All the Steve Jobs worship has been making me a little sick the last couple days, so I was actually kinda glad when I saw this headline which, at first glance, appears negative. Ah-ha, I thought, the ugly side is turning up at last!
Reasons to differ with this tiny snippet from Yahoo!:
- Steve Jobs is hardly the “last tyrant.” I’m sure there are tons of bosses out there who subscribe to his “management style.” Not to mention, you know, actual tyrants, the kind who execute people and stuff, not the petty kind who feel entitled to yell and scream if they don’t get their way.
- What is a “great” tyrant anyway?
- I reply to my own query with the suspicion that the answer lies in the final tag line: “But it worked.” Well, sorta, I guess; Jobs made shitloads of money, some other people did too, and upper middle class Amerikans who already had too much stuff got a few more cool gadgets to play with. What a great tyrant!
But, shall we ask, did it “work” for the subordinates he routinely “chewed out,” when they got ulcers or had nervous breakdowns from trying to please such a ginormous asshole? Did it “work” for the people who went blind or got lung disease assembling iPhones in factories in Mexico or Asia? Did it “work” for Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the daughter whose paternity Steve Jobs denied for her entire childhood? How about for Lisa’s mom, who had to go on welfare when Jobs refused to pay support for Lisa?
- How do you know, Yahoo!, that it wouldn’t have “worked” better if Steve Jobs had run his empire by inspiration instead of fear? How do you know that he and his partners and subordinates wouldn’t have achieved more that way? Actually, Yahoo!, how do you know that humanity was not in fact cheated out of some lifesaving invention by Jobs’ insistence on behaving like a dick his entire life?
I can’t help but wonder if some of those people for whom it didn’t “work” quite so well may be feeling even sicker than me watching all this laudatory coverage of the “great man.” I mean, come on people. It’s not like he achieved world peace or cured cancer or something. He just invented some fancy overpriced techno-toys. Maybe we could tone down the fawning a notch or two.