Civilization is a matter of style. No, really.
Look at the Wall Street protestors. What do they want? What unites them? Opposition to things as they are, perhaps, but who isn’t opposed to that in one degree or another?
It’s a post-modern protest. Incoherent, meaningless, purposeless, a grass-roots movement directed by mega-money and totalitarian powers (like the unions), a cry for freedom that seems to want more of the government they despise.
It’s a matter of style. It’s cool.
Steve Jobs died this week. A great genius passed away and left behind a gigantic corporation that became, under his leadership, one of the most financially lucrative corporations on earth. How did he get away with it? Why do the Wall Street Protestors love him so much? Why do the left-wing love him so much.
It’s got to be the black shirts.
That’s a synecdoche (a city in New York), a piece that represents the whole. Apple computers was driven, or so it seems to me, by the desire to bring some personality into the computer business. IBM and Microsoft had none. Dell had a little less. Steve Jobs is to blame. He swallowed up all the style in the computer universe, like some Marvel Superhero, stood up on the top of Mt. San Jose (a metaphorical mount), spread his arms and hands, and out through his head and fingers and toes radiated all that style he had swallowed up. Cool!
He turned creation into a creative activity. People loved it. Given the inevitability of the computer, we’re probably all better for it too. Try to imagine a computerized planet without Apple.
I’m for anything with a personality. I regret the cardboard cutouts that escaped the gas station beer refrigerators and walk around the urban streets pretending to be humans. I rue the manikins walking the school hallways. When the cyborgs come, will anybody know the difference.
But Steven Jobs had style. I admire him for that. That’s why he could be the head of a global corporation and maintain the loyalty of the conformist mobs whose thoughts are given to them by some weird zeitgeist (parameters and patterns predicated in the schools, details developed in the movies, emotional range established in the ubiquitous music) that despises giant corporations (a fear I’m sympathetic with) and wants to overpower them with gigantic global governance (something nobody has ever concluded to be good at the end of a thought process).
Even so, in the end it’s the woman. The defining role of society is to establish, defend, and celebrate the honor of the lady. Everything depends on the honor given to fathers and mothers.
And that’s a question of how you express yourself. It’s a question of style. Mom is greater than Jobs.