An article in the Globe and Mail discusses the growing anti-iPod movement:
If we can draw a lesson from Yegor Sak’s adventure, it’s never to underestimate the public’s desire to watch an iPod be destroyed.
We know this, because Sak, a 19-year-old Toronto concierge who goes by “Yegor Simpson” on-line, is the force behind SmashMyiPod.com, a website that’s gained global attention for its violent premise. Sak made web surfers an offer: If they could raise $400 toward the purchase of a new iPod, he would videotape it being smashed to pieces right in the showroom.
After an overwhelming response, that’s exactly what happened.
Sak says he hatched the idea partly as revenge for being sold a defective iPod two years ago, but mostly as “a shout-out against consumerism.”
…The huge interest in Smash My iPod is about more than the gadget’s popularity; it reflects a growing frustration that the iPod cult has become slavish and ubiquitous.
A scattering of protest sites have popped up, including the vehement anti-ipod.co.uk, a site by a British teen, and I Hate Your iPod (ihateyouripod.com), a weblog that rails against the sycophancy of pod culture — the Halloween revellers dressed as iPods, the custom lanyards that will turn the tiny white iPod Shuffle into a crucifix pendant.
Their anger is only fuelled by evangelical users — and a fawning media — who seem convinced that iPod ownership is a fact of life.
…Earlier this year, a New Yorker named Andy Rementer put up posters in Manhattan, showing a crudely-drawn iPod, with the words “You don’t need me” written on its screen. Photos of the posters became popular on-line; like Sak’s video, they quickly stirred up a debate.
“I was frustrated by the way iPods were forced upon us,” says Rementer, adding that protest is tough in an iPod world. “Most people were complaining about the fact that I drew the wrong number of buttons on the iPod.”
But for all the rumblings of discontent, the scattered anti-iPod movement hasn’t rallied around a champion, until now — which brings us back to Sak’s video. When Apple first launched the Macintosh — its original cult product — it produced a famous 1984 SuperBowl commercial that depicted a young woman throwing a sledgehammer through a giant screen, on which a Big Brother-like face is speaking; the screen explodes, the Orwellian drones are liberated, and Apple’s message to the IBM monoculture of the day came through loud and clear.
We’re a long way from 1984. But Yegor Sak’s rubber mallet, watched by the world, should be familiar enough to make Apple squirm, just a little.