Do we live in a police state now?

I hadn’t formed a full-fledged opinion on the Occupy[ ] protests yet, but when I learned that Tennessee Gov. Haslam ordered the Tennessee Highway Patrol to arrest the protesters—who were peaceably assembled and exercising their First Amendment right—I realized it didn’t matter what I thought. Because agree or disagree with the reason, they have the right to protest. But apparently our governor decided to squash that right—which should concern any resident of Tennessee, no matter what your political or economic stance is.

As usual, Aunt B. explains it better than I ever could:

I want to say that, when you live in a state where they make up “laws” on the fly AND wait until the middle of the night to arrest people for violating those made-up on the fly laws so that their actions remain hidden from citizens, when they wait until the middle of the night to arrest people AND they arrest journalists so that your ability to learn about what happened is curtailed, it’s sobering.

(Emphasis mine.)

It’s also telling that after two nights of arrests, and two nights of the night court judge releasing those arrested because they were brought in under a newly created law that he deemed unconstitutional, last night there were no more arrests. So did someone finally bring Haslam a copy of the constitution? Did he realize that arresting people under the guise of “it’s for their own safety!” was bullshit and victim-blaming at its finest? Did the THP buck their orders and refuse to arrest people that weren’t breaking any actual law?

I’m interested in how this will play out. Our state has had its fair share of PR nightmares lately thanks to some small-minded racists. I wonder if we’ll make The Daily Show for our leader attempting to take away our First Amendment rights? I hope so. Because I think it’s going to take more than local dissent for Haslam to get what he’s doing is wrong.

Steve Jobs was my Elvis

A friend of mine tweeted that at me this morning, that when she heard the news about Steve Jobs dying she immediately thought of me. Because he was my Elvis. I’d been trying all night to think of the best way to explain why he was important to me, and she nailed it.

Yesterday afternoon a co-worker and I were talking about tattoos and I showed her mine, a black Apple logo. Then a few hours later I was driving home and Ian said suddenly, “Did Steve Jobs die?” Confused, I asked him why he said that, and he explained that he was watching text after text pop up about it on my iPhone, which was sitting in the center console between us.

At a red light, I pulled up Twitter. “It’s not on the New York Times or USA Today,” Ian said. “They won’t have it. Twitter will have the news first,” I responded. I pulled into a Panera parking lot and checked. It was true. Steve Jobs had died.

Ever since he resigned as CEO of Apple a few months ago, I’ve been trying to come up with a way to explain what Apple products have meant to me. Continue to mean to me. And nothing really sounds good enough. The words I come up with are either not enough or I sound like a complete lunatic, all over-dramatic and mushy about a company, for chrissakes.

But the thing is, ever since I was five years old Apple products have been ubiquitous in my daily life. I’m not really sure how to fully explain what they’ve meant to me. They’re not just hunks of plastic and metal, like most computers. That’s where Steve Jobs’ genius came in. He wanted to make using a Mac, using an Apple product, an aesthetic experience, and he succeeded.

And I remember back when they weren’t so great. The first computer my family bought was a Performa, I believe, back in the early 90s. That thing was ugly as shit, but the operating system was boss. (So was that game Lemmings—remember that?)

I guess it’s probably tacky to use the old “I loved Apple when Apple wasn’t cool” line, but fuck it. I did love it back then. I’ve been an Apple user—an Apple fangirl—since as long as I can reach back in my cobwebbed brain for memories. I’ve never owned a computer that wasn’t a Mac and I never will. I have never accepted a career-field job that did not provide me with a Mac to work on. I won’t. It has always been a quality of life issue for me. Macs break and have bad days, sure. But most of the time, they just work. And they just work beautifully.

This is getting rambly now. I guess I just wanted to thank Steve Jobs for making technology that I form emotional attachments to. I honestly love my Apple products. I will never sell my first iMac because I have such strong feelings of attachment to it. I almost cried at the thought of my PowerBook being irreparable. I think I slept with my iPad in the bed the first night I got it.

So rest in peace, Steve Jobs. I don’t really believe in heaven or hell, but I hope your soul is somewhere quiet. Somewhere without Windows machines.