March 24, 2008

The religion of Apple


Forget about the metaphorical "holy wars" between PCs and Macs, this is one of the most concise insights into the problem of criticism (constructive or not) in a religious context I've read in some time:

The [hostile media phenomenon] is particularly stark when it comes to opinionated reviews--however laudatory--of Apple products. That's because many Apple fans "want to pick up the paper and see in it a reflection of their own nearly religious zeal for the thing they love. They don't want a review. They want a hagiography."

This kind of reaction is understandable. I want you to love what I love, and the realization that you don't is deeply disappointing, even disconcerting. It's easier for me to believe (subjectively) that you are somehow defective than to accept (objectively) that aesthetic tastes and belief systems differ widely.

But at least dealing with this cognitive dissonance by ranting and raving (or becoming an otaku and starting a blog) is infinitely preferable to attempting to criminalize it into oblivion.

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