Stop the smugness!

Apple’s infamous “I’m a Mac, You’re a PC” ads are airing in the UK with British actors, and of course the nerdblogs are all atwitter about it.  Supposedly they’re quite entertaining, especially for lovers of Britcoms.  Personally I won’t bother watching them, because I really don’t need more Mac smugness pushed into my face.  I’ve seen most of the U.S. versions, and they positively drip with it!  Polite, yes, but smug nonetheless.  Is this really necessary?

If you haven’t seen them, allow me to paraphrase a bit:

Unshaven, floppy-haired hipster Mac guy: “Hi, I’m a Mac.  That makes me exciting and fresh and clever.  I’m thinking different by joining an elite club of people who know what stylish computing is.  Using a Mac automatically makes you smarter and more creative.  Minutes after pulling me out of the box, you’ll be producing Hollywood films.  I can do this and this and this, and I never ever ever ever crash or have bugs.  I truly am a miracle product.”

Pathetic, chubby PC nerd in a stuffy suit: I’m a PC. That makes me droll and stiff and lifeless.  I can’t do anything easily.  Sure, I can do everything a Mac does, but I can get viruses.  I have to swap out all my hardware for every upgrade.  I have to spend hours installing drivers and stuff.  Honestly, all I’m really good for is pie charts and spreadsheets.  That means I suck.  I wish I was as cool and smart as a Mac.  I also kinda wish I was dead.”

Hipster Mac tool: “You pathetic PC fuckwad.  There really is no hope for you.  But good luck!”

That’s the commercial they’d love to make, if they could get away with it.  Apple is very good at marketing this perception that PCs can’t do anything and that the Mac is the only machine for creative, thinking people.  It simply isn’t so.  But a lot of devoted Mac people eat it right up — they swear up and down that their way is the One Way.  Sorta like evangelical Christians.

Look, I used to be a Mac guy…loved them to death.  Used and owned them for years.  A few years ago, mostly to save money, I ditched my Mac (clone) and built a PC for less than half the cost of a new Mac.  Since then I’ve upgraded it several times when/how I wanted and kept the OS up-to-date.  And because I’m a responsible user and have educated myself about how to avoid viruses and spyware (which can also target Macs, despite what Apple says), it’s fast and snappy, completely junk-free.  Boots up in under a minute.  It does everything I need:  games, graphics, music, video/sound editing, you name it.  For my needs, it kicks ass and I have a lot of fun with it.  Granted, I might take better care of it than the average idiot who blindly clicks on strange email attachments, but I’m certainly no power user.

So do I walk around thinking I’m a superior life form because I use Windows?  Do I troll those forums and incite flamewars?  Do I feel that I belong to a special elitist club?  Do I hang on Bill Gates’ every word as if everything that comes out of his mouth is a dollop of golden holiness from God?  Do I feel a spiritual kinship with other Windows users?  Do I look at Mac people and snicker, thinking they’re wasting their money on overpriced trash?  No.  Because, you see, I already have a personality.  My choice of computer doesn’t define who I am, it’s just this thing that I use to do stuff that I enjoy.  If someone loves the Mac’s OS better than Windows, that’s great!  You like what you like, it’s as simple as that, and Macs are easy to like.  And neither OS is perfect, despite what the marketing bullshit says.

But there are zillions of Mac fans out there who do think they’re superior because they use a Mac.  All you have to do is read the tech news, read the blogs, read the comments…or maybe you know them personally.  Their Macs can do no wrong, their iPods are manna from heaven.  God, so very smug. They’re probably even more smug than Prius owners, if that’s even possible.  What a silly thing to be smug about, hmmm?

I really don’t hate Macs, I’m too much of a geek for that.  I also know that not every Mac user is a fanatic.  Critter is a longtime Mac lover…he uses a PC at work, and simply prefers the Mac.  He’s owned an original iMac and a Cube, and last year he bought a Mini.  It’s a sweet, fast little bugger that does a hell of a lot for the price.  It was also a piece of cake to set up, and he hasn’t had any problems with it.  I’ve been tempted by the beauty of OSX, but so far I haven’t felt the desire to switch…I won’t rule it out, though.  Who knows, I may very well own a Macbook in the future, but we’ll see.  I also love reading about Steve Jobs’ presentations of new gadgets, he’s a clever guy and has saved Apple’s ass, making it a company that few people can fuck with.  Bill Gates just lacks that sly coolness (though he makes up for it with his philanthropic stuff).

