It’s been a bad 18 hours.
Last night, while finishing dinner and settling into some homework with the kids, I got the call I knew would come sooner or later: Steve Jobs had died.
Needless to say, when you’re a tech editor, this is the kind of event that propels you into action mode – making sure you’ve got all the facts and then doing your best to tell readers what they need to know and helping put it all in context.
That’s what we did last night, and the process continued this morning and throughout the day.
And it wasn’t restricted to the media. As we watched the wires and Facebook and Twitter, it became apparent that the Internet itself was in a state of mourning for the man who, perhaps more than any other, had helped make it the thriving world of communication that it has become.
Some tributes were grand – whole websites dedicating their homepages to the visionary – others were small but no less powerful, like the Asian design student who artfully married the iconic Apple logo and a cameo of Steve Jobs into an elegant statement that Jobs himself would have found delightful.
But as is so often the case, there’s the one or two people (or groups) who choose to take a tragedy like the loss of Steve Jobs and turn it into an opportunity for grandstanding. That’s what the Westboro Baptist Church did when member Margie Phelps, the daughter of the church’s founder tweeted this:
It’s hard to know what to say to something like this when your brain is struggling just to understand the mentality that created it. But that didn’t stop the twitterverse from pointing out the irony, not to mention the hypocrisy that Phelps had used an iPhone to send her message.
To which she eventually responded:
Yeah, we’re apparently going down that road and it isn’t pretty.
While part of me is angered beyond words that Phelps would manipulate Jobs’ death in this way (along with the distress such a message must surely cause Jobs’ family) I couldn’t help but notice the strange flow of logic that she created. Is it just me, or does Steve Jobs end up being God as a result of creating the iPhone? If so, I think I could live with that. I might even become a fan of Intelligent Design. No one more than Steve Jobs proved that there is such a thing.
Rest in peace Mr. Jobs. You’ve earned it. Millions of times over.
[Source: The Toronto Star]