Steve Jobs, Punker
Driving home Wednesday with all intentions of sitting down at the ‘ol Macbook and jotting down yet another self fellating entry, maybe a lil weekend preview:
Friday at The Vault in Temecula, an all ages wonderland where the kids rule the joint.
Mom drops them off in the industrial parking lot with a smile, looking forward to a full night of uninterrupted shopping at Ross and a half dozen Cadillac Margaritas at the local TGIF.
Meanwhile, Junior has his chance to smoke cigs in the alley, load up on Rockstars and go crazy in the pit.
When Mater shows up buzzed and happy, the kid is sweaty and grinning, a few bruises from the pit and a text message buzzing in his pocket: that tatted cutie he bumped into while wating in the merch line.
Then juxtapose that with the gig Saturday at The Shakedown in San Diego–I suppose the exact opposite of an all ages club.
In fact I think the entry age should be a minuimum of 32, the debauchery and foolishness that goes on within those cinderblock barriers!
The Malt Liquor, yes, it flows like champagne, and the crowd is rowdy yet friendly.
As eager to buy ya a shot of cheap whiskey as they would box yer ears, both acts of endearment meant to cause residual pain.
But then they broke into All Things Considered and I learned, as we all did in a viral moment, that Apple founder Steve Jobs died.
I took the news with a sigh, not much more, heard he was sick, that’s too bad.
I was never one of those that stood in line for 2 days to get an Ipod Nano, not once spent a Saturday afternoon at the Genius Bar at the Grove Apple Store…you know, just hanging out, diggin the vibe.
But still, sad to see a good guy go, I crossed myself and took the offramp, and punched the radio preset from NPR across the breadth of the digital band to KROQ, where those cutting edge upstarts were playing Welcome to the Jungle!!
What fuckin year is this again?!
But the more I thought about it, the Apple lifestyle did in fact mean a lot to the musician, yeh?
Sure, to yer garden variety Angry Punk, Apple products suck!
Just another pacifier from the corporate enemy (oi!), but that —sigh–that goes for anything, really.
Oh, I’m sure over in the Subhumans headquarters they’re not too fond of Coca Cola or the Kia Hamsters either, but you can bet they take their goddamn Iphones along with them when they go on tour.
For the whole smart phone revolution seemed as if created just for punkers on the go.
In a true DIY sense, what punk band, on their own without an army of handlers, tour managers and roadies can be expected to drive all day to a strange town, navigate while promoting the gig on Facebook and locate any gas stations that sell beer on the way, hmmm?
That little slab of touchscreen in your back pocket, that thing made it all the easier to say, fuck off, I’ll do it myself!
So yeah, we all have a phone that does more than just chirp at the most embarassing times.
But Apple brings all these must-haves into the same stable: Sleek and simple computers, and howsabout them Ipads, huh?
Those wondrous toys that the most skeptical of us dismissed as another geek toy, until you held one in your sweaty paws at the Best Buy and decided you could not live without it.
And while I can appreciate Jobs’ integration of Japanese Calligriphic flow in establishing the Apple font and control, this device more importantly revolutionized the way we access porn and masturbate in hotel rooms……..
And what about Pixar, hmmm?
But come on now, it’s the fuckin Ipod that changed the whole thing.
Think back to those strange days just when music was getting converted to MP3’s.
Napster was a wonderland, you logged in and were blown back by the songs being shared by people.
And you thought, well, this is amazing!
I was finally able to get digital versions of the Rejected album, but more importantly, some poor misguided soul out there took the time to hook a turntable up to a computer somehow and burned it for us all—and he thought he was doing something worthwhile!
So the internet opened it all up like the Wild West and digital versions of all your favorites were flying across the ether—-for free!
But what about those people creating the music, hmmmm?
We all thought it was over, the way music was recorded and packaged.
It was good, sure, that we could get our music in the hands of those who wanted it, but you can forget about packaging that cd again next Summer, brother!
Hell, I believe we were this close ! –to getting all our publishing back from Posh Boy for about 190 bucks…….
But then here came the Ipod, and more importnatly, Itunes…
And while far from perfect (What tha….MP4?!), Jobs and company seemingly found a logical, inevitable way to corral all those renegade songs back into a format we could all, if uneasily, live with.
So now you had your whole catalogue and more at the double click of the mouse, and guess what?
It turned out alright.
You were surprised that people still wanted to buy that song you wrote twenty-*cough* years ago, and that it meant enough to them that they would carry it along with them in these new devices.
And in a big way in gave a whole new boost, allowing some aging punk rockers (ahem) to get their fat asses off the couch and back in the van, for just one more Summer at least.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
After all, the Ipod is well known to be manufactured by 12 year old Chinese girls at a price of 96 cents each, and Mr. Jobs was surely not alone in designing these toys.
And if it wasn’t Apple, someone else surely would’ve figured out we needed this stuff.
But maybe it wouldn’t have been presented with nearly as much charm and class.
Funny, with an army of unemployed hipsters camping out on the faux cobblestones of Wall Street, lunching on donated meals of Panera Steak Paninnis and Chai Lattes, how a person could be so mourned.
A man as surely aligned as the face of a giant corporation is mourned with tears?
Because he became our Walt Disney, a man with a vision living in a world gone flat.
As with all things gone digital, viral, corrupted and deleted, our whole life has become compressed versions of reality.
And this world, we hold not in some monolithic slab of wires and circuit board, no–your whole life fits in your pocket, and soon to be non existant, physically, at all.
It will all be up in the clouds, as we all will someday.