Monday, October 10, 2011

#222 Steve Jobs

Photoshopped or not? It seems like something that would actually happen.
Answer upside down at the bottom of the page. Kidding. It's photoshopped.


With the passing of Steve Jobs an e-tsunami of worshipful eulogies flooded the interwebs, many of them from the major stakeholders in Christian culture. 94% of pastors, seminary students and church planters were moved to eulogize him this week via Facebook, Twitter and sermon illustrations. Much of the Christian sentiment towards Steve credits his technology with unprecedented gospel-spreading and says God used Apple in spite of Steve's Buddhist leanings. (Being Buddhist would normally frighten evangelicals away from someone’s product, but Steve invented some wicked fun toys so his eastern contemplativeness got a Christian culture hall pass.)

Evangelicals don't seem to be asking after Foxconn, Apple’s supply chain in China with bad working conditions and a worker suicide rate so high that employees have to sign pledges that they won't kill themselves. Christian culture also doesn’t seem very concerned that Jobs never addressed the worker suicides at the company that costs Apple only $6.54 in labor per iPhone. The question “who is being affected by this product?” is difficult to ask, so we don’t ask it. If we did, the answer that would move us to change would also be really difficult.

Let's go dancing on the backs of the bruised

The fervor and sheer volume of Christian culture’s sentiment towards Steve Jobs feels like something close to deification. But what exactly is that, and what’s it look like when it happens? When memorials are built outside of stores and such heavy and careful eulogies are written, we can at least say that’s what we do when we ascribe worth to something. When a corporation makes its billions on the backs of slave laborers, planned obsolescence is destroying our ecosystem and no one in your faith community speaks to this, we can at least say that’s what we do when we don’t ascribe worth to something.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'll just leave this here, then, as a deeper examination of Foxconn. Worth the (3-page) read.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/02/ff_joelinchina/all/1

Robert Myers said...

So I asked on the Christian Left what the death of Steve Jobs had to do with Christianity. I was told he had changed the world (if so, it was for the worse) and that I should lose my attitude. Don't ever talk to me that way, especially if you claim to be a Christian. Anyway, so much for the Christian Left.

Anonymous said...

I detect a bit of smugness and condescension from your reply. That is very off-putting to me as well. Perhaps that is the attitude he detected from you and why he said it needed to change.

Bill said...

"If we did, the answer that would move us to change would also be really difficult."

"what we do(n't) when we ascribe worth to someting."

Cringing. And so admirably succinct. Thanks again, Stephy.

amanda said...

I will confess to looking for the "sent from my iphone" tag here...

Abby Normal said...

Color me confused, I guess--I had no idea that Steve Jobs was a "thing" in evangelical circles. Have I been away from the whole scene too long?

Anonymous said...

If my facebook friends are a reliable indicator (and why not?) the deification of Steve Jobs was about as non-sectarian as you could get. CCers, non-CC Christians, Jews, Muslims, athiests, and vague "spiritual, not religious" types all indulged in a spontaneous outpouring of hagiography.

The only dissenters were the communists, the obsessively contrarians, and the IT professionals.

CC might like Steve Jobs, but to me it seems no more or less than the culture at large.

David Story said...

Superb post Steph.

L said...

I've seen a ton of pro-lifers (which is pretty synonymous for Christian Right) gush over how he was adopted aka not aborted. It's pretty odd. I think it's just another great way of pop Christian culture spinning current events to promote their own beliefs...

Anonymous said...

Christian culture "deifying" Steve Jobs, if that's happening, just strikes me as another attempt to stay "relevant" and "up with the times". To be honest, I would say he's been deified across the board, as Anyonymous wrote above. Of my Facebook friends, the ones with the most flowery eulogies were people who are not only not part of "Christian culture", but most of them are agnostics and atheists. I would not say that Christian culture deifies Steve Jobs--I would say culture in general does. The CC types are just on the bandwagon with everyone else.

David said...

Umm...One of the things that irritates me a lot about American attitudes towards the FoxConn situation...If you compare the FoxConn campus to the normal Chinese factories, the working conditions there are FANTASTIC!!! The wages there are 30%-50% higher than other factories! The campus facilities are absolutely luxurious be comparison! And the FoxConn worker suicide rate is HALF of the overall Chinese population! And I would know this why? Because I've lived in China and I've talked to people OVER THERE about what the conditions are like!
Workers line up around the block any time there are job openings at FoxConn. Why? BECAUSE THE CHINESE WORKERS LOVE THOSE JOBS!!! Sorry, but under-informed people pontificating about how these Chinese workers are abused really irritates me.

Anonymous said...

Steve Jobs was an arsehole. He had a kid that he denied. He denied this kid till she was a teenager. She lived on welfare and Steve Jobs was horrible to his highschool girlfriend and the mother of his denied child. He was horrible to women. He threw women away like garbage. He was selfish, greedy, rude and unkind. He had horrible manners and nobody really liked him. He had a horrible temper. The reason why his last words were oh wow, oh wow, oh wow is because it was hot.

His cancer was treatable but his ideas prevented him from seeking standard treatments. His stubborn streak killed him and quite frankly, its his fault.

Bye bye. I don't use his products anyway.

LC said...

Did you see this? I like to think that your article is what caused this change in the right direction :-)

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/foremski/think-fair-apple-becomes-the-worlds-first-fair-trade-tech-company-whos-next/2073

bobloftus said...

I never understood what that lyric from head like a hole meant... until I saw it as a caption for that Foxconn picture. great work. I love the site.

Nick said...

.This helps me lot.Thanks for sharing jobssite