Mind Market



I love Apple. Their products, in my mind, are far superior than most, if not all, PC makers.

It’s not as though I didn’t give PCs a try. Starting back in the DOS days 20 years ago, I used PCs and several operating systems including, but not limited to, Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.

Then I used Macintosh. It never crashed. It always worked. It was easy to use. In short, it was just a better product.

This was all before the advent of Mac’s trendy marketing campaign. I mean way before it, like when the Apple logo was rainbow-colored. I came to Apple honestly.

Fast forward to today. Thanks to the iPod, iPhone and various other forms of “i”s Apple went from near bankruptcy to the most profitable company in the world.

Apple fans are accused of being drones, slaves to the product and suckers for the clever, hipster marketing techniques.

This is a problem in today’s world with how we view brands. People, particularly progressives, are leery of products with strong marketing campaigns. Whether it’s baby formula, fast food, vaccines or even politics, some feel that we are being force-fed goods that are no good for us. They think that we’re victims of manipulative marketing.

Three years ago the Supreme Court issued it’s “Citizen’s United” decision where they determined that corporations can pour as much money into political propaganda as they want. Critics cried foul because they felt that secretive marketing would somehow taint the election process and corrupt our political system.

Right, because it wasn’t corrupt before.

Do political actions committees, fast food companies, beer brewers and marketing firms use unscrupulous tactics to make us want their products? Of course. They sneak in sexual innuendo. They make exaggerated claims. They use cartoon characters to sell cigarettes. They study cult behavior to determine how people get hooked on a feeling. They try to make you feel irresponsible if you don’t buy a five-star crash rating car or purchase supplemental life insurance. The T&A, my Lord, they use T&A to sell everything.

People cry foul. I used to agree but I don’t anymore.

Why? Because at the end of the day, we still make a choice. Marketing is exactly that— it’s marketing not mind control. All told, I still have to line up and get my Apple fix. People still choose to smoke, drink beer, buy organic or drive a Ford.

As the guy said in the PBS Frontline special on Citizens United, it’s about the message. PACs can spend as much as they want on a candidate but at the end of the day, the voter still decides whether to buy the message and vote for the candidate.

If you want to weigh marketing dollar for dollar, success doesn’t correlate to the amount of money you spend on marketing. John Kerry had more political donations than George W. Bush in 2004. Bush still won. Mitt Romney spent more than Barack Obama in battleground states. Obama still won. The marketing upper hand doesn’t automatically mean a win. Just ask Karl Rove.

No matter how much we point the finger at those who try to fool us, it’s still mind over marketing. The process is a two-way street and a mutual decision.

If you want to buy something, ask yourself if you really need it or want it. Then DO RESEARCH and figure out if the advertiser’s claims are true. THEN decide.

I have just about every make of Apple Computer including the Apple IIc, the iPad, MacBook Pro, G3 Powerbook and a IIGS. Hell, I even own an Apple Newton. But ironically, I’m sticking with my Android phone though. I’ve read the iPhone is not actually a good cell phone despite it’s innovative apps.

When I was considering whether to buy an iPad, my wife tried to dissuade me from it saying she didn’t see why I needed it.

“You know what? I just want one,” I told her.

Nope, Apple doesn’t control me.


White Anger



I think maybe it’s time for conservatives to do a little soul searching. Just a little, because denial kills.

No they weren’t trounced on Tuesday. They were beat. But the fact is they lost to an incumbent president in a sour economy. That says a lot. The president won every single swing state, except one, North Carolina. A state in the south, big shock.

For so long conservatives have expected the middle class to fall in line with their fiscal ideology and fundamentalist social agenda. They figured with a beleaguered, black commander in chief, that whites would pour into the polls by the millions to vote the bum out. Conservatives thought white guilt got the president in and it would take white ire to get him evicted.

At first, it seemed that the plan would work. There was pessimism with the economy; A LOT of pessimism. Unemployment was lowered but in all, remained high. Health insurance reform was somewhat unpopular. There was a tragedy in Libya. There were all the trappings for ousting the man they felt was responsible for so much depression.

And yet, it failed.

Why? Well conservatives didn’t count on the fact that women, Hispanics and a record number of minority voters would turn out in droves to keep Obama in office. Apparently when you only care about whites, it pushes the other potential voters away. You can’t tell Hispanics that you’re going to deport their relatives. You can’t tell women that rape is something “God Intended.” You can’t tell people without health insurance that they’re not entitled to it.

So sift through the ashes, cons, because the clues are there for you. While you only lost by 2 percent of the vote, it might as well have been a rout.

Don’t worry. Angry, self-righteous whites will still cling to your side. But you might want to consider getting rid of the zealots, Rove, Norquist, etc. You probably have to come out into the open with the fact you will do nothing about illegal immigration and you never intended to. Given the rising number of single mothers in this country, it’s imperative to understand that women do, in fact, care about their civil rights.

In short conservatives, you might have to think about being inclusive rather than exclusive. Stop fighting to limit people’s rights and start broadening them.

White anger is no longer enough.