, our media is fixated more on Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole Smith and who's on line to buy iPhones. Just think: what if the media obsessed on Iraq and the Bushevik crimes and corruption. Might our youth become less indifferent? Might they become as outraged as they are when they learn iTunes may lose a third of its music content?
No, it's not Apple's fault, nor Jobs'. I hope I'm now making that very clear. But the main point is still that until our society takes as much interest in world affairs as in its precious tech-toys, leaders like Bush and Cheney will continue to misuse and abuse the nation's trust and piss on the Constitution.