By Cary Harrison/off the Sea of China
Westerly course 295°, Sunny, 70°F
The recent passing of Apple founder, Steve Jobs, has sent shock waves across popular culture. The reaction with some could be likened to the death of Lady Diana, with bona fide mourning for a man they’d only known through popular culture. His legacy remains so vast that here in Busan, South Korea, the huge Apple knockoff store, called “Frisbee”, paid focused attention not to bring attention to the authentic Apple store or its genius founder. You wouldn’t know by the Frisbee personnel or general vibe on the sales floor that the person responsible for their plagiarized success had drifted off the mortal coil. For acknowledging that would acknowledge a sort of highly-profitable intellectual theft.
Later aboard the ocean liner off the coast of China, The Princess Diamond, one passenger broke into sobs at the dinner table — later drowning his woe in
a sea of poker chips and roulette wheels later in the ship’s casino. His losses were tremendous; not merely at his emotional loss of the Apple Corp. icon, but of thousands of dollars pissed away on a velvet tabletop. For this man was the software inventor of a program which has single-handedly changed the nature of the way nightclub DJs and wedding DJs practice their art. The software has brought profound precision and acute control over the music process. And the software inventor, himself, experienced a parallel path to success, Apple-style. Because this man’s commercial path echoed many of the same business and personal issues as Steve Jobs, to him, it deeply assumed some kind of karmic likelihood that he would soon be snatched from his
prime, as was Jobs. The man’s depression has been palpable, his manner lugubrious. What has been the most curious observation of mine, has been the depths to which he maintains an intimate bond with a man he has never met and who never, ever met him. The curious phenomenon of celebrity allows the celebrated to unwittingly be in relationship with many millions who undergo mood changes and encounter bona fide relationship pitfalls based purely on mass media portrayals of the person being celebrated.
There seem now to be common kinds of Steve Jobs’ faithful: those who see the creator of a billion-dollar industry with publicly-traded stock at the level of Disney and Hewlett-Packard; and those who see a sort of renegade tech mogul defeating all odds because he did it, as Frank Sinatra would sing, “His Way”. Clearly, there is a smaller bunch in the middle who appreciate creative integrity evolving into well-deserved financial success.