Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Yemas de Santa Steve Jobs: iPhone scores a Buffalo Win! (Nonsportsmanlike Conduct!)

Yesterday was the unveiling of the new iPhone (TM!), now featuring 100% more plastic.

I like to start these posts with a sexy picture related to the topic.
This is one of the pictures that comes up if you google "Sexy iphone."
I don't know what kind of deal she made with what kind of supernatural entity,
but I'm very afraid.

I felt like the unveiling of the new iPhone -- now made of the same kind of material (TM!) that your kids' toys are! -- was the perfect time to talk about the Buffalo Bills and the new sports-related phrase that I have come up with: The "BUFFALO WIN."

Or, if you must have some hype,

Buffalo Win 

Longtime readers know that I am a fan (?) of the Buffalo Bills, the only football team to have not gone to the playoffs in this milennium, and longertime readers know that I also am not a fan of Steve Jobs, who I consider to be improperly canonized given that while he may have been an innovator, he also (publicly) was a complete jerk who managed to make even the simple act of buying a sofa some sort of stupid, egotistical, phenomenally annoying zen koan, apparently taking 8 years to purchase a couch, about which task his wife said:

“We spoke about furniture in theory for eight years...We spent a lot of time asking ourselves, ‘What is the purpose of a sofa?’” 

That kind of stuff drives me nuts.  The purpose of a sofa is to sit on, and if it can serve a secondary purpose of not necessarily showing stains from the time Mr F put macaroni and cheese on it, then that sofa has achieved everything it ever dreamed of in life.

Well, almost everything.

Steve Jobs, privately, drives me nuts because it was apparently at his insistence that all Apple devices not use certain kinds of programs, which means we spent money on an iPad to help our boys learn to talk but that iPad won't play "Curious George" games on the Internet because of some gripe Steve Jobs had, and it means that iPad doesn't have buttons that are intuitive or easy to use, because Steve Jobs had a fear of death, or something, and, also, I have had to pay more than $9.99 for books for the past several years because Steve Jobs was so ticked off that Jeff Bezos' Amazon was working that Jobs got Apple and other companies to violate antitrust laws by price-fixing books.

Steve Jobs: Genius icon Robber Baron One Percenter.

Anyway, that's why the unveiling of the new iPhone (now made of material less durable than that Pepsi (TM!) can you're holding!) was the second-best event this week, an event so noneventful that the only people who really paid attention to it are the people who still know all the characters on Mad Men -- hipsters (and Slate) who speak only SEO and exist in a tiny loop of buzz reinforced by NPRs Pop Culture blog and Tumblr.

McKayla Maroney is not impressed with the Movember Iphone Eli Manning Is Looking At.

The iPhone's biggest feature -- besides now being made of the stuff which used to be used to pack it in for shipping -- in fact was that because it is so cheaply made, now regular folks can afford it!  This complete downfall of Apple went unremarked on in every single article about the new iPhone.  Or so I'm guessing. I didn't read any articles about the new iPhone, opting instead to get all of my news about it from Twitter, which means that while I think I've got the basics of it, I'm a bit confused about why Jimmy Kimmel twerked on one, or whatever.

But let's assume that the 43,000,000,000,000 words written about the new iPhone (shown below)

Can also be used to flip burgers (TM!)

didn't mention the fact that Apple has officially lost, because people don't like to make the Major Powers (Apple, the NSA, J.K. Rowling) mad by pointing out how stupid they are (NOT YOU JK ROWLING PLEASE DON'T SUE!), so it's up to me to point out that Apple has officially lost.

Or, to put it more hypefully,

Apple Has Officially Lost! 

Apple's whole thing all along has been how sleek and beautiful and high-tech and SUPEREXPENSIVE UNAFFORDABLE YOU CAN'T GET ONE SO SHUT UP all their stuff has been all this time: while ostensibly trying to put an iPhone in everyone's hand, what Apple was really doing (besides trying to figure out a way to get Iran or North Korea to nuke Samsung because lawsuits only go so far, know what I'm saying?, here's a couple of billion for your coffers, third-world despot) was trying to convince you that you wanted an iPhone but couldn't afford one.  Apple was like Cadillac, or maybe Rolls Royce, or maybe something else that was expensive (Starbucks coffee), marketing itself as something everyone would have, if they could afford it.

That was the real appeal of Apple, right? That's why they had commercials reveal that Zooey Deschanel is so breathtaking

...Wait for it...

-ly stupid

Finish a sentence, will you!

that she had to use a computer to tell her if it was raining while she stood in front of a window.

Stars! They're just like us!


The point was that the stars could afford iPhones, no matter how terrible Suri was at actually working, and iPhones could therefore be smaller, less functional, less affordable, and more easily tracked by the NSA than all other phones, because none of that mattered: they were expensive and if you had one, it was like having a Mercedes.

