Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fuck a Duck

What the fuck are you lookin' at, pal?
The other day I was standing outside on my back deck grilling some kind of meat on the Bar-B-Q.  It was a beautiful evening.  Blue skies.  Nice breeze.  I love Bar-B-Qing.  I’m not sure what it is.  Maybe the mystical power of fire, some primal instinct left over from my Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon ancestors as they gathered around the campfire at night in silent awe of this strange beast dancing in the night.  Crackling.  Hypnotizing.  A caged beast.  The Bar-B-Q is the closest most of us get to that primordial weakness to the hypnotizing effects of fire.  There’s something that still holds some magic for us in those flames.  Even the staunchest literalist and hardened stoic will soften as they sit around a campfire and turn into a philosopher. 
As I stood outside brandishing my tongs I noticed two shapes in the sky at twelve o’clock.  They were far away, but closing in fast.  Two bogeys backdropped by a transparent, blue sky.  I breathed in deeply getting a lungful of Bar-B-Q smoke and smiled slightly as a cool breeze swept over my skin.   As the two birds got closer I could feel the power of The Fire.  I thought about my own secret desires to be able to fly and what it represented.  Freedom.  Adventure.  I thought wistfully about some of my favourite dreams where I was imbued with the power of flight, though upon waking I could never remember the exact combination of elements that were required for flight nor their precise measurements.  My most vivid flying dream was me in my old schoolyard able to sort of float up into the air.  In the dream it didn’t feel crazy that I could fly this way.  Concentrate.  Wait for a certain current of air.  Lean to just the right angle.  Let your feet leave the ground like they wanted.  It as always so precarious, though.  In my dreams.  As soon as I tried too hard, or thought about the mechanics of it or started to dream lucidly, I would start to fall back to the ground.  Not hard.  Just float down, like a hot air balloon with a hole in the side.  Gently. 
The birds were close enough now that I could tell that they were in fact ducks.  I opened the lid of the Bar-B-Q to check on the chicken or sausage or hamburgers or whatever I was cooking.  It didn’t matter.  It was all good.  Close the lid.  The ducks were closer now and it looked like they were circling around to make a landing in my yard.  My daughter would love that shit.  She loved looking at the ducks.  Any animals, really.  As this pair of ducks prepared for their final decent, however, something was amiss.  Their trajectories were all wrong for a backyard touchdown.  All of the sudden they swerved back in an S pattern over my backyard and drastically dropped altitude.  Jesus!  Before I knew what was happening I had a fucking duck flying straight toward my head, dive bombing me like some kamikaze pilot from WWII.  I barely had time to duck (now I know where the expression comes from, though) before they were both past me.  While dodging for my life all I caught was a glimpse but I saw one duck land on my roof and the one who had tried to take my head off touched down briefly on the roof of my neighbour’s deck and then flapped down to the lawn.  And then it occurred to me.
Ducks are  bunch of assholes.
As I thought back on all I knew about ducks the more I was sure of it.  Think about it.  Not only are ducks assholes, but they also rub our faces in it.  They flaunt it.  Think about it.  Ducks somehow get away with all kinds of things that ordinary citizens like you and me would get locked away for.  First of all, they walk around completely nude.  All the time.  In public.  An even when they do wear clothes -like, say, Donald for example- they’re always revealing.  All Donald Duck wears is a sailor hat and vest.  No fucking pants.  Like he’s flaunting that shit in our faces.  Now if I felt like walking around naked -even in my own backyard- I could actually face criminal charges.
