iMail 1/23: Rodney 'Sucks,' Gets Offer for Interview in Gay Publication

Fan Mail, Flames, and Other Feedback

Many of the emails that I receive are often just as thoughtful and cogent as anything Iive attempted to write (and it doesnit hurt to suck up to the author, either). So, I thought it would be a good idea to give you thoughtful and cogent readers a moment in the spotlight and encourage public dialogue.

If this goes over well, we may try to do this on a regular basis. Meanwhile, if you want to praise me or take me to task, send an email to Just keep in mind that TMO reserves the right to publish or not to publish your letter, as well as edit your letters for grammar and taste. Of course, your email becomes the property of The Mac Observer -- and any ideas that I steal from your email are mine, all mine. (Did I cover all of the disclaimers, Mr. Editor? Good.) Then letis open the mailbag...

Do I Get a Photo Spread in The Advocate? (re: "Rush Limbaugh: Future iThink Differenti Poster Boy?")
Tamara writes...

I am a freelance writer working primarily in the gay and lesbian press. I am also a relatively new Mac Observer reader. I have watched this thread since it began. I cannot help but be professionally intrigued by your presumed reasons for including gays and lesbians in a piece supposedly about Macs and the fallout that has resulted. In fact, I am so intrigued that Iive asked an editor with whom Iive worked a great deal to review your column and the reaction in the hope she will allow me to write an article about whatis going on. Iid love to interview you in that context. You must admit that youive created something of a three-ring circus with BOTH of your articles -- the original and the re-edited version.

The views you espouse are familiar to all gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people, and they are especially familiar to those of us who are black. Nevertheless, we spend very little time understanding the "logic" of those who would rather we simply go back into our closets and that is where you could come in. Maybe if we understood people with your views weid be in a better position to either educate you or, failing that, oppose you. In turn, youid get another platform -- perhaps one more appropriate than Mac Observer -- to express your opinions about blacks, gays and victimology.

In that interview, Iid love to address this comment: "we spend very little time understanding the ilogici of those who would rather we simply go back into our closets and that is where you could come in." Wha??? I think that too much was read into my column if this thought resulted. I guess it would have been better to just say that there are some things about the gay agenda I agree with and some with which I do not. Ditto for black issues, welfare, etc.

My only problem is that gays, blacks and other minority groups preach tolerance and diversity of expression, but oppose any expression that is critical of their movement or ideology Thatis one reason I turned conservative. At least they donit shout me down, and I thank you for giving me your word that you would be impartial when presenting my views (uh, you did say that, didnit you? Didnit you? Didnit you?). But Iill save the rest for the interview -- oh, yeah, thereis more. Looking back, I donit see why there was such a big hoopla over that one sentence in that one column. There was no profanity, no appeals to prurient interests, not innuendo... nothing. I donit think that Iim a transcendent writer, but I do like to stretch this Mac thing beyond mere computers, because I feel that thereis more to me (and this Mac phenomenon) than rabid Mac fanaticism. If it starts an occasional bar fight or flame war, so be it. I think thatis part of a columnistis job, to catalyze discussion.

Rodney, you suck (re: Rush column)
"Liquid Todd" writes...

Your column is complete pap. Rush Limbaugh is an intolerant, racist, ignorant blowhard who doesn?t deserve to use a Mac in the first place. I hope he goes completely deaf -- he?s been deaf to progressive thought for decades anyway [Editoris Note: Rush Limbaugh went totally death about three months ago and has had his hearing partially restored from a cochlear implant.]. As for Apple being known as a liberal company... do you think a conservative (i.e., status-quo, traditionalist, safe, boring, etc. ) company would produce the cool computers you claim to love?

See ?Dell? for an example of a conservative company. They make great stuff, huh? I really like the wood grain on the laptops. When I?m in need of a good laugh, I read the opinion columns of Mac-obsessed fools like yourself with utter amazement. Don?t you have something better to do? I?m done reading your columns because I couldn?t care less what you have to say.

Get a real job. You suck as a writer.

Another satisfied customer. As one person wrote somewhere else: the people who take the time to say theyill never read your writing again are liars. If they were truly offended by what Iid written, theyid never read my column again. But then again, some always want to make a statement. So, hereis your chance, buddy.

People Hate You, Rodney. Congratulations! (re:Rush column)
Patrick Rhone writes...

You once again have fired up the posters to a fever pitch. Good job!

I couldnit do it without the little people. And you know who you are, donit you? :-)

Silent Mac Minority? (re: Rush column)
Michael M writes...

Thanks for this article. As one of the more conservative students at a rather liberal school (well, at least the student populace is liberal...), and a diehard mac user, it was nice to see someone admit that we exist 8^). I definitely see Apple get labeled as a computer for artists, and stereotyped into the tree-hugger mentality, and that probably does turn off a rather large marketshare. I doubt that anything is going to change that sitiation, though.

