Co.Design

An Alternate, Bizarro-World Childhood For Steve Jobs

This isn’t the story as Walter Isaacson told it. Then again, maybe it is.

Walter Isaacson, right or wrong, painted the portrait of Steve Jobs as he’ll be remembered: A bratty kid who grew up to become a brilliant bully of an adult, employing cultish tricks to manipulate the talented people around him into creating amazing things.

But reading between the lines, there’s another way to summarize Jobs’s life story: As a gifted wild child who earnestly searched life for meaning and found computers. And it’s this secondary reading that director Ryan Patrick captures so well (and so surreally) in his music video for Miike Snow’s "Pretender."

Rather than showing Jobs and Woz pulling pranks or tinkering in a garage, the video focuses on Jobs the loner and the hippy--a young man who bites into an apple, finds (or hallucinates) a circuit inside, becomes obsessed with baking pies, and, yes, even falls in love.

Of course, just as there’s more than one way to read Jobs’s biography, there’s more than one way to watch this video. In the actor’s constant awe and obsession in baking, we may miss exactly what he’s feeding his own family--food that makes them happy while also transforming them into weird bionic creatures, their bodies sprouting long, ratlike electronic appendages.

Indeed, after watching the video a few times, I’ve come to conclude: Maybe, amidst all the intense gazing and styrofoam snowing, I was pulled into Jobs’s reality distortion field one last time.

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