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Apple as Captain Queeg
By Dave Winer on Saturday, July 24, 2010 at 8:15 AM.

A picture named queeg.jpgIf you've never seen the movie, this is how it goes. Captain Queeg, played by Humphrey Bogart, is a career naval officer, in charge of a ship that drags targets for battleships to practice on. It's part of the huge Pacific fleet during World War II.  permalink

Queeg is a mid-level guy, not going anywhere. It being wartime, most of his officers are draftees -- college kids, smartasses, in one case a coward (played by Fred MacMurray). There's another career officer on the Caine played by Van Johnson.  permalink

The captain is way past his prime. Mediocre. A failure that they've kept around because no one had the time to retire him. The same story for the Caine. So it tries to stay out of range when the other American boats take shots at the targets it drags.  permalink

Queeg does all kinds of stupid shit, like navigate over the towing line of a target the Caine is towing, thus losing it. He's weird, he likes to play with steel balls. When he discovers that some of the frozen strawberries are missing from the pantry he starts an investigation. He says it's about time they had some fun on the ship. He believes they were stolen by some of the officers. He's reliving a victory of his early career. This is too much for the college kids, so they convince Van Johnson to depose the captain, in the famous mutiny that the movie and the Herman Wouk novel are named after. permalink

Classic movie, with some great performances. And somehow the story comes up all the time in real life, especially in the tech industry.  permalink

Anyway, just when it seems the rest of the world is ready to let Antennagate go, here comes a Youtube video from Apple, dragging the Droid-X into the mess. Now Apple's competitors get to look aloof, like leaders, puzzled why the captain is making a federal case about the strawberries.  permalink

A picture named useOfCameras.jpgThe users just got their emails telling them how to get their new cases. The thought occurred to me that Apple could have given us a nice present anyway, even if there hadn't been a PR mess. Wouldn't that have been classy. We appreciate that you're an early supporter of our products (knowing we're the ones who always get screwed, we know it, but they don't have to say it). So here's a nice gift. It's really nothing, but it's our way of saying we appreciate you. permalink

Instead, they're taking stupid cheap shots at the upstarts, making themselves look stupid and cheap. They so totally don't need to look that way. permalink

Now I don't think for a minute that Apple is Captain Queeg. It's not some marginal character in a big war. It's more than an aircraft carrier, it's a whole fleet. So why are they acting like a burned out captain of a mine-tower who thinks he's found the missing strawberries. permalink

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