“Hello, I’m the UK.” “And I’m the US”
It dawned on me about five minutes ago that the whole Mac versus PC thing is a lot like the UK versus US thing. At first, this might seem like an unlikely parallel
to draw between these two, totally unrelated concepts. But nevertheless, there is a parallel to be drawn, and I have my HB pencil at the ready.
I’m thinking as I’m writing, so this is likely going to be one of those “streams of consciousness” things.
The vastly different “Boss” characters from the Office, UK and US versions
First up, the British believe that, since they bloody well invented the English Language then the rest of the world – the Yanks especially – can sod off with their bastardised, “can’t spell to save your wife,” approach to the beloved tongue. They believe that this connection with the genesis of modern English gives them the birthright to lord it over the rest of the English speaking world.
Same too with Apple users. The WYSIWYG GUI concept is in their blood and in their bones. Apple users from the Lisa onwards have understood what it means to use a system that is solidly designed from the ground up, with a no compromise, unified approach to quality and integration rather than the IBM “all-comers” approach to “integration”.
But that raises the first problem with the whole argument. Apple no more invented the GUI than the English invented English. English is itself derived from many languages such as Latin, Greek, Germanic and Scandinavian tongues. And it’s unspoken, yet common knowledge, that the GUI was invented by XEROX, not Apple.
And they both know it, which is why they suffer from a strange, Superior Minority Complex.
The British feel it. This particular expatriate feels it in Japan, where every grammar read, all vocabulary used and every accent heard is American. What’s the point in being superior and knowing it, if you can’t hold your own against the unwashed masses for heaven’s sake? Why doesn’t the world speak proper, correct English, like wot I does?
The Apple Users feel it, too, surrounded as they are at work by countless Windows boxes, in the supermarket by Windows magazines and online with a plethora of Windows only networks / policies / websites / games / services and decent porn… despite “knowing” that their systems are superior in practically every way except market penetration.
And it’s this strangely paradoxical inferiority complex which gives rise to this next undesirable trait, the nasty smugness that comes of being “Born of Britannia” or having a predilection for the “Once Bitten Fruit”.
It manifests itself in many ways, the sarcastic dig at burger culture, the crow-barring of Bushisms into sentences, a sly remark about “Aluminum” or the self-consciously loud bark of sardonic laughter and condescending shake of the head when even a close colleague or friend proclaims their computer caught a virus and they’ve lost a week’s work and missed a critical deadline.
Yes, the very smugness of Brits and Mac “Fanbois” permeates the very ether around them. As an English Mac user, I find myself doing it on occasion, despite my best efforts. Cutting gems such as “See, I told you, If you’d got a Mac you’d have been safer, surfing without a virus checker,” or “Just get a Mac for heaven’s sake,” or “Don’t you guys know how to spell?” or “if Bush is a baboon, then the voters are monkeys,” and so on and so forth.
Worst of all though, these traits come at a time when most British people are abusing their own language in ways unthinkable a couple of centuries before and like their American brethren,similarly elected a bloke who turned out to have a predisposition toward indiscriminate bombing of foreign civilians as part of a misguided “War on Terror”, as their premiere… Even if he could pronounce “nuclear” properly and manage to put his ideas across coherently by stringing more than two words together at any given time without “misspeaking”.
Oops… Sorry… I’m at it again.
War On Terror… Putting the WOT into WTF?