IdolMac

I turned and saw not far from my feet, on the cold, hard cement, my beautiful, white, brand new MacBook, lying there after it had fallen out of my bag and crashed onto the floor. My heart became constricted, and the blood rushed out of my arms as I processed the significance of the crash I heard a moment ago in conjunction with what I was currently seeing. “SH*T!” said my inner voice, which quickly took control of my vocal cords, to loudly disturb the air about me. “SHH***TT!!!!” my voice echoed off my neighbor’s garage door and resounded back upon the spot where my beautiful, beautiful Mac had landed. I rushed over to assess the damage and I noticed on the bottom four corners some scratches, which felt like tears in the fabric of the universe. “Oh God!!!!” every recess and crevice of my soul cried out, “Why me? Why this? Whhyyy???!!”

As I stood replaying the previous events that led to the fateful crash, I began to wonder if I had liked my Mac just a little too much, if I had crossed the line into idolatry, if divine retribution had befallen me leaving no sympathy in heaven for my pain. From somewhere in my mind came the retort, “Of course there is no sympathy, you selfish jerk! People are starving, people are being oppressed and tortured, and you stand here with your ‘wahhhhh my Mac has a few little scratches’ like it matters. You selfish, materialistic, fastidious, petty, little jerk!” I realized that on the scale of tragedy, my scratched Mac, which still worked, hardly weighed an ounce, but it stabbed at the core of my being. I stood there, wanting to let go, to transcend my pettiness, to find it within myself to thank God inspite of the circumstances, but all I could do was taste the bitter disappointment on the sides of my tongue, as it slowly slid down the back of my throat to poison my soul.

As the pain mildly abated a few days later a thought came to me that perhaps my laptop tragedy, as petty as it may be, actually did matter to God. Of course I realized the absurdity that God would care about such a small matter, but it struck me that it mattered to him because he is good, and out of his goodness he is interested in those things that matter to me. This is not to say that I think that God is going to do anything about my laptop, but rather that I somehow found a sense of peace that he was aware of my small tragedy, that he wasn’t criticizing me for my pettiness, and that somehow it mattered to him.

13 Responses to “IdolMac”

  1. Simon  

    Of course God would care Anthony. I mean come on man, could you really see God using a PC! ;-)

  2. Anthony Velez  

    You may charge me with projecting my values on to God, but I think that if Jesus was to walk the Earth now, hanging out with people where they congregate, I see him hanging out in coffee shops connecting with people and lo and behold when I look at the laptop he’s got in front of him it’s a Mac.

  3. Simon  

    Why do you think so many of them are white huh! Proof I say.

  4. Anthony Velez  

    So, are the black Macs ones that have fallen from their original status and have now become tools of Satan?!?

  5. Simon  

    no, the black Macs are for those good clean living folk who want to try and be cool with the fallen :-)

  6. paul  

    Hi Anthony!
    I hope this finds you in good mind and spirit. You’ve probably heard the news that my wife and I are having twins!!! God has blessed us in a new way, but I’m finding that “blessings” are more than life’s steps that you happen to approve of; how else can I wrap my head around the fact that my wife’s womb is holding two separate and fully living beings? God is good and not just because the zygote split. Maybe God is good even as the GOP maintains control of Congress and Bush is elected to his third term.

  7. fallenangel  

    So hoping to find your email address I googled “anthony velez” and end up reading this blog entry instead. Well, almost as good…

    I must say a small measure of satisfaction courses through me to note that your “beautiful, beautiful Mac” (does this remind anyone else of golum’s my precious mantra?) bounces just like every other laptop. Come to think of it, it doesn’t do anything that a “PC” laptop doesn’t. Its a good thing you think its so pretty because thats about the only difference to account for 3x the price.

  8. Anthony Velez  

    Thanks for the love!?!? I promise that when I chose to buy a Mac I wasn’t processing my decision in terms of how I could betray you.

  9. fallenangel  

    I can understand why you might be inclined to think that my perversity is due to your pre-purchase lack of conferral, however you would be in error as my ire is aimed at Apple for taking advantage of the naivete of the masses. Hardware costs being virtually the same and OS X selling for a bout $130 its hard to believe iSoftware and some minor user interface differences justify the $600-900 gouge that Apples takes out of every zealous customer. That is ultimately the heart of my frustrations and I’m sorry you have unwillingly been Apple’s vicar.

