Just the other day I was saying to Penfield, my butler, that something must be done for those poor wretched Wintel people. As Penfield helped me on with my diner jacket he remarked,
"Sir, those unfortunates actually enjoy their computers. They buy them like so much candy."
"Yes, Penfield," I said, "and I sincerely hope that your portfolio is weighty from the Dell stock I gave you for Christmas. Wasnit that two years ago?"
"Yes Sir, it was. And I have made a tidy profit, sir. Quite tidy indeed," he told me.
"Bravo, Penfield! Good show! You should be able to buy that villa in the south of France, what?"
He replied, "Not as yet, Sir."
I told him, "Give it another few months, then sell. Remember, buy their stock, but only use Apple."
"Quite right, Sir. I have and shall always."
"Then I suspect I should be looking for a new butler, what? I shall be quite sad to see you go, Penfield. Quite, quite sad."
"I feel the same, Sir. However, I hope youill forgive me if my sadness is short-lived. I think it should be hard to be morose while sunning oneis self beneath a Mediterranean Sun."
How could I ever be miffed at Penfield? He has served me faithfully for 5 years. When he came to be in my employ he was a Wintel user, poor chap, but I showed him the errors of his ways and invited him into the club, so to speak. He was resistant at first -- many Wintel people are -- but soon caught on and became happy to be a part of the computing elite...
Of course, I donit have a butler, Iim not ensconced in iOld Moneyi, or iNew Moneyi, or much of any money for that matter. Yet I do feel like a bit of an elitist because I use a Mac. Iive always seen myself as a bit of a rebel, someone who goes against the grain, who offers counterpoint, a syncopating individualist who strives to move just outside the norm. I havenit always realized my quest for uniqueness, but being one of the comparatively few Mac users in a sea of Wintel zombies does make me special. We can feel superior to our PC using brethren not necessarily because Macs are better than PCs (they are), or because Apple is a better company than most PC makers (it is), or because we believe Steve Jobs is the greatest individual to walk the planet since Confucius (ummm, well, maybe). We can feel superior because there are so few of us, and no matter what the Wintel hordes have tried we are still here.
Elitist? You betcha! From my collection of Apple logo golf and sweat shirts to my beloved Cube, I reek of Apple and donit care who knows it. Not that I grab a PC goombha by the ears, force his nose into my armpit and yell, "Smell that? Thatis the stink of innovation! Thatis the smell of Apple!"
Thatis a bit overboard, even for me, but I wonit shrink from the Wintel army either. I consider them the ill-informed, the MS-soddened masses, or the computationally challenged, if we must be politically correct. They are deserving our pity, our kindness and understanding, and, at times, our scorn.
Mac users are indeed a small group, but look at the morphology of our clan. There are a disproportionately larger number of creative types in our group, and creative types are known to be snobbish. Since Macs tend to cost a bit more than the barebones bottom feeding PCs, our group can likely claim a higher per capita income than our PC using counterparts. Iim sure thereis some equation somewhere that proves that snobbery is in direct proportion to how well heeled a group is. There are probably a larger proportion of college degreed people in our tiny band, that means we likely have more brain power on the Mac side. Itis a well known fable that brainy people are snobs, just look at the Mensa folks, a cliquish bunch if ever there was one.
OK, itis true, many of use are neither creative nor wealthy monetarily or mentally, but we can gain our snobby status by mere association. "I use a Mac therefore Iim likely to be a rich rocket scientist who paints in his spare time." Likely, but not necessarily, we get to be the elite by osmosis! If thatis not cause enough to look down your nose at PC folks I donit know what is.
Whatis really cool, now that it seems our numbers are swelling and starting to include UNIX gurus and actual rocket scientists, is that even if we double our numbers, we are still around 10% of the desktop market, so we can still hold firmly to our elite status. More smart, wealthy people, and weire sucking them in from the Wintel army. I suppose itis more like saving them as I did with my imagined butler, Penfield. They have seen the light and they want to be snobby too. In fact, Apple should use elitism as part of their ad campaigns. The iThink Differenti ads were close but too fuzzy. It didnit smack PC users in the face and say with a nasal whine, "Why be ordinary when you could be a cut above?"
Whatis so wrong about being snobby? The benefits of being exclusive far outweigh any negative connotations: when we have a rough day we can always fall back on the knowledge that we are superior to others by virtue of being a Mac owner, we never have to mingle with the bargain basement PC crowd or go to those massive sales at the local fair ground or convention center, and even if we drive a rusty Yugo, we can slap an Apple sticker on it and proudly park next to that BMW.
Are Mac users snobs? I say weire so snobbish we drink our beer with our pinkies extended, and we excuse ourselves after we belch. Itis one of the hidden benefits of owning a Mac.
Vern Seward is a frustrated writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. Heis been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.