And then they just go around eating shit off the ground.  Like it’s no big deal.  My daughter throws little pieces of bread in our front yard and watches the ducks come and eat it and then laughs hysterically.  But when I accidentally dropped my sucker on the floor of the men’s room at Wendy’s and picked it up before the Five Second Rule came into effect and put it back in my mouth after brushing some errant pubes off of it, this other guy totally gave me this disgusted look like I just bit the head off of a baby Panda or something.  How come it’s OK for ducks, huh buddy?  Would it be so funny if I ate scraps of bread off of your front yard because -damn it!- I get hungry too sometimes when I’m out and about and just a few nibbles of whole wheat would really keep me going.  When a duck does it it’s cute, but when I do it I’m suddenly some kind of social pariah?  Bullshit.  That’s discrimination pal.
And to top it all off, ducks don’t even get sick from eating disgusting shit from the ground.  I mean think about the last time you were in the ER. Were there any ducks there getting treatment for food poisoning, or bacterial infections or salmonella?  It makes me angry just thinking about it.
Pucker up, big boy.
And then there’s my two friends.  That was really just too fucking much.  I mean, imagine you’re a duck and you have the ability to fly anywhere you want.  Anywhere.  Soar with the eagles.  Head down to a nude beach to check out some (of the nice) titties.  Stop by the dumpster behind McDonald’s and score some free fries and Big Macs and shit.  Check out an Our Lady Peace concert without paying.  Or even if they wanted to stop by my place, my back yard isn’t small.  There’s lots of room back there to land and easily avoid me, who even as a full-grown human being probably takes up about one percent of the available surface area in my backyard that could be used as a viable landing strip.  And they come right at my fucking head.  That’s not just luck.  That’s intentional.  That’s premeditated.  Like Hey we could go down to the YMCA and check out the hotties in their skin-tight, black work out pants that climb right up their asses and show every nook and cranny, walk around all cute-like with our duck dicks hanging out with no repercussions whatsoever, but oh, look: let’s go dive bomb that dickhead who’s innocently Bar-B-Qing on his back deck just to fuck with him.  Shmuck.
What a piss off.  Those ducks scared the crap out of me and ruined an otherwise pleasant grilling experience.  And as much as I hated them, I was also jealous.  Ducks are like your asshole friend, the one who gets a free social pass and gets away with saying and doing shit that would get you slapped or arrested.  Ducks are like that one loud, drunken, foul-mouthed uncle who likewise gets away with murder and whose behaviour only earns him a chuckle and a shake of the head from fellow family members who brush his shit off with a knowing “Oh, that uncle So-And-So,” like he’s incorrigible, but if you were to comment on the fact that cousin Kyle is getting so fat he has to shop at maternity stores for his clothes (it’s not a moo-moo, it’s a fucking dress) or point out that Aunt Judy’s moustache is getting so thick you could swing from it like Tarzan you’d get a smack upside the head and threatened with disownment.  Ducks are like old people who can get away with anything because they’re old and their offensive/off-colour/slightly racist ramblings can be blamed on “that’s the way they were raised” plus it’s still socially unacceptable (for some reason) to beat up little old ladies, even when they’re totally asking for a shot to the kidneys.  That’s right, granny, I just put you on notice.
For whatever reason these groups get a social impunity that most of us can only dream of.  And while it might be nice to fantasize about being a duck, the truth is it’s probably not going to happen (unless that whole reincarnation thing is true).  But there is something we can do before this duck problem gets totally out of hand.  The next time you see some ducks in your yard or down by the old watering hole just stop for a second.  Get some bread.  Toss some over towards them.  Lure them in nice and close.  And then kick them in the fucking head.  And if it looks like they still haven’t learned their lesson get them in a headlock and then suplex those assholes.  Then bite their heads off.  If we don’t nip this shit in the bud soon we’ll have a full-fledged uprising on our hands.  And we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves because all the warning signs are there.  We mastered fire for god’s sake.  Certainly we can put these arrogant water fowl back in their place in the food chain.  Fucking ducks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I'm CEO, Bitch!