No, I’m not just saying all this to avoid hate mail from Mac folks. 🙂  I really do think that Macs are worth loving.  It’s those users with a pointless superiority complex that drive me nuts.  And hey, PC users can totally be assholes too…many are zealots in their own right.  But usually they’re too busy installing drivers.  Ha-ha!

Am I the only one who feels this way?  Is it time to form a support group?  (And please don’t bother listing all the reasons why you think your Mac is better than a PC, or vice versa.  Really, it’s been done to death.)

0 thoughts on “Stop the smugness!

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  1. Nope, you’re not alone. ^_^ I’m a PC person who’s used Linux and Macs. I had a few PC tech friends who were on the oppositie side, loving Bill Gates and declaring that Macs were “cute toys”. So just to spite them, I learned the Mac. But I noticed that there were a lot more Mac people with attitudes that PC people with problems against the Macs.
    My husband is a Mac guy, and he even has one of those “Intel Inside = Idiot Outside” mugs… boy, now that Macs run Intels, I’ll bet people feel a little bit stupid for that marketing ploy. ^_^


  2. I don’t care what’s stamped on it as long as it works! The MAC smugness is always a turn off. People, if the technology is that good – why not let it stand on its own merit? People will figure out what fits for them based on their own needs and what they can afford. I think MAC & PC people should be open minded to whatever is out on the market, what’s new and current, do their homework and pick the latest technology they desire.
    Right now, I have a Sony Vaio Laptop which I got from a friend who got it for me as a gift, I like it. Not a big fan of SONY, but so far it’s been rock solid. It does its job. I’ve built my own PC’s in the past, nothing like building something from the ground up, geeky fun stuff!
    I’ve actually had more problems with Dell computers, cheaply made junk.
    Who knows I might be persuaded to get a MAC in the future, I wouldn’t rule it out, might be fun to explore something new.


  3. I just saw here in Philadelphia a show called “Nerds – a musical software satire”. Yes, it’s a musical about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Hysterical. Co-written by the guys who do “Robot Chicken”. Rich with ubergeek references, and although it (from what I know) was historically accurate in many respects, like Gates’ software bundling practices to destroy competition, he would proclaim it while sitting in the Emperor’s chair from The Return of the Jedi.
    Interesting to see the audience during intermission… all hipster geeks. It would’ve been interesting to have a show of hands what they preferred…


    Let’s not forget the Mac Gamer parody from the old switch to Mac ad campaign. Your smug-Mac-tool in the current ads should add that one of the reasons that he’s so damn productive and creative is because he doesn’t waste any time playing the new cool video games.
    And yes, the best computer is the computer that does what you need it to do. If you only need to do word processing and spreadsheets, then why would you *want* anything more than a $350 Dell? Use Linux? Better plan on buying a PC unless you like paying a premium for your hardware. Searching for prime numbers? Buy yourself a Cray!


  5. Yeah. Macs are nice and all, but it seems like those who drool all over them don’t have nearly as much knowledge about what goes on inside them. I had a mac tech once tell me that airpotr extreme is incompatable with 802.11G…
    It’s the same damned protocol with a spiffy name.
    If I was to recommend a computer for my mother, maybe my grandparents; I’d tell them to get a mac. They’re easier to use, far less likely to break down and they look pretty.
    If I made one for a gift however, I’d build it out of old parts, load it with Linux. It would run just as fast, be just as bugproof and instead of the 1K pricetag, I’d end up spending a couple hundred and pulling some spare parts from the closet, though… Wouldn’t look as pretty.
    And… Just for fun


  6. It’s a silly little dick-waving contest. Worse, those indulging in it aren’t even waving their own dicks. Worse still, they’re waving Bill Gates’ and Steve Jobs’ dicks.
    Friends don’t let friends go there.


  7. Well, I’ve had Macs and I’ve had PCs. Each has its drawbacks. My Mac crashed as often as my PC.
    The tie-breaker for me is cost. I don’t see why I should pay twice as much for a Mac as I would for a PC. And I like to download files from newsgroups, and with a Mac I had so many problems with file format incompatability that I don’t have with a PC.
    Same goes for other Apple products. I bought a 30GB mp3 player for $299, considerably less expensive than the iPod 30GB version.
    Funny aside: I saw this article today. Bill Gates is whining about the Apple ads. LOL!!


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