A leveling of class distinctions in Apple products is going to sting people who valued the affectation of elitism that came with using Apple’s top-of-the-line products. Even subtle differences—like the premium paid for the matte black MacBook over the otherwise identical shiny white one, were signals, beamed out to the others in the coffee shop, declaring who was “da boss.” You know, the guys who wore the white earbuds with pride five years ago…
Maybe Apple is trying to create good design that works for anyone and everyone. I can respect that. Still, the question remains: Does this make rich people look like poor people, or poor people look like rich people? The privileged must know.
Gizmodo is getting its snark on, obviously, but it also hit the nail on the head as to why I, at least, have a mild allergic reaction to the Cult of Apple. It’s not that Mac laptops and iPhones aren’t nice pieces of equipment; they surely are. It’s just that they’re also the tiny coke spoons of the early 21st century — a bit of déclassé ostentation flashed by people who think they’re signaling one thing when they’re in fact signaling something else entirely, and that thing is: I may be an asshole.
To be sure, the guy with an Android phone and a Toshiba laptop may be no less of an asshole. But you’re not necessarily going to assume that from his technology alone. This is why I’m always vaguely annoyed when someone smugs at me that I should get a Mac for my next computer: part of my brain goes, yeah, it’s a nice machine, but then I’ll be indistinguishable from all those Williamsburg dicks. Next will be a canvas manbag and chunky square glasses, followed shortly by leaping in front of the G train. Thank you, no.
Yes, yes: Not everyone hoisting a MacBook Pro or soon to be flashing an iPhone 3GS is a vacuous hipster status monkey. But then, not everyone who drove a Trans Am in 1982 was a beefy, mullet-wearing Rush fan, either. Yet when you picture a 1980s Trans Am owner in your mind, is he not today’s Tom Sawyer? Does he not get high on you? Well, see.