Apple as a Religion

Apple Believer: “Apple as a religion—how true. As an avid Apple fan, I am constantly wondering what Apple’s new innovative technology will be created next. Similarly to religion, I associate certain traditions with Apple—sleek interfaces, easy handling and an ever-present cool factor. I am always thinking about the unknowns and the things that Apple keeps so secret. Steve Jobs and the inventive pioneers at Apple are similar to preachers, creating for us, their consumers. They show us what we want before we even know ourselves. In some ways it is like a belief system. I trust whole-heartedly that the next Apple product will be brilliant, inventive and world-changing. I don’t just want that new piece of technology, I need it.

So why is it a problem when you start to think about the Apple religion? Is it right to just blindly believe what we want to believe, and turn our backs to some of the truths about the religion? Religions often involve a set of ethics and values. As an Apple consumer, I would hope that Apple holds themselves to high ethical standards. But do they?”

Daisey: “Shenzhen is a city of history”

Daisy, Behind the Madness

Letter written to Steve Jobs from Mike Daisy


As you are a brilliant, analytical man, I’d like to show you my mind before you jump to conclusions of myself as a person and professional. My motives were purely based on the end, and sacrificed your company’s reputation as the means. I’ve been obsessed with technology my whole life, so naturally hooked into Apple as well. Yes, I use and love my Apple products. It’s impossible to dislike Apple, and your company holds the consumer technology market at its mighty fingertips. And with all that glory, comes media attention, competition, and responsibility. Apple, rated the number one company in the USA, will always be under the nation’s microscope, alike any other super valuable asset to this world.

We both know that business ethics, at the expense of both humans and the environment, is an ever growing problem in this modern industrial day and age. Whether Apple is innocent or guilty, there will always be a spotlight shined upon it. As a journalist and entertainer, I found a way to best use my resources in order to shift the spot light to a business ethical issue at hand. I’m sorry that your company was the stepping stone, but Apple will live. The future will be better because of it. RIP. 


Is There Any Way We Can Help?

A Big Apple fan

“The first thing came to my mind about Apple products is ..they are expensive. Still expensive to our standards even if they are produced at a place where labor is cheap and production cost is low. But still, can we, as die-hard Apple fans, do something to protect the rights of Chinese factory workers? May be, we can spend $5 more on an Apple product that we buy and make a change to the life of a factory worker, get him better wages, provide him better living dorm, and reduce the working time? Cause-related Marketing can be a good idea here but the main question is how many of us are really willing to spend $5 more for an Apple product?”

“I feel bad that the demand of luxury products here cause a lot of suffering in other countries. I think the best solution is, we should try to make these jobs come back to the United States. After all, letting these jobs go abroad doesn’t really help economy here. And Apple is not taking serious consideration to those suppliers who did unscrupulous exploitation of poor factory workers”.

“I just hope more people will know about the harsh working conditions in China and start giving pressure to Apple. Hopefully, Apple will set up a plant with an automatic production line here in the near future. In this way, not only the Chinese workers problems will be resolved, the next generation of college graduates will also get a better opportunity to find a job here”.

What would Ira say…

And when Apple would call journalists who had spoken to me, and tell them, “You know, I don’t know if you want to be associated with him. He’s kind of unstable. You know, he does work in the theater.”

I would keep my head down. And I would tell my story.

And tonight—we know the truth.

Ira Glass:

The truth? The truth is that you lied. We trusted you. We trusted you to come on our program and share what you had learned on your visit to Foxconn. And you lied! You flat. out. lied. And you knew it, the whole time. What kind of person does that? Did you feel any sense of guilt in doing that?

Yes, we made a mistake in letting you on our show. And yes, we should have been suspicious from the very beginning when you said there was no way to contact your translator in China.

But how hard is it to tell the truth! Working in the theater is not a valid excuse. Because you knew. You knew you were expected to tell the truth on This American Life, and you knew you were lying. And now, you’ve embarrassed me, you’ve embarrassed my coworkers, and, most of all, you’ve embarrassed yourself.

Mike Daisy Integrity

Mike Daisy: Before I start my monologue there is something important I need to say. I want you all to know that this play is a portrayal of real events. Some of these events were taken directly from a trip I made to China about a year ago while others have come from stories which you may have read about in the news.

The purpose of this monologue is to get you, the crowd, thinking about your products and gadgets as more than just toys which appear on in the store. There are real consequences to our buying habits. This monologue is going to display those consequences and what life is like in China for those people who make your products. I hope you all enjoy the show.

