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Saturday, 5 November 2011

Musing on the death of Steve Jobs...

The following piece will be published in the Asbarez paper:

Heaven Should be Like an Apple Store...

Today, November 5, marks exactly one month since Steve Jobs, the father of modern day communication industry, closed his eyes forever.  For most of us familiar with the beauty of the innovative products he brought to the world, his death was very sad. The creative genius of our time lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at age 56 on October 5.

Following his death a barrage of tweets, Facebook posts and emails filled the networks. Some expressed sorrow over the loss of an icon who shook a whole industry and who revolutionized the way we communicate. Some focused on his reputation for mistreating employees and for outsourcing manufacturing to low-cost labor in China. And some claimed Steve Jobs was fluent in the Armenian language because his adoptive mother was Armenian.  We Armenians felt a tickle that he had roots in our culture and wished that this fact had been documented more before his death.

Among the emails I received, there were cartoons depicting Steve Jobs entering heaven.  In one of them, Jobs was at the door of heaven in his signature black turtleneck and jeans standing next to a lectern on which the archangel has his huge notebook and is trying to find Jobs' name by leafing through the pages one by one.  Jobs, ever the innovator, tells the archangel that he has an app for upgrading the system.  The cartoon really amused me, because even before receiving these caricatures, or even before his death, whenever I entered the Apple Store, I imagined that heaven should be like an Apple store. 

I had this feeling one day at the Americana shopping center in Glendale. As I was walking towards the store, I noticed from afar the dancing water-fountains in the forefront and the glass walls of the Apple Store as a backdrop. The scene was accentuated mostly because of the silver balls that are displayed as props along the sides of the windows, which give an impression of clouds.  Together the water fountain, the clouds, the store's soft lighting, and the sleek displays looked so futuristic. I stood there for a moment and gazed at the scene.

Perhaps another contributing factor to that sensation was the one-on-one training program I get at the Apple store. I have had the opportunity to discover the depths of knowledge available through Apple products.  Things that I have learned during my private sessions are almost magical. At the risk of sounding ridiculous, it does feel heavenly when I enter the store for my appointment. A smiling genius – that's what the sales people in blue T-shirts are called – approaches me and asks if I need any help. Right there, they pull my information on their hand held little computer and then usher me to the corner to meet another genius that is going to work with me.   

I'd like to finish my musing on Steve Jobs with another tweet that I received.  It's a caricature of Jobs walking and listening to iTunes.  At the bottom of the picture it reads: icame, isaw, iconquered.  We Armenians are certainly very proud to know that an Armenian mother has been behind the making of a genius. Too sad he left this world too early.

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