Monday, June 14, 2010

Is That A Worm In Your Appple, Or Are You Glad To See Me?

by Dick Mac

Now, we all know that Microsoft is the ultimate evil corporation, in the vein of Orwellian, 1984-ish corporate totalitarianism. A dictatorial head who is focused on making his operating system and application suites an insidious intrusion into our lives, and billions of passive users who silently acquiesce.

When a prototype of Apple's next generation iPhone fell into the hands of (egads!) a web journalist who (egads!) made a video blog entry of his findings, Apple did what any self-respecting American corporation would do: they had the full weight of the law slammed down on the evil-doer.

I know Apple-ologists (those who accept Apple's actions and marketing plan and refer to it as innovation) say that it was just the cops enforcing the law; but, I promise you that the police would not have enforced this particular, obscure intellectual property law against this guy unless Apple agreed specifically that it be done.

The introductions of the iPhone and its oafish larger brother, the iPad, have revolutionized personal computing. Without doubt, there has been little technology in the past five years that can rival Apple in the innovation arena.

Developers for these platforms are cashing-in and there are apps for everything.

Illustrator Robert Berry recently created an app about James Joyce's famous novel "Ulysses." Ulysses Seen is an amusing graphic novel adaptation of the original work.

Joyce's novel faced censorship problems in the United States ninety years ago, when our nation was much more liberal, if slightly more repressed, than it is today. (See, Publication history, at

In today's America, censorship is more insidious because we do not allow government agencies to implement it, we rely on Wal-Mart and other corporations like Wal-Mart to apply cultural and social standards as a retail tool. Like Wal-Mart, Apple is happy to assume control of the censorship issue, and they have done so with the Ulysses Seen app.

Apple insisted that Robert Berry remove a nude drawing from the app.

A drawn breast.

Apple has banned a drawing of a breast, not a photograph of a breast, in a graphic version of "Ulysses"! What's next? No bare-breasted Eve in the Garden of Eden? No apps that display Renaissance art showing a woman's breast?

Of course, you can use Apple products to visit any number of obscene and pornographic web sites, but an illustrator cannot include a drawing of a woman's breast in a graphic novel based on "Ulysses"!

It's not as though all Apple users would have to see this offensive drawing of a breast; only those who choose to download the application would see it.

Can't the consumer decide whether or not a drawn breast is inappropriate?


The Apple-users I know are all really smart people, and I suspect that they find this stuff embarrassing and I hope they will talk about this. No apologies, please. We know that Apple has the "right" to reject anything they don't like, that is not my point.

What kind of company operates this way? Historically, it's only been Wal-Mart, News Corporation, AmWay, and other corporations who are specifically implementing a social program to make the country more "conservative."

Is Apple one of these corporations?

We played out an all night movie role. You said it would last, but I guess we enrolled in 1984. Who could ask for more?

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