If I should believe internet and other media, last thursday a great philosopher, guru, saint – son of God almost -, passed away. The way people talk about him reminds me of when that other great humanist, well-doer and spiritual guide expired: Lady Di.
I am talking about Steve Jobs. The man who started the company Apple, then got fired, then got back and made both Apple and himself very rich. These feats, if I have to believe internet, the media, and all the freaks that live in those worlds, apparantly tell us that Steve Jobs was a “visionary and brilliant genius”. “His words of wisdom will live on”, I read somewhere. The “serious” Spanish newspaper El Pais spent eight pages on him today.
I may have missed something, but as far as I can see, we are dealing here with a man who got rich making expensive walkmans (walkmen?) and telephones with games on it. Also, he is the originator of such philosophical gems as: “it is more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy” or “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”. Deep stuff. In other words, the same self-help wise-cracks you can read in any new-age esoteric booklet in second-hand bookshops run by some vague woman with a moustache and lots of cats. My grandma has tiles with sayings like that hanging in her bathroom.
We are in the middle of an economical crisis we cannot solve because we need a cultural and social revolution for that. Meanwhile, our western society is increasingly governed by fear, pithy nationalism and bewilderment, maybe best compared to a rabbit looking at the approaching headlights of a truck. And our hero is a man who makes expensive toys. Each culture gets the heroes it deserves, and the western culture has become so infantilised that our heroes are football players and a man who put the “i” before the Pad or Pod or Sod. A guy who thinks that “being yourself” works for everyone. Tell that to the Chinese kids working in factories on the iFad of the next generation.
More and more, I feel like a Roman citizen in a decaying empire on the brink of the new dark era of the Middle Ages.