Which no longer is the case, because now anyone can own a Mercedes, or at least the hood ornament, which is probably why Apple made the plastic phones come in all sorts of colors: it's the only way to tell the Sneetches apart anymore, and it's how Apple can try to have their elite image while still allowing Kmart shoppers to get this blue light special: Even though they are marketing cheap, plastic phones, now, Apple wants people who only Tweet about "Downton Abbey" on an iPhone to know that there is still a way to tell if people really have an iPhone: if you have a colored one, it's cheap and plastic, so that'll be the new code among the tiny minority of people who still think Apple will be a company in 2020 (it won't, because Steve Jobs cannot have enough temper tantrums at enough minimum-wage baristas from the afterlife to keep his company going): if you have a colored iPhone, you've gone through Sylvester McMonkey McBeans' machine and are not really one of them.

Instead of that, I suggest that Apple instead embrace my new concept, the "Buffalo Win" (REMEMBER THAT'S WHAT THIS POST IS ABOUT?)

The "Buffalo win" concept came to me this past Sunday, when I was not watching football because I had better things to do.

Pictures like this don't just find themselves, you know.
Also: Rashida Jones shows up if you google "Zooey Deschanel."
Not that I'm complaining.

The Buffalo Bills, who had a chance to make one kind of history this past week -- by starting Jeff Tuel, their backup quarterback who wasn't even drafted and would've been the first undrafted rookie to start a regular season homeopener -- ever! -- as well as being a powerful image of a team that actually lost all hope of the playoffs even before the season officially began -- instead failed to make any kind of history other than the kind of history I made up.

I sincerely apologize for that sentence, but I'm assured it's grammatically correct.

The Bills played, instead, their quarterback "E.J. Manuel," who I'm told was the least qualified quarterback to go in the first round of the NFL draft -- YAY, BUFFALO?-- and gave me even fewer reasons to try to watch the game against the Patriots* (*they cheat), not that I could've anyway because no station was showing it in my market.

So instead, I opted for the equally-exhilarating course of putting up shelves in my spare room and following the game on Twitter, and then got (briefly) (almost) excited when the Bills led with six minutes left in the game.

It was at that point, though, that I had to load my two youngest into the car to get them to the swimming pool I'd promised them in exchange for accidentally dropping a screwdriver on one's head, and so I missed the final six minutes of the game on Twitter and got into the car and put on ESPN radio and learned that the Bills had lost.


But they did BETTER than expected, commentators said, and fans said that E.J. looked "solid", which is good because it's very very tough to be a quarterback if you are in a gaseous or plasmatic state, and overall the feeling was that things were looking pretty good for the Bills.

Aside from that 0-1 record thing, BUT WHO IS COUNTING? OTHER THAN THE NFL?

Later that day, the same thing would happen with the Green Bay Packers, who put up a better than expected fight -- and only one illegal bounty hit on Colin Kaepernick YAY! --

Later, Mathews would run over Kaepernick in the parking lot, and explain he "hadn't heard the whistle."

The Packers, who have now lost to the 49ers in consecutive games, to end and begin their seasons, weren't about to admit defeat just because they had been defeated:  fans and commentators and even people who know about football.  Bleacher Report (NOT in that last category) said that despite the loss, the Packers proved "capable of dealing with anyone", which is not to say "capable of beating anyone" and found solace for Packers fans in the idea that the game wasn't over even until just after the game was over:

The Packers will not face a better opponent all season, and yet forced the Niners to play more than 60 minutes to beat them (the pass falling incomplete well after the clock expired).
The Packers didn't give up -- even after the game was officially over and the 49ers were heading off the field! NEVER SAY DIE!  I heard that Green Bay just scored a touchdown yesterday morning.  TAKE THAT SAN FRAN.

So we've gone, as a country, from honoring McKayla Maroney for adequately summarizing how to feel about not-winning, to deciding that losing isn't losing, it's almost-winning.

For the first time ever, parents are correct when they say it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game, and even though somewhere the ghost of Vince Lombardi is barely restraining the ghost of Steve Jobs, that's where America -- its tech gadgets and sports, at least, which are America -- is headed.

To the "Buffalo Win."

I came up with the concept of calling an almost-win a Buffalo Win when Drew Magary on Deadspin pointed out that Buffalo Bills fans are the only fans who routinely wear "Conference Champion" t-shirts -- the point being that if your team was an NFC or AFC champion, then either it also won the Super Bowl (which means that the conference championship isn't that big a deal) or it lost the Super Bowl (which means that your team is Buffalo).  So why celebrate a conference championship? Because you almost won.

Bills fans, Magary said, also wear fans celebrating Frank Reich.  You don't remember Frank Reich: Frank Reich led the single largest comeback in college football, and then went on to lead the single-largest comeback in pro football, and then went on to lose the Super Bowl, and now is selling plastic iPhones at a kiosk in the Buffalo Galleria.

(Actually, he runs a chain of successful boot shops, and invented a stand to display footballs that also looks like a football field!)

I heard he also designed an Escher Staircase display for fine art, but it requires 13 dimensions to
work properly.

The point of all that being: Frank Reich's probably doing okay for himself.  Also: Buffalo fans are pioneers in the field of making losing seem like almost winning.

