Today’s confession, though, is that I’m a snob when it comes to Macs. Heck, even my nickname is Mac (though for reasons more maiden-name than Apple) so chiefly, I suppose, I'm Mac the snob: the Mac snob. And not, I’m afraid, a snob of the cutesy, oh-you-and-your-ways, tea-brand kind… Nope – I have to admit that, when it comes to anything with the Steve Jobs seal of approval, I’m a prissy, superior, condescending, ner-ner-my-gadgets-are-better-than-yours horror; an evil version of myself that should never be seen, like the Incredible Hulk or Dr Hyde or Hannah Montana.
As far as I’m concerned, Mac snobbery is innate – you either is, or you isn’t. I’ve often tried to pinpoint why I am this way – maybe it’s my name… maybe it’s the Apple-logo Beatles connection… maybe it’s just the shinyness... – but actually, I prefer to think that you’re just born one way or another, like being gay or straight. But with added turnability. Right now I’m working on converting four or five Mac-PC-curious friends. Mostly by a steadfast refusal to send emails to them from anything other than my iPhone or iPad so they’re always forced to read that default signature.
For argument’s sake, however, if it were nurture rather than nature that caused my Mac snobbery, you could argue that it’s my mate Jonze (@quarkmonkey, for those of you on Twitter) who brought me up. As one of the first people I met at uni, he encouraged me onto the student mag: a hallowed room filled with free CDs, sweet wrappers, endless fizzy drinks… and a shiny wall of iMacs. So, if Mac-love weren’t, indeed, inherent in me, it’d be almost exclusively his fault. (While we’re at it, I suppose, it’s also Jonze’s fault that I got into journalism. In fact, fuck it: ALL OF THIS IS HIS FAULT.) See, Mac-heads always find each other. Like Trekkies or football fans or religious groups or Marmite lovers or tweeters. We always welcome an opportunity to meet someone else to be snobby with. Or spoddy with. Or both. (Snoddery, anyone?) Hence, I’m hoping that at least a few fellow Mac-snobs will have found me here. As for everyone else? Well... shame on you. (Seriously, though, isn’t it difficult to be a PC snob right now anyway? Haven’t the ‘I’m a PC and Windows 7 was my idea’ adverts made that physically impossible? Surely the only message anyone’s taking away from that campaign is ‘I’m a PC and I’m a highly irritating fucknuckle.’)
I turned P into a burgeoning Mac snob before we got married – my twisted version of a pre-nup. Having only ever worked on PCs, I had his card marked from the moment we met, giving him my evangelical Mac-sermon at every opportunity until he finally agreed with my beliefs. (Read: gave in to my incessant preaching.) And the beauty of that status quo is that now, whenever a new Apple product is released, I know I’ve brainwashed P enough for us to be able to move past the tiresome months of will-we-won’t-we procrastination and – to quote Brian Clough – decide that I was right.
This let’s-skip-past-the-disagreement-and-just-admit-we’re-going-to-get-it schtick is always my defence with Apple products. Hell, ‘we both know I’m getting it’ is practically the Mac lovers’ motto. (Apple: we all know it’s going to happen.) Which is why those conversations we all have around the release of a new product are little more than a ludicrous charade.
‘So, are you getting an iPad, then?’ I asked of Andrew, my Mac-loving colleague-in-crime, earlier this year.
‘Well… yeah. I mean, I’m probably going to wait until the second batch comes out and I might see if I can hang on until any bugs are ironed out and…’
Translation: ‘Of course I’m fucking getting it. And so should you.’
Translation: ‘Of course I’m fucking getting it. And so should you.’
I’ve had numerous different versions of that conversation this week – since the news broke that The Beatles’ records would now be available on iTunes (I know, right? Apple on Apple? I may yet spontaneously combust) – in particular on Twitter where, it seemed, I was one of the few people excited about it.
‘Here’s a challenge,’ read one tweet. ‘Find me one person who thinks that the Beatles appearing on iTunes is in any way significant.’
I retweeted it with a simple ‘me’.
‘£125 for music I already own? No ta,’ said another mate.
‘Well I’m buying it all again,’ I replied. ‘But you already knew that.’
‘You’re having a laugh, right?’ he said, running a dangerous risk of being beaten about the head with an iPad to the tune of Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.
‘Duuuuuude! It’s the Beatlesssss! On Apple!’ I protested. Because a whiny repetition of the facts is a sure-fire way to win any argument, right?
‘Erm, excuse me, but have you run this by the budget-keeper?’ interjected P.
‘Babe,’ I patronised. ‘It’s like the Apple TV. You know it’s gonna happen, so let’s cut straight past the discussion and get to the good stuff, yeah?’ (I later followed up my default line of reasoning with a defensive case of how often we listen to our copied-from-CD Beatles records in iTunes and how they’re always in our playlists and how the sound check is rubbish and… oh, he’s asleep.)
You see, to me, the Beatles finally being on iTunes was the embodiment of all my ‘snoddery’ dreams come true…. and the key moment at which to invoke the ‘we all know it’s going to happen’ defence. I tried again with P during last week’s X-Factor Beatles week (which, with hindsight, might not have been my best strategy, since it turned out to be a bloodbath of a show that saw John Lennon murdered all over again), but not even a series of Chinese burns could elicit anything more than a ‘we’ll see’.
‘It’s like I said the other day, babe,’ I (un)reasoned. ‘We need it.’
‘Need it?! Why do we need it?’
‘Peeeeeee! It’s the Beatlesssss! On Apple! We have to; it’s cool!’
It kills me to admit it about a man who refuses to worship at the Church of Mac, but my brother Jamie called me on the cool-factor of my Apple-snobbery recently, while boasting about his decision not to get an iPhone (which, to me, is like boasting about ordering a salad in a steakhouse, but hey).
‘The thing is,’ he argued, ‘by having an iPhone, you’re just like everyone else.’
‘Erm, I think you’ll find, actually, that BlackBerry sells more than iPhone, actually,’ I quipped. ‘So if I wanted to be like everyone else I’d get one of them. Actually.’
‘Oh whatever, sis. Having an iPhone just means you’re desperately trying to be cool.’
‘What, like not having an iPhone means you’re definitely not cool?’
‘No,’ he objected, ‘It means I am cool because I’m not trying to be cool by getting a phone that people who are trying to be cool say is cool.’
‘What’s so amazing about them, anyway? What does it do that my phone doesn’t do?’
‘Everything! And better!’
‘Bollocks. Seriously, there’s no difference.’
‘Yes there is!’
‘Look, everything else is… is… it’s just shit, okay?’ I huffed, stomping away like Simon from the Inbetweeners.
What Jamie had dead right in that conversation – whether or not I wanted to admit it at the time – is that the currency of snobbery is coolness. Coolness and an unswerving belief that whatever it is you’re snobbish about is inherently better than any of its competitors. Jamie and I could have swapped places, substituted the word ‘iPhone’ for ‘Converse’ or ‘Friends box set’ or ‘Tabasco’ and had exactly the same conversation. And so, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a snob about vinyl or Twitter or sports cars or Dr Who or Marmite – if a new way/product/episode/release for you to assert your snob-story presents itself, well… we all know it’s going to happen.
So am I getting the Beatles back catalogue on iTunes? Well… I mean, I’m probably going to wait until it comes down in price and I might see if I can hang on til any additional bonus material is released and… ah, screw it. Of course I’m fucking getting it. And so should you.
Sent from my iPad