Thursday, August 25th, 2011...5:49 pm

Generation Kewl, Daddy’s Leaving

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The Spielberg Generation–by which I do not mean Steven Spielberg’s own Baby Boomer Generation (he was born in 1946), but the generation that grew up on Spielberg films and whose fractured families are often represented in Spielberg films–is now suffering separation anxiety as still another “Daddy” has abandoned them.

Generation Kewl’s surrogate father, Steve Jobs, is leaving home. . . again. The media frenzy about Jobs’s departure from Apple is equaled by the blog, tweet, and Facebook chatter about Daddy Kewl, and about what Gen Kewl feels about Dad’s leaving: There will never be anything kewl for us again.

Who’s going to keep giving us kewl stuff?

What I don’t hear is any solicitude for Mr. Jobs, who has been for some time , and is apparently¬†more precipitously now, dying. Dying. Dying from cancer. Death. Death is not kewl (unless it’s in one of the scores of movies available on iTunes). Cancer is not kewl. Instead, it’s about how I feel about Daddy Kewl’s abandoning me.

I’m old enough to remember the first divorce, when Daddy Kewl was thrown out of the house and shacked up with NeXT. Then there was the reconciliation.

I’m also old enough to remember the poignantly failed Apple computer project, The Lisa, which according to the official version was the acronym for Local Integrated Software Architecture, but was also the name of Jobs’s daughter from a relationship and a daughter whose paternity he initially denied. Daddy Kewl’s been leaving for a long time.

When his time comes, may flights of angels speed Steve Jobs to his rest. In the meantime, I hope he has the opportunity to reflect on the rich, complex life he has lived and the ways that he has given joy. And sorrow.

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