For some reason in recent years our society has become obsessed with the concept of authenticity especially in relation to movies.  This is a curious development and is both evidenced and perpetuated as a marketing tool for major motion picture events.  The tag line "Based on a true story" has become a cinematic mainstay on movie marquees the world over for films about everything from young men trapped under boulders cutting their own arms off to small children whose earliest memories revolved around being involved in organized crime to giant black dudes who are adopted by middle class white families and then made to play sports for their amusement and somehow win an Oscar for Sandra MISS-fucking-CONGENIALITY Bullock.

Just like a crack dealer checking to make sure his product hasn't been cut with bleach Hollywood seems intent on assuring us of the authenticity of its movies that are "based on true stories."  It seems that legitimization is highly marketable.  Or rather the perception of legitimization is highly marketable.  People seem to be willing to open their pockets for a small piece of "the truth."  Somewhere along the line they got confused between "historical fact" and "objective truth."  The confusion comes because the first one is regarded as secular gospel but at it best is an ongoing process to chronicle (mostly) human existence and the second one doesn't exist.

Yet we all sort of fall into that trap sometimes.  Even me.  We get really excited when we hear that something we saw in a movie "really fucking happened, dude."  Perhaps part of it is that we desperately want to believe that what we see on screen has some connection to our own mundane lives.  We want to believe that "real life" is exciting and valid enough to portray on the big screen so that by extension we can believe that "my real life" is exciting and valid enough to portray on the big screen.  We desperately want to believe that "real life" is as captivating and engaging and relevant as whatever our imaginations can conceive of.  Of course that's all bullshit, but sometimes we need to feel better about human existence and by extension our own lives in order to keep the barrel of that gun out of our collective mouth for one more day.  Some days you take what you can get.

When people begin to talk about authenticity I immediately think about breasts.  For one, I spend a great deal of time thinking about breasts in general.  Also I think about the modern "anti-breast implant" sentiment that I've noticed popping up in the zeitgeist recently.  There seems to be a grassroots movement whose goal it is to  emphasize the validity of "natural breasts" over "fake breasts."  I don't fucking understand this.  First of all, who are these assholes who have their choice of so many tits that they feel they can be so picky?  What, like tits are raining from the heavens and these dickheads just have to turn their umbrellas upside down and sort through the titties picking out the ones they want?  Fuck these guys.  The first problem I see here is the definition of "real."  Technically both "natural" and "fake" boobs are "real" in the sense that they both exist.  They both have corporeal form that can be detected by all five senses (if you're lucky:  I love the smell of titties in the morning!).  So for the sake of this discussion we'll use the terms "natural" and "enhanced" as opposed to"real" and "fake."

For some reason a lot of heterosexual men are very concerned about the perceived authenticity of a woman's melons.  There seems to be more value attributed to something occurring naturally.  For some reason when it comes to tits humankind's creative power is somehow devalued.  I don't understand where this shit all started.   First of all, when did it become an "either/or" debate?  Can't we examine the pro's and con's of each breast on a boobie by boobie basis and appreciate each breast for what it is?  Can't we like both "natural" and "enhanced" breasts, but for different reasons?  Second of all, when did this whole mentality of the inherent superiority and authenticity of the natural as opposed to the produced come into play?  It's the same bullshit ethic that AVATAR shoved down our throats.  Whatever happened to the idea of progress?  Of humankind's taming of the natural world?  Of our dominion over the natural world?  Why is a breast somehow less valid because it has been crafted by a human being?

I only bring it up because... well for no other reason that to talk about tits.  No wait, my point was that for some reason our society is currently in a state of high hypocrisy in regards to it's attribution of value to the natural over the produced.  This is directly reflected in that "Based on a true story" bullshit.  The qualifier that most people often overlook is "based on."  Most times fairly loosely.  To me this seems incredibly short-sighted and really self-deprecating, and not in the ironic, comedic inversion sense of the word.  It robs us of any sense of agency.  In this model we passively experience whatever the universe throws at us instead of actively interpreting our experiences and positing them in the framework of narrative to give them meaning.  Ultimately our own perception and interpretation of events is really the only true agency we ever have in this universe.

Three movies in recent memory that made me start thinking about this strange concept of authenticity our culture seems to have is 127 HOURS, THE FIGHTER and THE SOCIAL NETWORK.  These are three movies whose marketing campaigns were heavily centered on the "Based on a true story" moniker.  And while some audience members may fool themselves into thinking that this automatically lends a certain credibility to the narrative being presented, that somehow the events portrayed are more significant and meaningful because they "really happened" the truth is that it's simply a marketing strategy to sell more tickets.  It's a commodification of authenticity.  "Basing something on a true story" is a tactic to attract a certain kind of audience and get noticed at awards shows which in turn is a way of further marketing your film.  Filmmakers themselves aren't concerned about staying true to the actual, historical events.  Or at least, they shouldn't be.

From what little information I was able to glean off the internet both 127 HOURS and THE FIGHTER stayed fairly close to historical events and some audience members might catch themselves in that trap of believing that they are somehow more authentic than movies that weren't "based on true stories."  That what they are watching on the screen is somehow more "real."  There is no hope for these people.  First of all, no matter how close to historical fact the on-screen portrayal gets, you cannot escape the fact that no matter what you are watching on screen it didn't really happen.  What you are watching is not "real": it is the conglomeration of actors, scripts, make-up, CGI, props and sets.  It is a fabricated, constructed world.  No matter how good his performance was, the truth of the matter is you were watching James Franco trapped on a Hollywood set, not Aron Ralston trapped under an actual rock.

