oPtion$: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs by Fake Steve Jobs (Da Capo Press; $22.95)
Although we haven’t done any GloNo demographic research that would prove this statement, I am fairly confident that it would be statistically true in an overwhelming manner that the computer you are reading this on has a version of iTunes on it. What’s more, I’ll go out on a limb about the thickness of a trunk and further proclaim that you own at least one iPod.
I daresay that the concentration of Mac users is probably nearly as high among GloNo readers—or would-be GloNo readers, if only they knew about the site—as among any defined group not in the employ of Apple.
All of this is not to demonstrate my nascent Kreskin-like abilities, but to say that you’d have a particular appreciation for oPtion$, the novel by Fake Steve Jobs. The book is the natural outcome of the blog “The Secret Life of Steve Jobs.” Natural in that Fake Steve Jobs is the Real Daniel Lyons, an editor at Forbes, and guys who work for publications aimed at prosperous, influential and wealthy readers know that while there is little (or no) money in blogging, there is money in book publishing. Natural like the hand of Adam Smith.
This is easily the funniest book in ages—and I am not counting ages in the life cycles of iPods. Jobs has been on the scene since 1984, when the original Macintosh was released. He was punked by John Sculley in 1985—that didn’t take long, did it—but made his way back to the top of the company in 1998. The iMac, iPod and iTunes have all cemented his place in public consciousness. And Fake Steve Jobs is nothing but aware of his significance: “my wealth is deserved. Name one person from the past hundred years who has made a bigger contribution to the world than I have. See what I mean?” But the life of El Jobso isn’t as easy as plenty of frigtards would like to think. “Of course the bad part of being such a mega-rich mega-famous mega-creative genius is that you spend your life walking around with a target on your back. Sure, most people are just appropriately worshipful and grateful for what I do. But there are always a few jerks who want to knock you down a peg.”
There are people Fake Steve likes. Bono, for example. “He’s the only person I know who’s more self-absorbed than I am. Which, if you’re not feeling good about your life, can be a really great thing. With Bono you can hang out all night an never once get to talk about your problems. You just listen to Bono blather on about AIDS and Africa and poverty and debt relief and now The Edge still can’t tune his friggin’ guitar by ear, even after all these years, and he still needs to use one of those electronic tuners instead. Oh, believe me, Bono is the black hole of Calcutta when it comes to conversation. A real barrel of laughs. Trust me. If you ever start thinking your life sucks, spend some time listening to Bono and his sob stories.”
Steven Spielberg is OK. “Thing about Spielberg is, he’s a very cool guy and very brilliant and everything, but he tends to cop a huge ‘tude with anyone who doesn’t agree with his vision one hundred percent and do whatever he says.” Richard Branson: “has a teensy little ego problem.”
Fake Steve provides management tips, including, “Never let people know where they stand. Keep them guessing. Keep them afraid. Otherwise they get complacent. Creativity springs from fear” and “Hold people to an impossibly high standard, but here’s the twist—don’t tell them what that standard is. And fire them if they fall short.”
He’s not a total self-absorbed bastard. He becomes quasi-maudlin at times: “It’s just past noon, and the plaza is filled with frigtards having their brown bag lunches and talking about last night’s American Idol, or whatever it is that frigtards discuss at lunch. For a moment I almost feel jealous of these morons. I wonder what it would be like to be fat and oblivious and blissful, munching away on a sandwich made of cancer-causing chemical-laden cold cuts and thinking how great life is.”
He is self-aware: “I realize how I sound. I sound like a dick. Self-centered. Obnoxious. I’m told all the time that I seem like a narcissistic egomaniac. You know what I say? I say, ‘Look, wouldn’t you be an egomaniac if you woke up one day and found out you were me? You know you would.'” After all, he invented the iPod. Have you heard of it?
oPtion$ is incredible. But given its subject, how could it be anything but. . .right?
One thought on “Don’t Be a Frigtard: Read This Book”
Maybe I’m the only GloNo lurker who’ll cop to using Windows Media Player to organize my collection and a Zen to play them. Despite being a neo-Luddite, I’m looking forward to reading this book.