Category Archives: Obituaries

Steve Jobs: 1955 – 2011

The passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs came as quite a surprise to me. I knew he had been battling cancer for many years now, and his resignation as Apple’s CEO got many people wondering if his health was significantly failing. I looked at his step down as just a way to slow his pace of life down, to get away from his job and focus on things that were more personal to him. So I was a little shocked when I saw the headline announcing his death.

And I’m surprisingly saddened by the news. I don’t find myself mourning the death of strangers too often. The news of someone’s loved one passing or a young child dying in a tragic accident is always sad to hear, but I’m rarely personally affected. While I certainly wouldn’t say I’m personally affected by the passing of Jobs, I do feel more sorrow than I would expect.

I think it’s because of this man’s legacy. Steve Jobs was an original. His work was groundbreaking and changed the shape of information and how we take it in and experience the world around us. He played a far bigger role in popular culture of the last thirty years than most people would think to attribute to him. A musician or actor can do their craft well and move people and affect change by their status or societal role. But Jobs did more than that. His creativity has changed the scope of an entire industry forever.

Jobs’ work in personal and portable computing has essentially defined how I listen to and digest music. That blows my mind. When I became a legitimate musical consumer, it was early on in the decade. That’s when Apple released the first iPod. And while I didn’t have my own personal iPod until about five years later, the invention of iTunes and its subsequent ubiquity on computers created the essential music listening experience for me. When I think of the absolute best way to really listen to and take in, to digest and absorb and consume, to really engage in a new album, the perfect scenario for me is in my apartment after 9 pm, one lamp on the lowest notch, room temperature about 68°, window open, light breeze, rum and coke in hand, and my laptop hooked up to my Bose computer speakers playing music from iTunes. I love to see those play counts increase. Adults who grew up in the ’70s mourn the loss of analog formats and are sad to see so many people not listening to turntables anymore; in fifteen or twenty years I’m going to be sad to see that my kids are listening to music on whatever the new hip thing is rather than on iTunes.

In essence, Jobs provided me with a fundamentally important part of my life experience. Music is so important to me, and I listen to it with his program and his devices. I owe a great deal to his legacy.

Aside from that, it’s rare to see such a perfect mix of talent, creativity, business savvy, innovation, and personal and professional aesthetic in our culture today. It’s sad to see such a creative mind leave the world. Thanks for everything, Steve. You gave my musical world a home.


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i know this is the buzz, the talk of the town right now, but i want to write about it cause it’s affected me in a weird way. i was really shocked and actually kind of sad about heath ledger’s death. and i don’t know why. it’s not like i was the moderator of his fan club’s discussion board or anything. i liked most of the movies i saw him in, thought he was a pretty good actor, clearly a handsome dude. as far as crap teen movies go, 10 things i hate about you is one of my favorites. he seemed like a nice guy, in interviews i saw or whenever he was on tv. i was never in love with him though, never a huge huge fan, and that’s why i don’t understand why i’m kind of sad about his passing. maybe it just seems tragic to me, anyone dying at 28. that’s so young. he had a two years old daughter. it doesn’t matter that he was famous, any two years old girl losing her dad to what seems like an accident is horrible. i’ve read most articles i could find on yahoo, cnn, and mtvnews, and what i’ve gathered is that absolutely no illegal drugs were found in his apartment, just sleeping pills. it also seems to me as though it was accident. i don’t know. i think part of it seems a bit closer to home to me because for the last few months i have been following/ GREATLY anticipating The Dark Knight. as soon as i had heard that heath ledger was cast as The Joker, i was immediately stoked. i thought it was a perfect fit. when i first saw the mug shot of The Joker released as part of the viral marketing campaign, i was totally creeped out and equally amped. i knew he was perfect for the part. heath ledger had personified The Joker into exactly what i had always imagined he was like in real life (by real life i mean my imagination). so i had been keeping up with the movie and its production for awhile, and now to hear about heath ledger’s death, it’s just sad. not really because he was famous or a celebrity but because he was a dad; he seemed a nice young guy. it’s not going to change my life. just kind of a sad thing. and he will be mourned for awhile, and especially around the release of The Dark Knight. (is it respectful to still be extremely excited for what could very well be one of my Top Five Favorite Movies Of The Last Decade?) but his memory will eventually fade, and our culture will goo-gaa over whatever other ridiculous celebrity is making the news. he was just a talented actor, and a nice young guy. and now he’s gone. The Dark Knight still looks incredible.

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