Steve Jobs personally affected my life, and yours. I’m pretty sure they’re going to change the calendar from A.D. to A.S., or After Steve. Postmodern society will now give way to post-steveism.
I check my blogs on my iPhone (which I finally purchased in July.) But he didn’t just change how a few people read blogs or listen to music. The man changed entire industries. If he were living a century ago, he’d have built a steel or oil conglomerate.
So, like millions of other people, I thought I might like to read about the man behind the machines. I downloaded the sample of the Walter Isaacson bio, ironically, on my Kindle.
And after a couple of hours, I’m not so sure I want to spend 700 pages with the man. I mean, really. From the time he was a third grader, the guy was a jerk. I’m not going to rehash what most of us have already heard tidbits of. But he was not a people person, and he was enabled from the earliest age by his parents to develop a superiority complex and mistreat everyone, including his parents, children and employees. And what kind of a guy hires his own biographer?
It just makes me wonder. If I was a genius, what could I get away with?
If Not For the Toys…
I was listening to an interview with Walter Isaacson yesterday. He called Jobs a visionary and an innovator, and said, “that’s the kind of person we need in our society.”
Really? That’s all we’re looking for? New shiny stuff?
It must be. Because no one would be singing Jobs’ praises after his death, except for the fact that he left us all a bunch of cool toys to play with.
He’s like Santa Claus. Really, would anyone actually admire a man who annually broke into their house, ate their cookies and farted on their easychairs, if he didn’t leave a crapload of toys for them? I doubt it.
I’m a Genius. I Don’t Have Time to Be a Decent Human Being.
If there’s one thing I don’t get, even though I’m guilty of it, it’s hoping that a celebrity is a “nice guy.” Everyone makes a big deal out of a celebrity who doesn’t treat fans like dog poop. Guess what? Celebrities are supposed to be nice to people! They make millions of dollars for incredibly easy work. People whose lives are a never ending stream of sucktitude are still expected to be nice.
Giving celebrities credit for being nice is like giving parents credit for feeding their kids, or giving credit to a surgeon for actually amputating the correct foot. You don’t get credit for doing something that you’re supposed to do. Have our standards fallen so low that “being nice” is some kind of lofty, God-like virtue?
The funny thing is, I’m still willing to forgive celebrities for being jerks because I like their movies. And if Thomas Edison or George Washington had been jerks (and who knows, they might have been), we’d still forgive them because they invented light bulbs and America. We all write people a pass when they give us something we really want.
You Can’t Afford It
You and I are not geniuses. Therefore, we can’t afford to be jerks to everyone we meet. We can’t just cover up our glaring personality flaws by handing out trinkets.
We can’t afford to treat everyone as inferiors.
We can’t afford to yell at people who aren’t as good as us.
We can’t afford to make up our own rules.
We can’t afford to disregard everyone else.
We can’t do these things because you and I have never done anything that could cover such a multitude of sins. Have you ever met anyone who decided to boycott Apple because their boss was a jerk? Heck no! Apple customers are like a cult. It wouldn’t matter if Steve Jobs personally insulted every customer to their face as they walked into an Apple store. They’d still pay too much for Apple’s computers, and thank them for it. He wealth of goodwill from people dwarfed his financial fortune, and was so vast that he could treat people badly and still die a hero.
What do you think our society really needs? Do we need people who “innovate,” at the expense of everything else? Or do we need humble geniuses, compassionate innovators, and quiet revolutionaries? What famed person is really worthy of your admiration?