It's been an interesting 24 hours in cyberland and media world. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, the news sites have been a buzz (in Australia) with two topics - the death of Apple's Steve Jobs and the screening of The Slap.
Both have provoked an uncomfortable reaction in me.
Over the past few years, the Apple adulation has sat a little uneasily with me. The obsession over what Apple will do next, throwing one iProduct out for the next not really knowing why they need it (only that they need it) and when stepping into an Apple store I've often left feeling like they'll be handing out the Kool-Aid soon. If you say a bad word about Apple to an ''Apple person" it's like you've said something against their religion. I remember asking someone a couple of years ago why they had to get the updated iPhone the moment it came out and they said: "Well, it's got a compass in it."
Skip and I have often joked about the cult of Steve Jobs.
Before I go any further, let me say I'm an Apple fan. The first computer I used was a Macintosh, creating complicated programs to draw a square. Pretty much ever since I've only ever used Apple products – at work, at home. I'm writing this on a MacBook, I have an iPhone, I have an iPod. I would never even consider using anything else to be honest, but for me it's a product not a way of life. I also love my Foxtel IQ and my fridge and my car.
I guess it's the feeling that it's being put on a pedalstal above all else that doesn't sit right with me. Then again, maybe technology is the new religion. Maybe people are so glued to their smart phones, tablets, laptops that it is the meaning of their life. I probably seem a bit of a luddite writing this and I probably am.
I was saddened (though not surprised) to hear about Steve Jobs' death. It's always sad to hear about the untimely loss of a successful and talented person. Though the attention it got yesterday felt like we had lost something more than someone who ran a hugely successful company.
I have probably offended people (and even my family) writing this and I'm sure most out there don't agree, but the immense reaction sat uncomfortably with me.
Last night, The Slap aired on ABC1. It's a tele-drama based on the highly acclaimed novel of the same name by Christos Tsiolkas. I read the novel a few years ago, while I thought it was well written and I could not put it down, I didn't love it like a lot of people did. The characters are all fairly nasty, unlikable people and it left me feeling a bit down about the world.
Despite that I was really looking forward to seeing the series. A well-written Australian novel, being made into a well-acted Australian drama is something to support. I actually enjoy watchinglast night's show more than reading the novel.
Seeing the Twitter stream I see that it made a lot of people uncomfortable. Watching Skip watch it, he was more than a little uncomfortable. Which is the point. Feeling uncomfortable, raising issues that provoke reaction, talking about issues we might not otherwise talk about. Disagreeing with each other. Seeing other points of view.
Sometimes feeling uncomfortable isn't such a bad thing. Feeling uncomfortable has got my mind whirring again and the cobwebs shaken out.