Friday, 14 October 2011

Fruit loops

This is about a week out of date, but what the hell. I like a lot of the products that Apple make. I'm typing this on a battered Macbook, with one of the command keys not working due to the introduction of the tea virus, and various bits of plastic chipped off the body. Before that it was an ibook, that worked for years and I passed it on and it worked for years more until I was helpfully moving it and dropped it (less six inches, and it daughter dropped it down an entire flight of stairs and it was fine). My next computer will probably be a mac. I rarely go out without my little ipod in my pocket, and although I don't own one, the phones and ipads are shiny too, and look fun.

Steve Jobs was a clever businessman with a single-minded vision, and I admire him very much for his insistence that things should look good, as well as work well, a piece of simple design philosophy that had somehow managed to bypass pretty much the entire tech sector. He sounded like quite a tosser as a person, but I didn't know him, so that's just based on other people's stories. His company makes nice stuff. His other company have made some excellent films.

But I did see the commotion around the time of his death, and it was interesting because I was wrapped up in my own thoughts about such things too. The sight of people holding candlelit vigils outside Apple stores (did I really just type that?) reminded me of something that stuck in my mind after the surreal paroxysm of faux-grief that gripped much of the UK at the time of Diana's death. It was a story from a girl, whose close friend had travelled to London to be there for the funeral, and to lay flowers out on the street. The girl telling the story had lost her father a while earlier, and the 'close' friend had never laid flowers for him, or given any to her, yet embarked on this pilgrimage to do so for someone she only knew through the media. The mourners outside the stores, with their little post-it notes and their candles burning on an iPad screen - an image I honestly thought was from The Onion or the Daily Mash - reminded me of that story.

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