The Macintosh on its 35th Anniversary: ‘Think Same’

Screen grab from Apple's famous "1984" commercial.

By Tom Gilson Published on January 24, 2019

Thirty-five years ago, Apple computers aired one of the most famous commercials of all time, and the Mac was born.

The ad is a masterpiece. It didn’t just announce a new computer, it’s widely credited with kicking off the creative Super Bowl commercial craze.

Apple has always been about creativity. For decades, Windows PCs have dominated corporate offices — but not their graphic and arts departments. Founder Steve Jobs, returning in 1997 after a four-year forced hiatus, took Apple’s image to new heights with “one of the most successful ad campaigns ever,” according to Tech Republic. Just two words: ”Think Different.”

Today: Think Same

Today, though, the slogan could be “Think Same.” Last month CEO Tim Cook said it would be a sin not to ban “those who seek to push hate, division, and violence,” adding, “At Apple we are not afraid to say that our values drive our curation decisions.”

In other words, agree with Apple’s values or get censored. Think same.

The impulse to act morally is a good one. As Franklin Graham said, though, “We don’t get to define morality or sin according to our own desires, preferences or agendas.” Tim Cook came out as gay in 2014. Apps promoting real sexual morality and the true meaning of marriage are on notice.

Censoring Mainstream Morality

This isn’t scare-mongering. Apple’s history with this goes back years. In 2010 the company banned the Manhattan Declaration app from its App Store. Its problem? The Manhattan Declaration stood for life, marriage and religious freedom — with marriage meaning what it always had meant: man with woman.

Apple doesn’t want anyone thinking different about marriage. Different from Apple, that is.

CNS News, reporting on Cook’s “values” speech, said, “Apple, along with Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Twitter banned Infowars and commentator Alex Jones from their platforms this year.”

Today Apple is leading the charge to transform big tech into Big Brother, and usher in “1984” at last.

Whether Alex Jones should have a platform or not, it’s interesting to see Apple walking in lockstep with four other tech giants.

Again last month, Apple yanked Living Hope Ministries’ app from the App Store. An LGBT organization reportedly gathered 300 signatures calling the app “dangerous.” One day later Apple removed it. Living Hope’s executive director told CBN News, “In a day when diversity and tolerance is celebrated I would hope it would be extended to issues of faith and practice.”

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Who’s thinking different now?

Big tech’s moral responsibilities are complicated at best. There’s certainly a case to be made for banning apps and sites that advocate terror and violence. By banning these apps, though, Apple is taking a stand at morality that’s rightly called “traditional.” An even better word would be “mainstream.” Billions of people have thought it the right morality; billions undoubtedly still do.

Apple’s Second Big Turnaround: Ushering in “1984” After All

Apple thinks different from most of America; we can grant them that. What they don’t want is for Americans to think different from them.

Listen again to that famous 1984 commercial. Big Brother is announcing “the first anniversary of the information purification commandments.” Boots march as he drones on about “pure ideology.” “We shall prevail!” he intones — and then the hammer strikes, and Big Brother is gone. Then this:

Not Like 1984

Apple almost failed during the 1990s. Steve Jobs got booted out for bad decisions that he may or may not have made, but certainly got blamed for. His return in 1997 marked the beginning of one of corporate America’s greatest turnarounds.

I’ve been using Macs since 1984. I’ve never owned any computer or device not made by Apple. I was fiercely loyal to them through all the down times. So it hurts to say this. But there’s no denying it: Apple has made another turnaround. Thirty-five years ago they said 1984 wouldn’t be like “1984.” Today, they’re leading the charge to transform Big Tech into Big Brother, and usher in “1984” at last.

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