Through Eolake's Eyes - Coming Second to Steve Jobs

by , 12:30 PM EDT, October 11th, 2000

(The irony runs thick. Hardly have I published my statement about my Kind Eyes before I am required to write an article that makes me put on my unkind glasses.)

UpsideToday has published two articles about the new unauthorized biography of Steve Jobs, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, by Alan Deutschman. The articles deal with supposed religious themes and a general overview of the book.

I think that the articles, and assumedly the book (which I have not read, and don't intend to), typify what the press and many journalists do best: the disguised attack.

It is something every person who becomes a celebrity has to suffer, and it is something that destroys the lives of many of those people. Some people are strong enough to get over it. For example, David Bowie was once asked in an interview if he had read the two books about him. He replied that it was not two, it was 24 (and this was back in the late eighties), and that he had stopped reading them after he realized that they typically were written by people who had not known him and were not as successful, and deeply resented that fact. I suspect something similar as the motivation for the author of The Second Coming of Steve Jobs.

The basic slant of the book is to liken Steve Jobs to a religious guru. This is of course an invisible but efficient attack, since people all over the world have an ingrained mistrust of any religion that is not the Politically Correct one (in the west, this is Christianity. In Asia, Hinduism, and in the Middle East, Islam.) So this automatically and instantly creates resentment and mistrust.

Quotes from the articles:

So now Apple engineers, employees, managers, and customers are "very emotionally insecure and neurotic"? If that is what he means, it is clearly BS. If that is not what he means, why does he mention it at all? Just some careful positioning?

Right. I don't doubt that Steve can act like an asshole, but comparing it to being locked up and being treated to "both physical and emotional pain"? Gimme a break.

Oh sure. Now a business failure makes you a religious savior? That will come as good news to many, many people.

Oh, he wanted to use the building of an abandoned monastery? Lock up that man, fast!

Study this headline well. I remember a female movie critic once commented on David Lynch's movie Blue Velvet, and the fact that Isabella Rossellini appeared in it nude. She said that "it is very brave of Ms. Rossellini to dare to show that her body is not as perfect as her face". Can you say "meow"? Similarly, the writer with the headline above accomplishes the neat trick of making the reader think that the reader himself was just about to compare Apple to the Waco cult, but the big-hearted, well-intentioned journalist calls for moderation!

I don't doubt that Steve Jobs has some big character flaws. Most of us have. But I would take out my own appendix with a sharpened spoon before I would trust the kind of writer who seeks to sponge of some of that fame he believes he deserves so richly himself but which unexplainably went to the likes of Steve Jobs, by writing books which under the guise of being "critical" are simply covert and cowardly attacks.

Eolake Stobblehouse is a contributing editor to the Mac Observer, specializing in cultural matters, and comes to us by way of MacCreator.