What a wonderful, often spellbinding evening that was, to be regaled in London’s Apple Store by Stephen Fry of his love affair with technology and of things Apple in general. I don’t want to say too much, because it’ll be available for you to access on the iTunes Music Store next week, so I’ll focus on just a few points.
First off he is as lovely as his TV persona suggests. He talks of his friendships with people like Tim Berners-Lee with such affection that you can’t help but be charmed. It made his retreat to the metaphysical even more enjoyable. ‘The wit of a thing’ eh?I’d never thought of my love for things Apple (I’m writing this on my iPhone on a train) like that, but it’s true. There is a sense that these things, these pods, phones and books they do, are in part intended to take you away from the mundane. A Dell PC is functional, a Mac Book Air’s sheer cheek takes you away from a life of the lowest common denominator before you even open it up.
The other point was food for thought. Stephen embodies a blending of curiosity and technology. Where we fret incessantly about our thoughts being twisted by or stagnating in cyberspace, Stephen’s are free. He is aware of the contradictions present in this new realm – from his obsession with it or is he that advanced a thinker? It wasn’t fully apparent but it made no difference. Here was another gay role model for our time, evangelising indulgence in thought, thinking which is genuinely free and a celebration of the new and the changing. Experiencing this man in person was a real privilege.