This gets the eyeroll of the week award. Not as bad as when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted that there were no gay people in Iran, but still, it’s up there. There was a six-foot-tall iPhone St. Petersburg, Russia, to honor Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple who passed away of pancreatic cancer in October 2011. The current CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, came out of the closet last week in the form of an editorial for Bloomberg Businessweek in which he wrote that he is “proud to be gay.”
That was it for the memorial. The touch-screen monument was designed to emit free Wi-Fi in temperatures as low as negative-30 as well as take photos via a built-in camera. After Cook’s announcement, Maksim Dolgopolov, director of West European Financial Union, the Russian company that originally commissioned the memorial, said that it was now “gay propaganda.” In addition the fact that Edward Snowden used Apple products to leak NSA documents in 2013 also played a role in the decision to remove the monument.
Hilariously, Dolgopolov said that he would reinstall the monument if it can be modified to instruct people to use products made by Apple’s competitors.
You can watch workers removing the big black slab here:
On September 20, the National Geographic Channel’s television show Diggers excavated a time capsule that was buried 30 years ago. Jobs was in Colorado attending a International Design Conference in Aspen when he buried the time capsule. The 13-foot-long tube was intended to be unearthed in 2000, but changes in the terrain obscured its exact location — until now.
The time capsule contained a mouse for Apple’s 1983 Lisa computer—widely acknowledged as the first mass consumer product to feature a mouse. In addition to the mouse, the capsule was also found to contain a fascinating jumble of artifacts from the early 1980s: an eight-track recording by the Moody Blues, a Rubik’s Cube, a June 1983 copy of Vogue Magazine, a Sears Roebuck catalog, and a six-pack of Ballantine beer. The beer is thought to have been intended to reward the crew tasked to dig up the capsule.
The contents of the time capsule: What mysteries lie within?
According to Harry Teague, who was on the design team that buried the capsule, “When we buried the capsule in 1983 at the IDCA conference titled ‘The Future Is Not What It Used to Be,’ it was scheduled to be unearthed in twenty years. We had no idea it would be thirty before we would finally get around to digging it up. I’m sure it’s loaded with things of cultural and historic import, but the mouse from one of his new Apple Lisa computers that Steve Jobs threw in at the last minute has to be one of the more iconic items.”
The full contents of the time capsule will be revealed on a future episode of Diggers.
The time capsule before its burial in 1983—is that Steve Jobs?
Here you can hear the presentation given by Steve Jobs at the 1983 International Design Conference in Aspen:
I suppose this could be a well-known fact in certain circles, but until this afternoon, I, myself, was unaware that the late Steve Jobs dated folksinger/activist Joan Baez in the late 70s/early 80s and according to several sources, wanted to marry her. On Joan Baez’s Wikipedia page it says the pair split up when the matter of Baez’s age (she was in her early 40s at the time) meant children would have been unlikely. Think about it: Baez dated Bob Dylan, Steve Jobs, and she knows Thomas Pynchon! She’s still has a Bacon Number of 2 in the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. How can this be?
Click here to watch an extraordinary live performance of one of the songs from the Sacco and Vanzetti soundtrack, circa 1979 on YouTube (I can’t embed the clip).
Below, The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti, lyrics by Baez from the actual words and letters of Bartolomeo Vanzetti, music written and conducted by Ennio Morricone. This is an absolutely incredible piece of music.
I wasn’t going to say anything. After all so many people are covering his accomplishments. But I thought it would be important to note how Steve Jobs has helped change and create The Residents.
Apple computers had a perspective that regular people should be able to do remarkable things that they would not normally be able to do if assisted by computers. Technicians should not be the exclusive controllers of that world.
The Residents have always been masters of using technology on a human scale. Ralph Records in the late ‘70’s ran on an old Apple II. The software used was custom written by Cryptic. That system meant that Ralph could operate cheaper and cheaper meant it could exist on smaller margins.
Macintosh arrived in 1984 and went to work immediately creating graphics. Album covers from 1984’s George & James to 2011’s Coochie Brake have been done on Macintosh computers.
Cryptic and Ralph launched a bulletin board on-line system (BBS) on an Apple II in 1984 named Big Brother. It is the Big Brother which this site honors as our first venture into on-line interactivity. You can read more about Big Brother in The Last Word.
The Residents ran MIDI live on an old Apple II at the Snakey Wake in 1988. The following year they toured CUBE E carrying their entire studio which centered around a Mac II, the most powerful personal computer that existed at the time.
When Apple invented Quicktime, the wiz kids that actually did it were Residents fans. The original logo which was a big “Q” had a top hat to reference The Residents and the videos used to demo the software were the One-Minute Movies from The Commercial Album.
I was one of the people who appeared in the Apple “Think Different” campaign.
There is no way I can cover all the ways Apple and Steve Jobs impacted The Residents. I do think it fitting to conclude with the fact that Chuck on the Talking Light tour was controlling a Mac Air computer with an iPad that was running wirelessly on a local network utilizing an Airport, all Apple products, to make the statement that The Residents appreciation of the technology of Steve Jobs’ company has never faltered.
Cryptic and The Residents join the long list of people who are saddened by the lose of Steve Jobs.
-Hardy Fox, The Cryptic Corporation
Below, recent 3-D live footage of The Residents performing in San Francisco.
Six years after he graduated high school, and four years after the LSD experiences that he’s called “one of the two or three most important things I’ve done in my life,” and less than two years after he co-founded a company named after a fruit, the biological son of graduate students Abdulfattah Jandali and Joanne Simpson prepped nervously for his first TV interview.
Ya gotta figure most game-changers have found themselves “deathly ill and ready to throw up at any moment,” right?
Interesting murmurs are emanating from Cupertino this week about Apple’s alleged plans to offer an all-you-can-watch television buffet for the princely sum of $30 a month. It’s about time. The days of the public buying a single song or downloading a single show for $2.99 are waning; they’d prefer to buy digital media the way they buy pens or Twizzlers from Staples, in bulk. With savvy senior citizens figuring out how to illegally download movies and music, it can be said with some confidence that iTunes has served for many as the “training wheels” for illegal Bit Torrent downloads. (It’s not a great leap—first step: download stuff from iTunes; a year later: download the same stuff for free). This alleged reasonably-priced Apple service would probably keep these folks within the paying fold. Why? Because the price is right and it’s convenient, and for no other reason.
2009 is the year when many cable customers (I’m one of them) cut the wire for good. With it being so easy to get the things they want for free online, why should consumers be obliged to spend $90 a month for 500 channels, 490 of them that are never, ever watched? Paying just $30 for the things you do want to watch is a no-brainer. You won’t need the DVR either, saving you an additional $12 a month.
And then there is what could be called the “Hulu problem” which should theoretically make this service more attractive for the networks (although it might take a while to get them there): Hulu execs make a big deal about selling out the advertising inventory for Hulu, but as CBS’s outgoing digital CEO Quincy Smith stated bluntly to All Things D, “You and I can say all day long, ‘We?