Friday, October 07, 2011

Cult of Personality

I do not have anything against Steve Jobs. But, I have also never owned any Apple products. I did not know, however, that he had such a strong cult of personality in the US. Looking at the Internet it seems that many Americans consider him infallible and view him the way many people in the former USSR view Stalin. I find this odd because while he was alive and I was in the US I never sensed that this cult existed.


larry f martinez said...

Hi Dr Pohl,

I was searching for readings on political culture and came across your syllabus - and the Kazakhnomad. I have taught at KIMEP in 2009 and 2010 in their Int. Summer School. Kazakhstan is a fascinating country. Would it be okay if I used some of your readings (I always acknowledge in the syllabus contributions from others) -

Re: Steve Jobs - Apple's tremendous success in innovating new products and media with a highly sought after coolness factor is in part what is behind the mass reaction to the news of Jobs death. Apple is also something that serves as a palliative during these times of great economic distress and seeming American incompetence in all things economic or technological.


Larry Martinez

J. Otto Pohl said...

Mr. Martinez:

I taught in Kyrgyzstan not Kazakhstan. But, yes you can use anything from this blog you want as long as you give me due credit. Where are you teaching now?

Leo Tolstoy said...

I must admit I had never heard of Steve Jobs until he recently quit from Apple, when I saw a headline about "jobs leaving Apple" on the Washington Post and thought it meant a layoff. When I saw it was a person, I moved on. Now even people who I thought were somewhat rational are eulogizing him like he was Gandhi or something. He was obviously talented, and he made a lot of useful products. Good for him. I'm sorry he died so young. But his apotheosis over here is incomprehensible to me. And this is the only place I dare say this, because on Facebook it's obvious if I said anything like this about him everyone would consider me a heretic. It's bizarre.

Cary just now told me it's because Apple people are fanatics and it's part of that phenomenon. I remember a long time ago seeing that fanaticism and actually influencing me to stay away from Apple because I found it so distasteful.

Leo Tolstoy said...

Cary just told me, and I confirmed it: Jobs bashed unions and outsourced lots of jobs to China. To eulogize him right in the middle of #occupywallstreet seems the height of schizophrenia.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Walt you are always free to express dissident opinions on my blog. I welcome heretics here.