Monday, September 20, 2010

Attention Whoring

So, my friend, what exactly are you entitled to?

Air, for one. And water. Food, shelter, clothing, a peaceful place to live. Most of that – well, all of that – I have to pay for, directly through chunks out of my paycheck and indirectly, through chunks out of my taxes.

The rest is gravy, right?

In the immortal words of Beavis and Butt-Head: Huh huh huh huh huh huh huh huh.

I laugh because we, as humans, tend to believe we’re entitled to a lot more than what really ought to be coming our way. Take Chelsea Kate Isaacs, 22, journalism student at Long Island University, upset beyond reason that she couldn’t get a quote from Apple on the use of its popular iPad in academic settings.

Never mind that there are thousands – I googled “ipad use in academic settings” just a few moments ago and got 240,000 hits – of legitimate sources out there of people using the widget in the whoosis configuration. She wanted a quote from Apple. Five or six voice mails (or e-mails, she’s a bit muddled in her tale at Valleywag) and she’s not getting what she wants, so she e-mails Steve Jobs.

Who responds, curtly, that it’s not Apple’s job to get her a good grade.

She’s miffed beyond all reason. Now thousands of more people are either blue in the face defending Apple or just sagely nodding their heads, sure that Mr. Jobs really is, well, kind of a wiener.

Because Miss Isaacs was entitled to a quote. For her grade.

Never mind that she identifies herself as a “student journalist.” Never mind that she repeatedly says she’s “on deadline.” And never mind that Apple is probably inundated with hundreds of requests for information from many, many journalists, students or not, on a daily basis, not to forget the fanboys, oddballs, Gozer-worshippers and other hangers-on that must make the phones at the Apple PR department ring off the hook constantly. Miss Isaacs didn’t get her quote. Steve Jobs was mean to her in a reply. She’s going to get a B on her assignment and, in a nation already awash with journalists, be just one of the many hapless rabble of victimized journalists who didn’t get that one bit of information they wanted for their story in order to meet their deadline.

Student journalist? Dime a dozen.

And is this even real? Jobs has been known to respond to people who e-mail him but now that this address of his has been public, Im sure he gets more than just a few e-mails a day. He's really going to take time out of his day to insult a student journalist? Well, I guess I would . . .

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