A viewpoint I can get behind: Why should we have just winners and losers? I mean, besides the fact that if we don't keep score and everyone's a winner all contests immediately become meaningless? And why shouldn't we celebrate almost winning? That way, Peyton Manning can continue to be considered great!

We need to expand our thinking, create new jobs, as it were.  Don't you want new jobs? Why should we limit ourselves to just wins and losses?  How will we ever measure those near-wins that increasingly are the best anyone can do and all anyone shoots for?

So with that in mind, I came up with the concept of the Buffalo Win.  A Buffalo Win, as you've gathered by now, is when your team doesn't actually win, but does better than people expected or, barring that, at least looked good losing.

The "Buffalo Win" will revolutionize society.  Take my own occupation, lawyer.  Well, it's not actually an occupation. I mean, it doesn't occupy me very much.  I spend a lot of time blogging.  Like now.  But that's beside the point.  The point is, if the concept of a Buffalo Win takes off there will be even less pressure on me than there is now, and I already exist in what is essentially a pressure-free life where I can spend my weekends trying to bake eponymous foods, like Yemas de Santa Teresa, which I recently made and which are essentially just condensed egg yolks rolled in sugar. I do not recommend them.

You'd think a dessert popularized by impoverished nuns and named in honor of a Saint who
reportedly had the power to levitate would at least have nougat.

If "Buffalo Wins" -- note the similarity to "Buffalo Wings," similarly an idiotic concept that caught on among amazingly stupid people with disposable cash sports fans -- catches on, lawyers like me will not have to worry about whether a jury is crushing so hard on our client that they decide to forget about the whole "murdering our child" concept, and instead will simply tell our clients "Hey, we got a Buffalo Win! You're going to prison."

Under this thinking, Tea Partiers don't have to take solace only in the fact that gerrymandering means they will control the House of Representatives for another 20 years despite the fact that they embrace a failed, racist philosophy founded on "hating the black guy people elected," and can instead celebrate Mitt Romney, their Buffalo President!  The Academy of Motion Pictures Whatever could hand out Buffalo Oscars -- that's what it means when a picture tells you it was nominated for an Academy Award, after all: when you see "Nominated for Best Picture" on the DVD cover, it means (A) that picture lost and (B) for some reason you're still buying DVDs. Have you not heard of the Internet?

Buffalo Wins are a way to embrace losing and cushion the blow of being second best, at best, and even if you think you're not already using the idea, you're wrong.  Obama's recent attempt to bomb Syria because if you don't use those missiles they expire, only to back down and say "Okay, well if you promise to give us whatever chemical weapons you have leftover, we'll pretend this never happened"? That's a Buffalo Win for interventionism!

So I propose that from here on out, we no longer have just "wins" and "losses," but we add this third category: Buffalo wins.  You can still lose, but under this method losing would be largely confined to those teams or persons that do horribly, or are Danica Patrick, which is the same thing, really.  Sports pages, financial sections, whoever else keeps tally on things (accountants? I don't know) should immediately start toting up whether a team got a win, a Buffalo win, or a loss.  We'll all be better off for it, and at the very least, Apple's CEO will get another six months on the job, during which time we can look forward to the release of the cardboard iPHone.

Pictured: Your kid's Xmas present, 2014.


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Pat Dilloway said...

I think your comparison of Apple to Cadillac is pretty apt. I remember in the 90s Cadillac tried to introduce a cheaper car (basically a Pontiac Grand Am with leather seats) and it failed miserably because the whole point of getting a Cadillac is so you can say you have a $40K (or more) car, or at least are leasing one. Having a $15K Cadillac defeats the purpose. Just like having a cheapo iPhone isn't going to impress anyone, thus defeating the purpose.

BTW, did you know the HTC One is made of all metal? Because I've only seen those ads with Robert Downey Jr (who by this point probably has as much money as Steve Jobs and yet must apparently need even more to be doing lame cell phone ads) like a million times in the last few weeks.

Also, after Frank Reich left Buffalo he went on to the Lions for a few years which is like climbing out of one pile of manure only to hop into another one right away.

I love the concept of the Buffalo Win though. That is a real win for you.

Pat Dilloway said...

The Cadillac Catera I think it was called. I just now remembered that.

Briane P said...

At first I wondered if it was Robert Downey Jr in those ads; then I figured like you: he must not ever be satisfied with how much money he has.

The Lions are 1-0, aren't they? That's better than 0-1*-0

*Buffalo wins come second in standings. As you'd expect.

Andrew Leon said...

I get around all of that by not having any cell phone. And no plan to.
But I didn't care about the football stuff. Well, except that, man, if you have the chance to do something that no one else has ever done, you should probably do it.

Liz A. said...

Apple has a new iPhone? Oh, wait, I think I did hear something about that this morning on the radio. While driving into work. While panicking about my day. So, I wasn't really paying attention.

Briane P said...

Liz, it IS possible that the news mentioned it in your area. Your typical station probably covered this story for approximately 103% of their day.

Andrew: I like to think my football posts have little enough to do with football that even nonsportsman can enjoy them. Hey, that would make a good title for a blog...

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