The story this week should be the overthrow of one of the world’s most celebrated tyrants. It’s not. That kind of thing—Axis of Evil, Matters of National Security or Taking the Fight to the Enemy—is so 2003. We’re out of the oughts and into the money game now. Moammar Gadhafi and his kind no longer rate. Oughts? We’re talking ‘80s here: Reagan, Madonna and “Where’s The Beef?” By the time this goes to press the self-styled Libyan King of Kings will have likely been smoked out of his bunker, throat slit and burned alive, his mangled and charred body dragged through the streets of his beloved Tripoli. There will soon be a much-publicized kangaroo tribunal for his sons, and they too will be snuffed out; palaces sacked by rebels spitting on their corpses.
International intrigue is so messy. No one needs to think about that anymore, even with Dick Cheney’s new tome pending. The one where he shovels dirt on his friends and defecates on his foes, continuing the tried-and-true Dark Lord act he pulls out of mothballs for cocktail parties and the poker buddies from intensive care. Cheney is even older and less relevant than Gadhafi, with far less charm. No one would waste their time killing Cheney, never mind setting his lifeless body on fire, and after the neo-con drones are done making his “memoirs” a NY Times Best Seller, it will go the way of bargain-basement Wal-Mart Sarah Palin drivel and we can go about paying attention to a far more important changing of the guard.
Steve Jobs is the story this week. That’s right. The co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple is stepping down. Currently the most successful, well-run and powerful company in the United States of America, a dying super power deep in debt and embarrassed to even admit its part in the bloody coup that has rid the planet of a madman, is losing its figurehead, master-of-ceremonies, nucleus.
Jobs is no normal man. Yes, he’s a magnate, mogul, inventor, risk-taker and pioneer, all the things that made this country great in the first place. But he’s also this weird combination of Thomas Edison, Jackson Pollack and Bob Dylan rolled into one. There is this Svengali nature about him, a corporate shaman, for when he speaks technology leaps, products move, stocks rise and life as we know it changes. Jobs has the power of a thousand armies and the will of a thousand more, and when he goes and Apple puts someone in his place, it will roll on, just because that’s the air tight ship he’s helped to build, but it will not be the same. No, sir.
So now what do we do? How do we go on without Jobs? He is our true entrepreneurial genius, our modern-day Henry Ford—without all the Nazi affiliation. Hell, you want someone who is most like this chic veneration of Founding Fathers? Ben Franklin. Steve Jobs is like Ben Franklin rolling in Ben Franklins.
It’s a funny thing, but Steve Jobs’ company actually works. It works because his products work, and in one of the worst downturns in consumerism in our lifetimes due to a limping economic landscape, his products sell. Big time. If not for Apple, there would be no U.S., just a shell of outsourced corporate land-rapists and bloated union zombies backed by lobby money, manipulated by junk bond day-traders, and bankrolled by castrated politicians.
This is America without Steve Jobs; fat, stupid and boring complainers waiting for Jesus or the Chinese to bail us out. Not Apple and not Steve Jobs. He keeps coming. He’s had tumors and a liver removed and was reported dead on five different occasions in the last decade alone; his decade, the Apple decade, but rose again to sit at the right hand of the Lord.
Is he God?
Maybe Jobs is closer to Rasputin than Ben Franklin, but he sure as hell could be God in a nation gripped with fear that the dollar will soon be defunct and our national character washed out with the sad echoes of a slumping empire.
Not sure about any of that, but I do know Steve Jobs’ stuff is good, real good, and the kids eat it up; kids who until four months ago couldn’t pick Moammar Gadhafi out of a line-up—even with an iPhone. These glassy-eyed geeks are the future of America, and they expect stuff to work and work quickly with top-notch customer service and groundbreaking innovations—cool stuff, fast stuff, the best stuff.
We’re connected now, and Steve Jobs and his merry Silicon Valley clan have connected us best. Think about it; is there a worse state in the union than California right now? It is busted and leaking from every economic orifice, and if Apple were to take their baffling profit show elsewhere, it may as well sink into the Pacific.
Yeah, the story this week isn’t another dime-store third-century thug losing his country to a motivated and internationally armed rabble. That is the way of the old world order. Shit, next week there will be another one somewhere waving his cock substitute at some CNN camera. Yawn. Steve Jobs, true titan of American industry, a maverick and a originator, is one of the rare people who love the work and the machinery and the methods and may not only be the best model for the business evolution, but evolution itself, while Gadhafi, of course, represents the victimhood of a damaged subculture bullied by megalomaniacal recidivism.
It’s lousy 20th century bloodletting and cheap medal-festooned mimicry, but when success and not freedom is your goal—Steve Jobs is the story.
James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of Deep Tank Jersey, Fear No Art, Trailing Jesus and Midnight For Cinderella.