Originally aired on shift TV in Canada when Steve Jobs had recently returned.

Microsoft = Christians, Apple = Jews

A long time ago, in the beginning, you might say, I used to work at Apple, then after having spending some time in the industry and having to use a PC at one job I had a revelation: Microsoft is like the Christians, and Apple is like the Jews. In so many ways. I’ll begin with the more popular of the two: Microsoft. 

They took this idea that they didn’t really come up with, but they thought ‘”that’s catchy” and they borrowed it. come up with it, but they knew it was good. They thought, “That’s catchy.” So they borrowed it. The same way that Microsoft “borrowed” Apple’s graphic user interface.

Then they–the early Christians and Microsoft made it more complicated. Much more complicated. They come up with a Son, and a Holy Ghost, a kind of nether world and three mouse buttons. And from there on out it comes down to basically one thing on both the religious and computer front: marketing, marketing, marketing.

Think about it: Both Microsoft and the Christians have a larger–than-life leader who says he acts only for the consumers, the people. Both have suffered public persecution for their vision. Microsoft and Christianity start to become so ubiquitous, you might find yourself saying: “Maybe they’re right. It’s everywhere: every museum I visit, every book I read, every piece of software I use. I better buy in quick or I’m going to be damned for all eternity. Or worse, incompatible.”

Fear is crucial to both Microsoft and Christianity: even once you follow their ethos, there’s always the possibility that transgression could bring Hell or a Fatal Error. Apple on the other hand, is very committed to being different. That’s the shtick. It’s an identity thing. You set yourself apart. You’re not like other people. Very Jewish. And it’s is all about making your life more difficult. God forbid anything should be easy.

You should think very hard before you do anything. You should have neurosis about it, and therapy about it. You should hunt high and low for software that works. You should be proud to be the only one at the office who needs special help for your Mac. 

Also, they make it very tough to convert, very tough to come over to the other side. But once you do become part of the fold, there’s a special kind of guilt working to keep you connected to the Mac world. “We’re a minority. We’re not exactly sure why you should stay, but we must survive. It’s tradition.”

So you end up with a lot of people who started out this way in life, but they don’t really practice anymore. They are, however, still connected to it in this vague cultural way. They keep the old Mac Plus around, just so the kids will know something of their history.

Every now and then Apple and Judaism make a little headway—the iMac comes out. Madonna starts dabbling in Jewish mysticism, the iPod come out. But it doesn’t amount to much. The market share’s still pretty small. No matter what anti-trust forces try to do to Microsoft, they’ll still have their operating system. Which is sort of like Christmas. No matter how hard you try, you can’t get away from it.

Copyright © 1998-2024 Heather Gold.

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