What about documentary films you say?  They are more than "based on a true story": they are the true story.  Again, you'd be mistaken.  Documentary film makers film "actual" events, but they choose what to show and how to show it.  In editing they create their own version of events.

Let me cut you off at the pass: nothing on film is "real" in the sense that, say, the breasts we talked about before are "real."  Film -whether it be static or in motion- is merely able to create a representation of events.  I suppose if you wanted to get the "real story" on Aron Ralston you'd actually have to have been standing next to him at the time it happened and then stood there and watched him instead of going for help like some kind of sadistic douchebag.  And even then you'd be witnessing the events from your own, personal perspective with your own interpretations.  In that sense everything we experience-both on and off the screen- is merely "based on a true story" for we cannot ever completely passively observe something; it is always filtered through our perception and interpretation.

127 HOURS is also a great example of how we kind of trick ourselves because a lot of stuff we see on the screen like his haluccinations and dreams are actually impossible to capture on camera and didn't actually happen in the historical sense of the word.  I mean, not in the way that Muhammad Ali beat George Foreman in the eighth round on October 30 1974 or that Monica Lewinski was sucking Bill Clinton's dick or that Ricky Gervais was the single greatest awards shows host ever.

But that's OK because 127 HOURS fucking rocked cock.  And it wasn't because of it's historical accuracy or lack thereof.  Take for further example the case of THE SOCIAL NETWORK which details the rise of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and Jesse Eisenberg lookalike to become the youngest billionaire in history (by allowing us to post inane facts about our lives and potentially career-damaging photos involving rhythm gaming and exposed genitals) and presumably the owner of a Swiss bank account because apparently that's what you do when you have an ass-load of money.  The movie starts off showing Zuckerberg's formative years at Harvard (except for his experimenting with homosexuality like we all did at university.  Right?) and the seeds for his eventual Facebook creation in the form of something called Facemash and an idea put forward by the preppy Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer and Armie Hammer) for an exclusive Harvard online network of pretentious douchebags.  Then we see Zuckerberg's friendship/partnership with Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) as they develop the Facebook brand and Zuckerberg's friendship/man crush with Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) who gets involved in their (mostly) heterosexual love triangle as Sean helps grow the brand with helpful suggestions like getting rid of definite articles from company names to bring the sexy back.  Unfortunately all does not run smoothly and as the catchy tag line for the movie suggests Zuckerberg does make a few enemies along the way and the movie is framed by a couple of lawsuits: one from his ex-best friend Eduardo and one from the Winklevoss twins.

Now from what I can glean from the internet and a few interviews with Zuckerberg that I found there are a lot of glaring inaccuracies in the movie THE SOCIAL NETWORK when compared with, say, Zuckerberg's life.  Not the least of which was the girlfriend he had during the time period the movie covers where movie Zuckerberg was pining for the girl he broke up with in the opening scene through the same time period which was used as emotional motivation for some key elements.  There was also a certain episode involving a one-legged hermaphroditic hooker whipping his balls with Twizzlers which didn't make the cut in the movie either, although I'm not entirely sure if that was a story about Mark Zuckerberg or Tom Cruise.  Either way.  Apparently from all accounts Zuckerberg also didn't give a shit about the elite social clubs (another motivation for movie Zuckerberg to create Facebook) and he's not really so much of an arrogant, unsocial prick in real life and his buddy Eduardo (who sounds like he should be Mexican, and that bugged me through the whole film) isn't as much of a victim as he's portrayed in the film either.

But all that shit doesn't matter.

Because THE SOCIAL NETWORK is a fucking great movie.  It's a compelling, cohesive narrative and that's what's important.  Not strict adherence to historical accuracy.  The goal of film making -just like all narratives- is to try find or make meaning.  It's interpretation.  It's examination.  We use narratives to try to add structure to a chaotic world.  The Universe -and all the Events that occur therein- is chaotic and random and meaningless.  The reason we tell stories is to try to arrange all those random events and meaningless elements into some type of comprehensible pattern that we can make sense of and can be digested by our brains.  We use archetypes and social frameworks to create patterns out of what we perceive.