Ira’s Interruption

“And as we’re driving, we’re passing by arcology after arcology, these immense buildings that are so large they are redefining my sense of scale moment by moment, and then our taxi driver takes an exit ramp, and he stops.  Because the exit ramp stops. In mid-air.  There’s some rebar sticking out…and an eighty-five foot drop to the ground.  The only sign that the exit ramp ends is a single, solitary, orange cone.  It’s sitting there, as if to say,  “We’re busy…? Be alert…?” We back back onto the expressway and begin to drive again, and then Cathy turns to me, pushes up her glasses, and says, “Excuse me, but I do not think this is going to work.”

Ira Glass: An expressway that ends 85 feet in the air with a single orange cone as the sole indicator?! How could we not have realized that Mike Daisey’s story reeked of theatrical embellishments and exaggerations?  The scene he describes is straight out of a Hollywood movie, complete with the newfound doubt that Cathy expressed after the nearly traumatic setback.  Could this moment have been any more clichéd??…Of course it could, because like every cinematic and theatrical protagonist, Daisey was able to overcome this momentary pang of doubt with the desire to go on — the desire to see what lay ahead on his “incredible” journey. Wow, we really fell for this?? Boy do I wish that was the only Daisey Lie that escaped us…

Ira’s Chance Before Running the Monologue

Written as Ira Glass. An interruption that would have saved him from having to apologize to his listeners on the retraction. 

Mr. Daisey let me stop you for a second before you continue. I would like to run this story on my show “This American Life” but first I need to clear up some of the doubts I have in your story. First of all, I want to get in touch with your translator Cathy. Would she agree with all of the points of your story? And I mean all of the details of your story. You are depicting this story as if it true journalism and I am not sure it is. So you are telling that you were in a cab and came to a road with no end? The highway just stopped? I understand that China is not as developed as the United States but I find it hard to believe Apple would use a manufacturer of their most high tech products that is off of some deserted road. Continue reading

Apple Interuption

Dedicated Apple Consumer: I’m using my Apple MacBook Pro right now, and I feel sick to my stomach. Whose fault is that? Yours Mike, yours. What gave you the right to trash Apple and the way they make their products? Why did you do it? Was it for personal gain or was it to better society? Either way, there are plenty of other computer hardware companies that outsource their manufacturing. Why did you pick on Apple? Why not Samsung? I don’t have nearly as much of a relationship with Samsung as I do Apple. Now whenever I use my iPhone, I will always have thoughts of FoxConn workers committing suicide and teenagers working with N Hexane to the point where their hands can no longer function.

And what ticks me off the most, is that none of it was completely true! Mike, Apple took care of the N Hexane problem long ago and the FoxConn plants don’t use it anymore. For you to say FoxConn employees were killing themselves because it was such torture to assemble my sleek iPhone is also questionable at best. Who’s to say these suicides weren’t statistically normal as far as the suicide rate is concerned? Sure, I’m more aware now, but you tricked me. I think I’d rather just stay ignorant about the company I love so much.

Apple User Interruption

Apple user: “Time out! Hold on just a second.  Are you really telling me that my beloved Apple products are assembled by underpaid, overworked, and sometimes even underage workers? This is horrifying! Like me, most Apple users live, breathe, and work on Apple products.  If they knew where they were coming from, they would think twice about buying them! Not only are the workers treated badly, but they’re also at risk for their lives. Using poisonous materials and allowing for explosion prone workplaces is simply unacceptable!

Continue reading

From the mind of Mike Daisey

“But I do know that in my first two hours of my first day at that gate, I met workers who were fourteen years old, I met workers who were thirteen years old, I met workers who were twelve.  Do you really think Apple doesn’t know?”….


How am I convincing myself that this audience doesn’t know about ME?  Do these people know that I am making this up, that I’m a fraud? Was the 16 year-old I ACTUALLY met not young enough to shock these people?  Why did I have to keep pushing the limit?  Maybe if I just tone down the monologue I can get away with it until the end the tour sooner?


“In a company obsessed with the details, with the aluminum being milled just so, with the glass being fitted perfectly into the case, do you really think it’s credible that they don’t know?”….


Why am I criticizing Apple for not caring about the details in this case when I barely did in “reporting” on it! I should be obsessed with details.  I’m pretending to be a journalist for god’s sakes!  But, I’m not a journalist.  This is art, this is theatre! Is all the work I did going to be for naught when the truth comes out? I know this isn’t 100% truthful but at least I went over there, at least I saw the workers and saw the suicide nets.  Am I just justifying the betrayal of my audiences?  Do I come clean now or wait until the truth comes out.  Oh no, what have I gotten myself into….