Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ode to Steve Jobs - Today's Modern Superstar

I'm sure there will be many who get angry about what I am about to write, but it dawns on me that, today, Steve Jobs is thee rock star of our era.

Michael Jackson was the last superstar of the Analogue Age. There will not be anymore of those again... 

Many years ago, at the height f their popularity, John Lennon said that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus Christ.  He was well criticized for that. Some fans even took to burning Beatles records. 

Of course, the Beatles touched many lives... But I would contend to you that, when it comes to a comparison of how many lives were made better, then I reckon that Steve Jobs blows away the Beatles, Elvis and even Michael Jackson. 

Blashphemy, you say? Oh really? Think about this: These western pop stars are a product of modern western "culture" and society. What percentage of the world is that? Did you know that China and India's population is more than 8 times that of the USA?

I wonder how many Beatles records have been sold in China or India? Compare that with the effect that Apple products have had in those countries.

I'll bet you that for every one Japanese person in Tokyo who owns a Beatles recording, there are 40 or more who own some sort of digital device... And, in these digital devices, Apple's influence has been massive.

Now, Steve Jobs seems to be ill again. I feel sad. And I bet there are many more like me who feel sad too!

When I was a university student in 1980, it was reported that John Lennon had been shot that night in December. My friends and I were all watching a very important NFL football game on TV. When it was confirmed that John Lennon died, the football game, that seemed so important moments before, was not important anymore. We turned off the TV and went to bed.

Think about that.

When a rock star or movie star gets sick the public cries. But when the president of some big company gets ill or dies, no one sheds a tear.... But... Steve Jobs, like Apple, is different.

It puzzles me that I feel this way, but I guess it is because guys like Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Elvis Presley represent the style of living icons of a bygone era. Steve Jobs is the first super star icon of the digital age.

The Last Superstars of a Bygone Era?

Let's hope that he gets better and sticks around longer, if even for a day, to make all of our lives just a tad bit better. 

Because when Steve Jobs is gone, the world will lose someone who vastly improved all of our lives. When he is gone, an era will end and, with that, another chapter in our lives will come to a close.

Please rest well and recover your health, Steve Jobs. We all wait for your return. 

This was inspired by Steve Jobs and for my friend's Paul Kitabayashi at Apple and John Flanaghan at iTunes


Andy "In Japan" said...

Here here to Steve Jobs' contribution to society and to his good health. At least when Lennon was killed in that awful tragedy, we had the magnificent voice of the great, Howard Cosell, to comfort us.

RYO said...

he looks so good in this photo.
when seeing portrays of greatest in their early age, it gives me funny feeling that he/she is actually seeing us who is in future beyond the picuture frame. retrospectively though.

CBarg said...

To answer at least one of your question, quiet a few of beatles and mj labels and records have been sold in India. I should know, I am an Indian.
There is something that I would like to point out though, what you are displaying is very much a cult figure worshipping syndrome, although the syndrome has been made up you would kindly note that it does not have very many if any side effects. My only point is that Steve Jobs is not a rockstar in the sense of the word as and when it was coined. It was meant primarily for a certain genre of musicians and now as you said truly the word itself has evolved and is used to also describe other cult figures or people who are very much capable of doing big things. Hence with the evolution of the word it no longer falls under the same bracket and if you compare him with musicians your benchmarks maybe out of place a bit.
As you rightly said there are people who acknowledge how much important Steve Jobs has been to our present day society that still does not in any way make him bigger or lesser than a musician.Just like an Einstein would not be compared to a Miles Davis or a Mozart.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Thanks Bhargav,

In a country of over a billion people, Michael Jackson's record sales are negligible. After month after his death, 40,000 units were sold in all of India according to Sony Music. That's not a lot. But, granted, your idea of "quite a bit" and mine could be totally different.

As far as what is a "rockstar" I think your definition is ancient. Proof of this? Just Google search, say, "Obama + Rock Star" You'll find millions of results. Rockstar today means "Someone who captures the public's imagination and becomes a star" In many ways, it has nothing to do with Rock Music.

I would never compare a modern musician with, say, Einstein or Mozart... But, it's an interesting thought, I suppose.

Thanks for writing, my friend!

mike in tokyo rogers said...

PS: In today's day and age, anyone can - and does - become a "Rock Star" for various reasons whether it has to do with music or not.

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