Writer and performer Mike Daisey isn’t dropping his current act, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” in light of his titular character’s recent exit from the world stage, but he has been obliged to make some formatting tweaks.
As Daisey, who drew intense reactions with his New York Times Op-Ed piece directly after Jobs’ death, sees it, the dark sides to his meditation on the man who grew Apple Inc. into the global tech empire it is today haven’t gone away just because Jobs passed away. In fact, they point to bigger concerns about users’ sometimes willfully blind love of sexy gadgetry and about the human costs of Apple’s corporate policy. Daisey did his own research for his monologue, which he’s now rebooting every night over the next month for a stint at New York’s Public Theater. —KA
AP via Yahoo! News:
“In a profound way, this will reinvent the monologue,” Daisey says. “The context of it shifts so much that it will be like blowing a wind through it. I think it’s going to stir up a lot of things.”
While the piece specifically targets Apple, most of what he discovered is applicable to all high-tech manufacturers. Daisey has performed the new monologue for some 50,000 people from Seattle to Washington, D.C., and it is now at The Public Theater until mid-November.
The death of Jobs hasn’t prompted Daisey to pull any punches. While he considers the man a visionary, he also calls him a “brutal tyrant” who “failed to think different about anything.”
“When the design is really good, it connects to the human and actually creates empathy with the devices, so it’s really absurd how there’s no empathy between the people running the company and their own workers,” says Daisey.
Jean-Michele Gregory, Daisey’s frequent director and also his wife, says her husband’s sense of betrayal is heightened by his great respect for Apple and his belief that Jobs could have fundamentally changed the lives of his workers but chose not to.
“Steve Jobs really was a hero to Mike and I think there was a part of him that really hoped that perhaps the fact of this monologue might actually cause Steve to change the way that he practices business,” she says.
AP Photo/The Public Theater, Stan Barouh
Agony, ecstasy, Daisey: Monologist and sometime Op-Ed writer Mike Daisey takes to the New York stage in “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.”