They Shall Overcome (10/20/03)

Just a quickie, here, folks, in the vein of a public service announcement. We've noticed an alarming trend among the general population to marginalize a very visible minority in our community: iPod Silhouette Dancers. You know 'em, you love 'em, you see 'em on TV, but gosh darn it, you haven't got the faintest clue of what to call 'em. "Black" is sort of taken. "Detail-challenged" sounds a little bit too politically-correct and condescending. "Shadow puppets"? That's... that's just wrong on so many levels. And if anything, it gets worse when you try to refer to a specific dancer: "Hot Pink Afro Lady," for example, is not a respectful appellation. At least, not by most standards.

So what should you be calling them, you ask? Well, how about their names? Yes, they have names-- they're people, too, you know, and only by using their names can you give them the respect they rightfully deserve. For instance, you really shouldn't be referring to this gal as "Green Chick with the Hair," because 1) you're making her sound like a William Shatner love interest, and 2) that's not her name. As faithful viewer Michael Cutts points out, "Green Chick with the Hair" is actually Sophia. Likewise, "Yellow Guy with Dorky Hat" is really Lee, "Disdainful Pink Lady with Bracelets" is Melissa, and "Purple Dude Looking at the Goodyear Blimp" is Emory.

So there you have it; they're real people with real names, just like the rest of us-- only with maybe a little more rhythm and a little less depth and variation of hue. Shamefully, Apple has seen fit to publish the names of only those four dancers from the print ads; the ones in both TV commercials remain unidentified and therefore objectified by society at large. Here's hoping that Apple does the right thing and lets us place names to faces-- er, shapes-- so that we can start appreciating the silhouette dancers for what they really are: real people who live, love, and squabble over who used the last of the matte-black body paint... just like everyone else on this big, beautiful planet. Hug one today!

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The above scene was taken from the 10/20/03 episode:

October 20, 2003: The naysayers keep saying nay, but Apple announces a million downloads of iTunes for Windows and a million songs sold in just half a week. Meanwhile, Steve has a chin-wag with Newsweek about competing with Microsoft and why the iPod is actually dirt-cheap, and cut the disrespect, because those iPod silhouette dancers have names, you know...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4279: Doomed; DOOMED, We Say (10/20/03)   Welcome to Week 2 in the era of iTunes for Windows, and the weather is still a little stormy, but there are signs of sunshine on the horizon. Sure, Apple's support forums for the Windows users are just a little more active than is probably healthy, but after poking around a bit we found that there are quite a few occurrences of "I love iTunes!" sentiments interspersed with the "iTunes erased my hard drive, shot my dog, set fire to my car, spat in my Frosted Flakes, and won't even play my WMAs" complaints....

  • 4280: We Have The Technology (10/20/03)   Is it just us, or does anyone else find it a little spooky that the CEO of Apple Computer, Inc. can be interviewed by Newsweek (however briefly) and never once be asked about the Mac? And isn't it even spookier that, whether he was asked about it or not, Steve Jobs didn't even mention the Mac-- not once, in answers to seven questions?...

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