That's why it doesn't matter that historical Mark Zuckerberg may be a nice guy (and not a coke-snorting, hermaphrodite loving fiend) in real life.  It's more compelling from a narrative standpoint to portray him as the Tortured Genius.  Arrogant yet vulnerable.  That his genius is a gift and a curse: that he had to suffer in order to bring his vision to the world.  There is no gain without suffering.  Within the context of this movie this archetype -specifically adapted- "makes sense."  It's compelling to an audience to believe that Zuckerberg pines for his lost lady friend (or special lady) or that he and his best friend Eduardo (yep, definitely should have been Mexican) had this huge falling out to the point where they're involved in a multi-billion dollar lawsuit.  Unattainable love and sibling alienation (if you'll allow the metaphor of brotherhood for a close heterosexual bond between two men) are understandable and poignant themes.  We need protagonists and antagonists for the story to work.
No I'm telling you that's a dude.  Don't ask me why I'm so sure...

David Fincher -a cinematic genius in his own right- wasn't telling the story of a single man.  He was using the framework and elements of one man's story to explore the zeitgeist of a generation.  And even though that generation's only aspirations are to comment endlessly on random comments they make, answer trivia about each other, cyberstalk people they went to high school with or write random shit in blogs nobody will read, THE SOCIAL NETWORK still made for a great movie.

Speaking of great movie, I have to note at this point that I was really blown away by a few aspects of this movie which I really must mention, because I'm compelled to drone on about... whatever.  First, I was blown away by Jesse Eisenberg who up until this point I kind of had pegged as a Michael Cera 2.0.  Which was not necessarily a bad thing, but THE SOCIAL NETWORK really allowed Eisenberg to play a slightly different character (although still a nerd) and stretch his acting muscles a bit.  This is the movie that also put Andrew Garfield on the map for me.  There's been a lot of talk about the new Spider-Man movie and Garfield is playing Parker/Spider-Man and before watching this movie I couldn't give a shit.  I didn't know who Andrew Garfield was and, quite frankly, didn't care to know.  He was certainly no Toby Maguire.  Now after seeing THE SOCIAL NETWORK (and THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS) I'm totally stoked to see this kid in more shit.  Get him in shit.  Lots of shit.  Right now.  Buckets of shit.  Mountains of shit.  The more shit this kid is in, the better.

I also have to comment on the seamless CG douche-replicating technology used on Armie Hammer so he could play both Winklevoss twins in the movie (not to insinuate that Hammer is a douche bag -I was referring to the characters- although he might be a total douche in real life; I have no way of knowing at this point).  The technology is becoming so seamless that I can't wait for George Lucas to use it to fix all CG in the STAR WARS movies and re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-release them yet again.  Maybe we can get two Jar-Jar's!  Hooray!  (The sad thing is I'll still buy them all regardless.)  

Alright, enough about me.  If you want a good time go and buy THE SOCIAL NETWORK, invite your best hermaphrodite friend over, bust out your finest bottle of iced tea, get naked and do what you do best.  I give THE SOCIAL NETWORK a 9.5/10 =  One Tortured Genius Head Arrogantly Turning Up His Nose at A Couple of Snooty Harvard Twin Heads Trying to Pull Themselves Out Of Each Other's Asses

Friday, October 14, 2011

Death App: Steve Jobs Powers Down for the Last Time. Recollections of a PC User

On October 5 2011 Steve Jobs, the king of Apple, downloaded his final app.  Apparently he finally succumbed to the pancreatic cancer that had plagued him in recent years.  But unlike most of his loyal subjects -anybody who has ever owned an iPod, iPhone, iMac, Macbook Pro, Macbook Air, iPad, or one of those shitty Mac computers in the 90's- Steve Jobs' legacy will live on at least for the indefinite future.  Before I go on I must confess (profess?) that I am not an Apple guy.  The company, not the fruit.  I really dig Royal Galas.  So sweet and crunchy... But anyway.

I never dug Apple computers.  I suppose this dates back to high school when one of those tiny Macs  (I think the Mac Classic) deleted a whole shitload of my schoolwork at a time when I completed precious little work as it was and cost me precious marks in chemistry class (that I took for some reason) that I could ill afford.  Plus it was so small, and for some reason I remember the output on the screens as only in black and white.

