Essence of Macintosh Absence of Words
Have you noticed that Macintosh computer owners seem to posses near fanatical devotion to their Macs, an inanimate object? I am both one who notices this perplexing devotion and the giddy devotee. For years, my fond attachment to this little computer platform has largely defined my life. In 1986, I acquired my first Mac or perhaps it acquired me. From that time, I have been unable to explain, even to myself, what impetus seizes heart and imagination. I am vexed at my lack of words, unable to explain my feelings, yet, at the same time, comforted to know that I am not alone. Millions of Mac users are likewise entwined in this perplexing love affair. It’s becomes a fellowship.
In this series, we will examine the phenomena sometimes referred to as the “Cult of the Mac.” We must choose our words carefully. Not because someone is watching, but because cheap words would have no place in the realm we are about to explore.
So, how do I say in words, that for which there are no words? Can we parse adjectives, adverbs, pronouns and prose to craft a meaningful explanation of something so inexplainable? Let’s struggle a bit together to come up with some worthy language to describe that special, unspoken, bonding feeling Mac users have not just for their Macs but for one another. What is this “thing,” this emotion, this insane loyalty to a hunk of silicone and metal that captures our hearts and fires our imaginations? How is it possible that a little box of bits can revolutionize, at core levels, the world and the individual? In the heart of many Mac users, this emotion, this sense of pride, this firm confidence flows like a vast river. It’s quiet. It’s deep. It’s always there. If this is the effect, what is the cause?
Those who have owned a Macintosh computer for longer than a few months and especially for those who dumped the Windows operating system in favor of Mac OS, know this feeling well. They vainly attempt to describe it as “freedom” or “fun” or “fantastic.” Now, in an effort to set the stage for what we are about to explore, let me try, perhaps also in vain, to choose a term we might agree on. This term describes perceptions of Macintosh, and all things Apple. My chosen term attempts to elucidate the shared experience of millions and millions of Apple aficionados. The word is: “Quintessence.”
Quintessence speaks of an intrinsic character of perfection, the distilled essence of something profoundly suited for an apt purpose—the perfect example. The ancients pondered the possibility that Quintessence was the fifth element beyond earth, water, air and fire. In this realm, I tread lightly. I feel invited. Here, I am a guest, not a conqueror.
A Warning to Outsiders
As we begin our quest, I must warn you. Should you be in the dwindling ranks of naysayers who scoff at the notion that one might be so drawn to an inanimate object that he or she refers to the relationship as “love.” I caution you. Your time is short. Eventually, you too will join us. Your scoffing will cease and your criticisms will dissipate. Someday, you too will become “one of the crazy ones.” You too will find it difficult turn away from the siren’s song. Prove me wrong by reading no more. We’re gonna talk Mac! That’s just what Mac people do.
Next, delicate beginnings, as we consider Apple advertising. The stage is set.
In this series of articles, Dana Haynes, a certified Apple consultant from Fort Lauderdale, Florida will examine that mystical glue that bonds Mac users to their machines and one another. Dana is a grateful husband, home schooling dad and creator of the Mac Lessons series at www.accularian.com. Dana may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 954-726-9525.
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