Oh well. Thanks for bringing it out into the light, at any rate =)

But, will you still respect me when I write something that goes counter to the Right?

Whatis Another Word for "Thesaurus"?
(re:"Short Take -- Film Explores Aftermath of Bill Gatesis iAssassinationi")
R. J. writes...

Half of the sites on my daily browsing agenda have trouble with the simplest of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. And here you go throwing around the word "concomitant" (although you added an extra T, must be a Minesota thing...), forcing me to actually go to for the first time in months. Thanks, I love a good challenge now and then.

And whyid you have to throw in the BLACK thing?!? I personally know every black employee at Microsoft, and both of them kinda like Bill G. Heh heh, I crack myself up...

Hey, I possess a penchant for prolixity! What can I say? (Howis that for alliteration? :-)

The real Mac Daddy (re: "iBrotha -- iMac Isnit Ugly, Compared to Intelis Vision of the Future PC")
Richard writes...

Rodney Cordova is the real MacDaddy !

My Mac Daddy says: "All I wanna know is can a brotha get a discount?"

Mac Poor in Baton Rouge (re: "How Many Of You Originally Hated, but Now You Love, The New iMac?")
Tommy Lomonte writes...

Before tuning my TV to Tech TV to watch Jobsi keynote, I told myself that no matter what he showed, I didnit need another Mac. Then, he did it. He unveiled the new iMac. It was love at first sight, and I placed an order later in the afternoon.

Did you remember to order two?

He Didnit 180 on the "iGloo iMac" (re: iMac love and hate)
Geoff B. wrote...

No 180 for me -- even after I saw it at an Apple Store. To me, itis cheezy looking, not elegant like the Cube. But I will say this: I initially believed it would fall flat on its face with the public. Now I believe it will be a great cash-cow for Apple for months to come.

Get back with me in a few months. Iim sure youill be a believer by then. This thing really really grow on you. I honestly believe that this iMac will "convert" more Mac users than the original did. The original has an instant attraction, on the emotional level. This new one does, too, but it also appeals logically. Maybe Steve has be feeling a little Zen, but it does look like each part is being "true to itself."

Pass the Kool-Aid (tm)...

Give Raskin Credit (re: "Jef Raskin, If Youire So Smart, How Come Youire Not Rich?")
Brant Sears wrote...

I got to meet Jef Raskin at MacHack 2001. I have also read Jefis new book, the Humane Interface. I have an advanced degree in Experimental Psychology and my first job in the computer industry was doing Human Factors work for IBM. I currently work as a software developer. I mainly write software for the Mac or cross platform work. I used to write software for the Newton (until Steve killed it).

I think that you arenit giving Jef enough credit. As you probably know, he started the Mac project at Apple. A lot of the work going on at Xerox PARC was based on his doctoral disertation. Arguably, he invented the graphical user interface. Without Jef, there would not have been a Mac at all. Without Jefis attention to detail, there wouldnit have been the Mac as we know it today....

Iim not saying that MacOS X doesnit have some wonderful features. Iim using it everyday. (Although until 10.1, it wasnit acceptable to me.) It seems that with every change, Apple is able to improve the UI somewhat. I also see them incorporating a lot of Jefis ideas. For example, iPhoto does not have a "Save" menu item.

During the keynote at MacHack, there were several stories told about Steve Jobs taking credit for Raskinis ideas. I hope Steve will read Jefis book and steal more of Jefis ideas.

Only if he steals the good ones!

Groovy! Yeah, baby! (re: iMac love and hate)
Richard Ripley, Ph.D said...

I liked the iMac when I first saw it at MacWorld SF. In fact I thought it was extremely groovy!

I really enjoy your columns. Appropriately curmudgeonly for me. Thanks! Take care and thanks again for a very entertaining and worthwhile column.

Put More Software in This One... and in the Pro Machines (re: iMac love and hate)
Miladin writes...

My first computer was a iMac. I handed it down to my sisteriss 10 year old.. Inow own a top-of-the-line G4. The new iMac looks cool , but if Apple expects to get a market share improvement, it needs to have Microsoft programs installed. What do you think ? Or am I blowing smoke???

...or at least install AppleWorks in every computer...

Early-Adoption Hesitancy? (re: iMac love and hate)
C. Botti says...

I loved it the first time I saw it. its a great looking machine. I will buy one soon. I usually like to wait until they get all the bugs out. I would hate to hove to retuin it.

I donit think you will need to return it. It appears that the new iMac has taken all of its cues from the Cube. In a way, the Cube was the grand experiement (ask a few of us Cube owners about our early-adopter woes some time), the prototype. Everything good about the Cube (small "footprint", G4 processor in a compact form factor, flat-panel display, etc.) has been perfected with the new iMac.