I’ve been watching the reaction to Steve Jobs death… and was a bit… unsettled… over it all… and then I found this from Robert:
I must phrase this carefully because I don’t intend to be disrespectful: the global outpouring of grief for an inventor of consumer goods seems a little curious to me, maybe even a little unseemly.
I understand the world has lost a giant of innovation and a true marketing genius. My house is full of the gadgets his company creates and his vision was behind much of its achievements.
Still, to eulogize his passing as that of a Ghandi or a Mandela seems to me to be raising our addiction to consumerism to an actual religion. From tributes outside Apple stores to the expressions of anguish we see online, it appears we have lost the Prophet of Cool Stuff. Or was he the actual God of Cool Stuff?
Again, this is not to denigrate the accomplishments of this visionary techie, this reaction reflects more on us than it does on him but, seriously, it’s a phone, people.
I rarely agree with Robert… in fact, I can’t remember ever agreeing with the man… he’s been on the blogroll for some time because he occasionally provides me with fodder to rail against…. but not this time.
Not this time at all.
And trust me when I tell you that I realize this will be a most unpopular perspective.
Rail against me in the comments.
UPDATE: The Anchoress links… and adds:
True. I think one of the realities of New Media, though, is that all reactions seem like “outsized” reactions, simply because there is SO MUCH being shared, by SO MANY. In the 21st Century, perhaps, every “big” death gets the Princes Di treatment!