Chatting with Ads
Apple's Delusions of Grandeur
By Pete Tothero
This is it.
What? It’s over? You’re breaking up with me?
This is what matters.
Oh my God, I thought you were breaking up with me. That’s so funny. Sorry. What is what matters? What are you talking about?
The experience of a product.
The experience of a product is what matters? I thought things like family and friends, service to your community, and developing and maintaining a thoughtful and empathetic response to the challenge of life were what mattered. You’re saying that stuff is not what matters? You’re saying the experience of a product is what matters?
How will it make someone feel?
You’re saying that how a product makes someone feel is what matters? You’re saying that the feel of, what—something like tagless cotton underwear, that that’s what matters?
When you start by imagining what that might be like, you step back. You think.
I don’t have to imagine what that might be like. I’m wearing tagless cotton underwear at this very moment. It doesn’t make me step back and think. Oh, wait. Are you using “you” not to mean me, but to mean you? You should say “I” or “we” when referring to yourself. Because it seemed like you were addressing me, so when you said “you,” I naturally thought you were talking about me. But now I think you’re not. I think when you say “you,” you don’t mean me. So you’re saying that when you think about how a product makes someone feel, you step back and think? Oh. Okay.
Who will this help?
Who will what help? What are you talking about? Are you talking about phones and tablets? Because if you’re talking about phones and electronic tablets—man, I don’t know.
Will it make life better?
My understanding is that access to things like food and water, quality health care, and education make life better, so if you’re talking about phones and tablets…no offense, but maybe not.
Does this deserve to exist?
When I was a little kid, one of my favorite things to get was a little plastic NFL helmet, from a machine by the check-out at K-Mart. If I had been good in the store, my mom would sometimes give me a quarter, and I would put it in the slot and turn the crank, and out of the slot would drop a plastic bubble. When I opened the little plastic bubble, inside I would find a little plastic NFL helmet and a little facemask I could attach to it. I couldn’t control which team’s helmet would come out of the slot. This was one of my favorite things to get. I would line up my little helmets on top of my dresser and just look at them, happy. You’re saying that whatever company manufactured those should have asked themselves whether those helmets “deserved to exist”? I’m sorry, but that’s pretentious. I mean, don’t you make little plastic things, too? Are you claiming that all of your little plastic things have somehow been existentially vetted? Like you’re God or something?
If you are busy making everything, how can you perfect anything?
I’m not busy making everything. I don’t make that many—ohhhh, you’re talking about yourself again, aren’t you? Because you just said “you” again, so I thought you were talking about me. But no, you’re claiming…wait, what you just said implies that because you don’t make everything, you can perfect something. Your previous statement about making decisions about what “deserves to exist” made you sound godlike, and now you’re implying that you make perfect things. So this is more of the God stuff. Do you really believe you’re God?
We don’t believe in coincidence. Or dumb luck.
Thank you for using “we.” Do you see how much clearer that is? But actually, coincidences and luck play a fairly significant role in life. It’s just true. Unless you’re trying to position yourself as God, which, sure, I can see that’s what you’re doing. (Psst. You’re not God. You’re a computer and cell phone company. The way you’re speaking is weird. They used to call it “delusions of grandeur.” You should talk to a mental health care professional about this.)
There are a thousand ‘no’s’ for every ‘yes.’
Yeah, if you’re getting a thousand ‘no’s’ for every ‘yes,’ something is wrong. You should try to get to know someone first, establish a relationship. It might surprise you, but if you actually get to know a person and truly care about that person, things often just proceed naturally. Think about it: If you’ve gotten a thousand ‘no’s,’ doesn’t that make you a little suspicious of the ‘yes’?
We spend a lot of time on a few great things, until every idea we touch enhances each life it touches.
If you’re telling people that you have an idea, and you want to touch them to enhance their life, then I can see why you’re getting a thousand ‘no’s.’ I thought you were talking about products. Do you make products or ideas? I’m pretty sure you make products. You’re saying your products enhance each life they touch. I don’t know. People had little portable cassette players back in the day, and they listened to music that way, and most of them were pretty fine with it. People use their cell phones to make calls and to read stuff on the Internet, but phones have been around for a long time, and we used to have newspapers and magazines. I think maybe every product you make replaces something that used to do the same thing. I’m not criticizing, I’m just saying. Wait—now that I’m thinking about it, some of your products have rendered certain jobs or industries obsolete, which has resulted in unemployment. In that case, your products not only don’t enhance lives, but damage them. Again, I’m not trying to attack you. You’re the one who’s making me think about this stuff.
We’re engineers and artists, craftsmen and inventors.
You’re engineeeeers! And some artists, too! Craftsmen aaaaand inventorrrs! A movie star, the Professor, and Mary Ann...
We sign our work.
No, you don’t. I own some of your products. You don’t sign them.
You may rarely look at it.
I rarely look at your signature because you don’t sign things, because you are not a person. You are a corporation that makes phones and computers.
But you’ll always feel it.
I’ll always “feel your signature”? Before, you were acting like a regular god, but now you’re like a creepy god. You’re going to end up the first god who is legally required to register his address and make the community aware of his presence when he moves into a new neighborhood. You’ll end up being the god who isn’t allowed to live within 300 yards of any school.
This is our signature, and it means everything.
It’s not a signature. It doesn’t mean anything.
Designed by Apple in California.
You’re aware that your crazytalk here sent a lot of people to their cell phone and tablet and computer boxes, right? And that what they actually found in the corner of those boxes reads “Designed by Apple in California / Made in China”?
I think maybe your media buyer bought national magazine spots and television ad time just like she’s supposed to, but when it came time for you to fill those slots with ads, you realized your products don’t currently have any new features and you have nothing to say. So what has resulted is a lot of hot air about how you’re God, you make perfect things, and we will feel your signature. Back in the day, 60 Minutes used to chat with Charles Manson once in a while because they could rely on him to say stuff exactly like this. He’s a murderous lunatic psychopath. But you said this on purpose. You’re aware that suggesting you’re perfect and my spiritual center is, at best, offensive, and at worst, Manson family table talk, right?
Another way to phrase that question would be: Are you aware this angle makes you sound like a crazy condescending asshole? That girl should get out of the car and run away from you as soon as possible. And just to be clear, by “you” I mean you: Apple in California Made in China.