Day Ninety: On Saturn

Today I have had some more poetry published in From Glasgow to Saturn.

Some of the other contributions are pretty great, so it feels good to be considered alongside others who are clearly very talented (much more so than I).

But in the same sense it’s slightly disheartening. Even though it’s boosted my confidence as a writer, I still feel as though I have rather a long way to go. In the space of ninety days I’ve written rather a lot of poetry but I still, to my eyes, don’t feel as though I’ve written proper poetry. There’s more to come, I think.

Maybe I’ll become one of the best one day.

Or maybe not.

All I do know is that you ain’t seen nothing yet. When I get down to writing longer, better crafted, more condensed poetry I think things will really change.

Day Eighty Nine: Stockade

This new scar on the Earth,
a thorn in the side of a city landscape,
is a monolith,
with two great spires rising
out from a cage of broken black mirrors and bricks.

A familiar sense of dread stalks the corridors
in between stairwells filled with make shift dread.
Inside, the working class is transformed from
machine operators and factory floor lackeys
to keyboard automatons chained to data.

Day after day it repeats.
Strip lighting oppresses the eyes,
while radio babble is injected into the ears
– complete digital solitary confinement
assaulting the senses, framed in computer screen blue.

The tinted windows change even the sunniest days
into oppressive overcast gray’s, robbing the world
outside of any sense of hope (or escape).
Metal cages shuffle internee’s from pen to pen
and grant them bail when the work day ends.

The shift change is a signal of hope
so that the workers don’t feel like it’s 25 to life.
However, the cycle continues day in, day out
repeating this morbid scene like flogger in a Kafka novel –
the next day when we return, we see the same thing.


Like a number of tech heads/IT employees/people with sanity/hardware fanatics I dislike Apple for a number of reasons. I dislike the “lifestyle” you buy into when you purchase an Apple product (and that’s what Apple truly think, but I’ll come to that later), the nature of their marketing, the fact that Steve Jobs is a massive bell end, the design style over substance that seems to dominate a large part of their aesthetic focus, the “fanatics” that Apple product ownership seems to create (and I know a few people who would die for an Apple product) – all of this. All of it annoys me.

But what annoys me more is seeing iPhone’s every where.

An Apple iPhone in someone's meticulously manicured hand, yesterday.

Literally every where. They seem to surround me when I’m in public.

However, the biggest part of the reason I dislike them is because I have had an insight into the minds of those who flog this shit to you, the obscenely gadget obsessed, evangelically Apple loving public.

Once, a year or so ago, I had an interview to work in the Apple store. Back then, I had my reservations about Apple, and I must admit I already held something of a grudge against them, but any feelings I had towards them were soon amplified at the end of this interview.

Let me explain.

This was a group interview. You were advised to dress “casual” for the interview. Just come in, dress how YOU dress, be how YOU want to be. If you have never been in the Glasgow store it seems rather cool at first, with a sexy purpose built mezzanine where the “Apple Geniuses” work. The interview it’s self took place after the store had closed.

What a lovely view from the mezzanine.

Upon our arrival we were all ushered in – some of the applicants already brimming with Apple fuelled pride – with a round of a applause.

Just like this.

My initial reaction was “What. The. Fuck.” Who the fuck gives potential employees a round of applause for just simply arriving? Apparently Apple do. Apparently we were very lucky to have “made it this far”. This far? To a group interview? Christ. They made it seem like you’d graduated to the big boys school or something.

We took our seats and were given a short induction film about Apple. These guys really do like applause. What followed in the video were statistics. Statistics about the number of Apple stores world wide and the number of products sold alongside images of jubilant Apple fan boys rejoicing, jumping in joy, applauding one another as they got their hands on the latest shiny Apple love toy. Slapping each other on the back in as orgasmic scenes of joy were met with smug, self satisfied smiles by fellow potential employees.

I knew I’d made a wrong choice by applying, but times were hard, sometimes we all have to, as they say in philosophy, “bite a bullet”. As I seen the conceited grins on not only these wanna be Apple retail store employees, but from the current Apple management in this store, I started to get the creeping feeling that I was in some kind of bizarre Stepford Wives inspired Appleland, with interviewees faces contorted into mannequin-esque expressions of glee. It made me want to hurt myself.

Or at least that immaculately presented, floppy haired, puffed-up emo looking arsehole of a manager.

The now compulsory “round of applause” came after this video as I set dough eyed and slack jawed at what I was experiencing.

Some spiel about the “AWESOMENESS OF THE APPLE BRAND” (or some other such bollocks) followed, along with some explanation about what the different roles in the store are. I wish I could remember, but it basically amounted to people sell, people who talk to customers about products and people who act as techs.

None of these roles could qualify as “genius”.

Geniuses need not apply.

After that, we had to take part in some role playing; y’know the usual customer focused shite. We were given cards to read from and assigned a partner, then had to figure out how one would solve the problem for the customer that was written down on the card. We then performed this in front of everyone else. Shakespearian theatre it was not.

But it was when we had finished this exercise that I knew I was in the wrong company.

We had to get up in front of everyone and explain to everyone why Apple should pick you for the job. Now, I don’t own an Mac. I have an iPod Nano, but that’s about it. I don’t even use it any more. So right out of the gates I knew I was going to struggle coming up with a reason as to why they should employ me other than “I like money so give me the job”.

Turns out everyone there loved Macs to a staggering, almost religious degree.


Idiots who got up and said stuff like “Oh yeah, I love Apple because of the way the brand makes me feel” or “Apple is great because I love it’s aethetics and the way looks, and the way it makes me look.” and things like “You should employ me because I’ve always owned Macs and Apple products. I really like the way it makes my friend see me.”

People actually said this. I shit you not.

What’s worse it that the staff fucking lapped it up. You see, they actually believed that owning Apple products made you a better person, that you were making an exclusive lifestyle choice.


Brainwashed by aesthetically pleasing consumer greed (mmmm, aesthetics.)

Ideally, I’d like to live a world where people do not define themselves through brands. I’d love to live in a place where people didn’t feel like a huge multi-national corporation was the way they identified with like minded people and to others in the world. I know not all Apple users are like this, but a lot of these guys were. Never before have I seen so many people blindly identify consumer allegiance with a faceless and shadowy corporation with such pride and zeal.

When I was in secondary school, you sort of lived in a compressed version of consumer society. There you tended to get people who always had to have the latest Nike trainers, or had all the designer brands and this some how elevated their social status in the playground. It seems like these people had this mentality times a million.

Did they really love Apple because of it made them feel? The conviction on their face was scary, as if they actually believed this shit.

So when it came my turn to talk, what did I say?

“Well, I don’t actually own a Mac because a lot of my friends hate them, and would probably kill me *laughs as if being sarcastic* but I own an iPod and I really like the ‘working out the box functionality’ of Apple products (which I do). I also worked in both IT and retail before blah blah”.

Yeah, I blew it.

Clearly I didn’t get the job. I’m relieved about that. I probably wouldn’t have taken it even if I were offered it because I’d seen what this “brand” had done to people. Capitalism at its finest. It was wholly disgusting.

I was going to link to the crApple store blog but apparently it was removed late last year. A shame, really, cause it was hilarious and really exposed the amount of corporate backwards thinking bullshit that goes on internally in Apple retail.

Oh well, I leave you with my own experiences and this.


P.S. FYI – Whapping your iPad out in public makes you look like a massive cock. You might as well just take your dick out and piss all over the place.