Thursday, October 6

Requiescant in Pace

FRED Shuttlesworth was The Man. The Man of Men. Fred Shuttlesworth stood up when there wasn't even the marginal protection of not-exactly-sympathetic media around to give violent racists pause before acting, or to help identify them after the fact so all-white juries could yuck it up over the charges.

He stood up, because standing up was right.

Mr. Obama, a Medal of Freedom is in order. Like Martin, like Thurgood Marshall, posthumously, not alive and kicking like Tony Blair. Or Tenet and Bremer. Ask for theirs back, while you're at it, and rescind them with a signing statement or something if they refuse. You know, use that Alternate Presidential Reality Bush was so fucking fond of.

It's deserved.

And Jobs. Not the Medal, I mean. Look, I'm a Woz man, myself, We've had a Mac on the desk here since 1988, and there's a small, unplanned museum in the basement. I wasn't a fanboy, or no more than could be excused by my justifiable hatred of DOS in those days, but I admired the fact that Apple tried to be smart. Even, grudgingly, when System X, sorry, OS TEN, belatedly consummated our long relationship without bothering with the lube.

And of course the iPodiPhone Apple that everyone is celebrating through Steven Jobs this morning is another matter ("take iTunes. Please."), a carnival that's come to town, set up a tent next door, and gives every indication of playing that fucking calliope every night until Doomsday. I'm not a religious man, so I can only hope that that'll be the end of it, that my eternity in Gehenna Fire will not involve an endless steam of people's cat pictures shoved at me on screens the size of plover's eggs. With date stamps.

I like technology, it's just not what I want in my pocket. Apple (and Jobs) are right, and I'm wrong, in the same way that the bloated raccoon on the side of the road, with all four legs pointing to the daytime sky he never cared for, was wrong, and the speeding car was right. Even if it carried White Slavers fleeing the wrath of Greg Zoeller.

But I can't look at those Press obsequies this morning without remembering just whose side those people were on in the 90s, when Apple was the patchouli-redolent hippie in the corporate elevator, and the great Tech Wizard Forward-Looking Genius Hero was Bill Gates, the Sam Walton of software.


R. Porrofatto said...

Shuttlesworth was simply awesome. Names like "Bremer" or "Tenet" shouldn't appear within miles of his. Would that there were an afterlife where Fred could catch the coward Bull Connor without his thugs and hounds for once and proceed to kick his racist ass.

I inherited an original Mac 128 when its former owner upgraded to the super-duper 512k. It was stolen before becoming a collector's item, but I have a Mac Plus with a capacious 20 MB hard drive in storage -- still fires up when you plug it in. I used to be an early adopter, but now I'm a late bloomer, so I've managed to avoid any of Apple's lower case "i" products. But they sure do look swell and I'm told they've revolutionized the culture in which I live my dotage.

PS. My feeble altar boy memory thinks it's "requiescat in pace." Am I missing a pun or was I too stoned on wine and crackers back then?

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

Well, it had something to do with being high, but me, not you. Damned Apple spell checker. I changed it to the plural while I was at it. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

The best that can be said for Apple is that of the three inventions that destroyed America-- the automatic transmission, air-conditioning, and the mouse-- they were responsible for only one of them.

James Stripes said...

I'm still staying away from the Kool-Aid. Mac is now and always has been a religious cult. Even so, the computing device that I use more than my other three combined is that iPad, and I am only rarely ever more than twenty feet from the thing. It has ddone more to improve my working conditions than any other piece of computing software or hardware, ever.

As for that Shuttlesworth fellow: he was a true American patriot, a true hero. He was a veteran of the some of the most important internal struggles in this nation's history. He was on the side of right, and he was the principal organizer of key victories.

M. Krebs said...


joel hanes said...

a carnival that ... gives every indication of playing that fucking calliope every night until Doomsday.

Once it was CB radios, and CB channel scanners. I didn't like them, either.