This dislike and distrust of Apple products followed me into university where one of my roommates and good friends Dave seemed dedicated to Apple products.  He had not one but two computers at a time when I still didn't own one: an iBook and an iMac.  I distinctly remember the iMac because it was completely lacking in the requisite tower that accompanied other PC's.  It was tower and screen in one.  Plus the back half of the casing was translucent blue so you could see the inner workings of a computer which, admittedly if you're not a computer guy are pretty fucking boring.  I started university in 2000 and at the time DVD's were just, just starting to come out, and DVD players were a rare, expensive commodity.  But the iMac had a built in DVD player so we ended up hauling it out to the living room so we could gather around its 15" monitor.  If memory serves, the very first DVD I ever watched was AMERICAN PSYCHO on an iMac in my university residence.
Give me your soul

But I never really dug the Apple hardware and it wasn't until years later I realized I wasn't supposed to.  This was the first part of Steve Jobs legacy.  Apple computers weren't marketed to guys like me.  They were expensive off the get go and due to their lack of upgradability they would need to be replaced at a startling rate.  Plus they had software and operating systems that I -as a layman and starving student- had absolutely no knowledge about.  This was not by accident.  On one end of the spectrum Apple created an air of elitism unparalleled in the consumer market.  Even now Apple computers are associated as much with pretentious douchebags as much as they are with, say, editing software which everybody seems to acknowledge is one of their strongest points.  Even more so, I'd say.  Even the Apple retail outlets seem elitist and condescending.  You can't enter one unless you're a Mac person and you can't become a true Mac person without entering one.  But you can't, because they're like exclusive clubs and somehow just getting close to one makes you feel small and dirty and unworthy somehow.  Like you're not good enough.  I've heard that sometimes Apple douches will just go into these places just to hang out and talk about their computers.  Dicks.

This pretentiousness really came off in those annoying commercials in the early 2000's with the Justin Long and John Hodgman "I'm a Mac / I'm a PC" commercials.  I know the point of the commercials was to illustrate the supposed benefits of buying and owning a Mac as opposed to a PC, but to me the Mac always came off as kind of a dick.  And the whole ad campaign -while funny at times- left a bad taste in my mouth because they seemed more like political attack ads you see during an election: the kind that don't actually address any real issues, but just attack your opponent making you look like the bigger douche in comparison.      

This sometimes blows my mind because the other half of Steve Jobs legacy seems diametrically opposed to this cultivated elitism.  Arguably the product that has really captured the public's consciousness and has become most associated with the Apple corporation is the ubiquitous iPod.  And unlike Apple's line of computers which foster a sense of hierarchical separation and class distinction, the iPod seems to be the unifying thread in the electronics world that breaks down barriers and fosters a sense of equality and the kind of classless society that would make Marx vomit in joy.  It has permeated Western society from the lowliest grade 5 student to the most hard-nosed businessman.

Apple -under the leadership and direction of Steve Jobs- singlehandedly altered the entire music industry from production to distribution to consumption.  Not only did the iPod decimate its competition in the MP3 player market (yeah, nice try Zune) and go on to replace the discman and become the dominate technology in the way we listen to our music but the online store iTunes helped shape the music industry on every level.  Because of the pervasiveness of the iPod all of the big labels (and the small ones) had to pass through the hallowed gates on iTunes.  You could buy entire albums or just a single track.  Apple set the (originally) standard price of 99 cents a song.  The great equalizer.  Now "releasing an album" probably means "releasing an album on iTunes" what with the apparent slow but steady death of physical media like CD's.  Apple made music more available more affordable and more mobile than it ever had been in the history of music.

Then came the app craze which is still in full effect and the iPad which is apparently revolutionary in ways that I -as a non-Mac guy- cannot comprehend or fathom.  Perhaps the consequences and effects only Steve Jobs alone knew, and now the secret is gone with him to his grave.  It was only in recent years that I became of the person Steve Jobs and that in itself says something.  How many other CEO's of multi-billion dollar companies could you name off the top of your head (that haven't been popularized in the media like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg)?  And how many could be characterized as "visionary" or be attributed with being the driving force behind a culture-altering company?  How many seem to be such a positive approachable guy as by all accounts Steve Jobs was?

I don't know much about Jobs' personal life, and I'm not going to do any research right now.  I'm waiting for the movie, the rights for which are already in negotiation with a major studio.  I can only speak to his paradoxical legacy of cultural elitism and unifying community.  And watching my first DVD on that cold fall night some eleven years ago huddled around the glow of that 15" screen watching Christian Bale mutilate and kill dozens of people in digital clarity.

Thanks Steve Jobs.