Jabs at Jobs

BY: NIKI VALENCIA 

Black comedy; noun A type of humor/satire poking fun at something usually seen as serious or taboo. It often utilizes shock value to get laughs and common themes include death, violence, insanity, racism and other things that are usually not seen as funny.

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With each public appearance the late Steve Jobs stepped out, in the last decade, it was a guarantee you'd see the man in his iconic long-sleeved black shirt, blue jeans and sporty sneakers.

On the day of Jobs' passing on Oct. 5, people took the death of the man in the black shirt and morphed it into one revolving around "black comedy," a term referring to a type of morbid humor usually revolving around death.

The excessive use of this comedy was a consistent trend on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter shortly after initial stories broke of his death.

Facebook newsfeeds exploded with the "iSad" news and while some posts were full of gloom, shock, and comments of admiration for the man, other posts went for a laugh or two with clever and witty "jabs" at the late Mr. Jobs. "I never thought I'd see the day when a PC beats a Mac (pancreatic cancer)," read a Facebook post by Stephen Skane.

For the most part, jokes posted on the Internet were seen as amusing and creative, opposed to hurtful and degrading, as some might infer from the boldness of them. "I think when anyone dies, people take it as an opportunity to come up with new jokes," said Ilana Tel-Oren. "I can appreciate a good sense of humor, though."

Things even went as far as the creation of a "Steve Jobs Jokes" Facebook page. Filled with multiple puns on Jobs and Apple products, the mission of the page is to "bring a happier mood to a grim situation", as stated in the "About" section. The page showcases an iPod-shaped casket with the text "iDied" on it as the profile picture.

One of the more creative posts on the page reads, "Even more Hipsters will be buying Apple products because Steve Jobs is so underground."

Among the jokes seen all over Facebook and Twitter were the ones that reacted to the new iPhone 4S, a phone that has sparked much chatter since its Oct. 14 release.  "So it would seem that Jobs was just as disappointed in the iPhone 4S as everyone else was. #iknowiknowtoosoon," read one Twitter punchline by Michael Hedtcke.

The dark yet entertaining humor didn't end there; even Apple store employees took a stab at the man behind the fruit.

"I wrote on my Facebook the day he died, ‘Who the hell is Steve Jobs?' and all my employees hated me the next day," said 21-year-old Cerritos Apple store employee, Alex Lopez.

The death of Jobs also sparked countless magazine articles on the man, focusing on his stubborn and egocentric nature. The Oct. 27 Rolling Stone issue talked about Jobs' tendency to be a "dick" with an "abrasive personality" and an "unapologetic brutality." It's ironic how a man who changed our world with his lovable products was found to be not so lovable himself.

Either way, there is no doubt that his groundbreaking creations changed the way we live our day-to-day lives. As college students, we rely heavily on the technology of MacBooks, iPhones, iPods and iTunes. Even if we choose to use them to post jokes about the innovator's death, the fact remains that he had an enormous impact on our world.

"I was sad when I heard he passed away because he transformed our whole generation," said CSULB accounting major, Kathleen Intarattana.

The reactions of students and people around the nation varied greatly upon hearing the news of Jobs' passing. While the man in the black shirt may have became the topic of black comedy all over the Internet, his legacy will continue to shine through all the white apple-shaped products.