Friday, February 22, 2013

The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs @ Grown Man Studios

" I was round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate"
                                                              --- Rolling Stones, "Sympathy for The Devil
Richard j.
Last night I went to the opening performance of  The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, starring RIchard j., written by Mike Daisey and directed by Taylor Ashely. There is an incisive history of Apple as seen from a devotee's experiences with the various products and philosophies of the company and its CEO, Steve Jobs, from the garage in Los Altos to Foxconn, Inc in Shenzhen China, where as of last October, workers were making the equivalent of $130/mo. 

It is an intensely human story, with the usual psychic energies including that of radical visionaries, geniuses, eccentrics, workers, boards of directors and pirates unfolding from that garage to you, your computer(s), iPads, iPods  and iPhone(s). 
It is also a story of industrialism, with what one might expect from a fast-growing industry with manufacturing centers in today's China, including the nets around the Foxconn buildings to catch the workers who try to suicide by jumping off the higher floors.
The Corporation reacted to this recently by announcing it intends to buy  one million robots, which will diminish its 800,000 worker labor force and future union problems.

This play humanizes our awareness of the machines of the digital age, and the very real human price paid to keep us and the stockholders happy, price points low, and convenience high. Someone had to lose, and as long as they're out of sight and mind, and the machines do the latest and make us look good, is it really OK? The only real sin here is denial of what is happening. 

I can recommend this play without reservation.

(l to r.) David Audet, Taylor Ashely, and Richard j.

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