Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Randy Newman's strange Apple keynote closing

As has become the practice, Steve Jobs let a musician close out his Apple keynote. This time it was Randy Newman who played two pieces. The second song was from Toy Story. Newman has worked on most (all?) the Pixar movies, creating the soundtracks. But the first song was strange in the context.

"A Few Words in Defense of Our Country" is a rambling, mostly spoken word piece with piano accompaniment, a paen to the United States with the theme that we're actually not so very bad as people but our empire is fading. I had to wonder if Jobs knew this was coming but he must have. It was dark, casually satirical and largely disjointed. Such a strange and disconnected ending to a keynote glorifying the wonders of American entrepreneurship and technological ingenuity. What was the connection? Many intelligent, thought provoking and even uplifting connections could have been made but such connections were beyond Newman, who noted that his technological accomplishment was learning how to use an answering machine (those devices still exist??).

Below is the video. Bet this will be taken down from YouTube soon but if so, you can probably search for it or just scroll to the end of the Jobs keynote.

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