Here we are, baseball fans. The run-up is finally over and the candidates have been winnowed away and the two big dogs have taken the field, and all the planning and training and work is finally being put to the ultimate test, in the one match-up that really matters, the one for all the marbles. This is the big leagues, baby, and you put up or you shut up — it’s the World Series: OS X 10.6 vs. Windows 7!
Oh, God, I’m so sorry. Tortured computer-industry comparisons to real-world events are the sort of awful thing you used to see in Suck, back during the Bubble, saved from uselessness only by the illustrations. Man, remember Suck? Remember the Bubble?
But, wait… Two-thousand was the last time the Yankees managed to win a championship. And it was awfully close to the last time that that Microsoft managed to produce a version of Windows that anybody cared about. And, hey, both the Yankees and Microsoft have long histories of dominating their professions, and of using that dominance to run up huge payrolls with — let’s be honest here — a near-decade of lackluster results.
But this year is different, right? The Yankees have put together what is basically an All-Star team, but with everybody wearing the same uniform. Microsoft is chock-a-block with some of the best minds that can be rattled out of a groove. But while both are, y’know, technically winning, neither is anywhere close to sustaining the legend that they drape themselves in, and neither is looking at their best days ahead. Both have managed to extend historic runs by using unsustainable models, be they desktop monopolies or anabolic steroids. The House that Ruth Built is a house of cards. And developers, developers, developers increasingly fail to care.
When even century-long punching bags like the Red Sox can humiliate the Yankees and go on to win it all — the same year of the Google IPO, by the way, rising from the Web that Netscape built — the very idea of a dynasty seems silly. In a world as dynamic and fluid as ours — in Web/Baseball/Everything 2.0 — the probability of winning twice in a row seems improbable, if not impossible.
But, then, there are teams that manage to do it, or have managed to do it lately, and do it well. I can’t quite bring myself to compare effete, brushed-metal Apple with mooks-and-meatheads Philadelphia, but both show the potential of sticking to solid fundamentals and, y’know, playing the game, instead of bouncing between starlets and bouncing between ad campaigns and relying on a huge mountain of cash to temporarily paper over profound holes in their line-up and long-term viability. A-Rod or Ray-Ozz, you can only buy yourself out of trouble in a thinking man’s game for so long. October is just one month out of twelve, and it’s Mr. November who actually matters.
But maybe the Yankees win and maybe Microsoft wins and maybe the rest of us will have the put up with yet another round of insufferable arrogance from the fat billionaire blowhard that runs, well, either one. Yes, ultimately, it comes down to what happens on the field, in the competition, and there’s enough lumbering muscle on both bullies to walk away with another round of lunch money. But for anybody with any heart, there’s nothing better than watching Goliath go down.
Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.
Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!