  10. Simon  

    Josh. You and my Linux loving lunatic server guy need to meet up. :-)

    The thing you both fail to understand is that we buy Apple computers for the same reason people buy Jaguar cars. Jaguar drivers could get a nice ford or a Hyundai for half the price, but it’s the design, the finish, the quality and the flat out status that they are buying into. They buy a Jaguar because it says something more about them other than “I need to get from there to here.” I put it to you that this is much the same reason people purchase Macs. They’re simplicity and uncomplicated ease of use marries up well with the gaddam sex appeal of that pure white milky plastic finish that makes people say “Ooo” when you take a MacBook out of your bag at a meeting. Yes a cheap Nitajuitsi could have done just as well in that meeting as the MacBook, but then we could have gotten to the meeting in a Hyundai couldn’t we?

    Is the MacBook an over-priced computer that you need to toss and turn in your sleep about, worry for your brother in-law’s eternal soul being lost to Macness? Well I doubt it. Plenty of MacBooks are selling and more and more Apple Stores are opening. As a businessman I can tell you that this spells one thing very clearly – success. Apple have sold themselves beyond the sum of what it cost to put their product together, just as Jaguar sold themselves beyond the concept of needing a car.

    If there comes a day when I ‘need’ a laptop then maybe I’ll get that cheap-ass Nitajuitsi. The truth is Josh, my desire to own the MacBook exceeded my ‘need’ and my bank balance was gracious enough to indulge me.

  11. Anthony Velez  

    Simon, I appreciate the analogy that you wrote about Jaguars and Macs, but I am not sure that I completely agree. What came to mind when I read your response was how in my experience people who are passionate about PCs often like to get into the operating system or other behind the scenes kind of stuff to tweek their computers to maximize performance and customize operations. This made me think that what might be more suited, using your analogy, is that PC users are like those who like to get under the hood of a muscle car and work on the engine to maximize it performance. By contrast, Mac users are like those who want to own a Jaguar, Porsche, etc. Generally speaking such people don’t want to get under the hood, they just want a good ride, one that is fast and takes corners well. Both muscle cars and more exotic sports cars have speed and areas where they perform well, but I generally haven’t heard of someone buying a Maserati so that they can get under the hood.

    I really wanted to buy a Mac because it is very user friendly, and it doesn’t require me to do things like down load drivers, or configure stuff. Plus, when I saw some of the things you were doing in the way of putting together movies, slide shows, and what not, I thought, “that doesn’t require a lot of technical know how” which is attractive to me. Along with this, I like Mac style, which I realize leaves me open to the critique of preferring style over substance. In responding to such criticism, all I can say is that it matters to me. I can’t justify why it matters in any rational, quantifiable way. I just like the Mac experience, and I connect with it.

  12. Simon  

    Well we’re kinda on the same lines Anthony. Both analogies are valid I think. The fact is though, you made your decision based in no small part on style, and if Josh can’t accept that we all make LOADS of decision based on exactly that logic (or illogic perhaps) then, well, there’s no hope for Josh ;-)

  13. fallenangel  

    OSX for a “standard PC” is a reality, the iSuite of software runs even on machines that don’t have an apple embossed polycarbonate shell, and the claim that Macs make is so that you “don’t have to install drivers and configure stuff” is naive and unfactual. While the experience of doing this may be so disimilar between OSX and Windows that you may be lead to think your not doing it, the fact is that “configuring stuff” on your computer is inescapable.

    Any attempt to construe my critique as merely the rant of the more technically minded against the elegant simplicity of OSX, is utterly mistaken! I love OSX and it may be the best UNIX desktop on the planet! Apple’s praxis has been to setup distribution in such a way that it creates an artificial supply bottleneck and thereby maximize the profits they are able to extract; while apparently legal and profitable, this tactic coupled with selling Apple (aka Jobs) as the Benevolent Dictator preys equally on the ignorance and fanaticism of their loyal supporters.

    Style is a valid rationale for many choices, however, as you note, it is also an arbitrary method to arrive at a decision. Due equally to this admitted capriciousness and to what I belive is vacuity of Style I find it necessary to base decisions on things more validating and concrete. If this makes me hopless then so be it.