There was more than one reason I was furious to find the new U2 album had burrowed into my iPhone recently–not only is U2 a band I’d prefer to never hear again, but they have become accomplices in Apple Computer’s strategy to pose as a “lifestyle” outfit, instead of a maker of computers and computer-related products. And yes, the iPhone has changed people’s lifestyles, but it is still a phone, and I don’t think most users need coaching on how to use it. I mean use the lifestyle, I’m sure all the tapping and swiping has confused many people.

Though I would never run my electronics company as a “lifestyle” company (I think this practice and philosophy can too easily distract an organization from what it actually is supposed to be doing, such as making phones that don’t friggin’ bend in half!) I do admit that Apple Computer has the right to do so, and if they can maximize shareholder value by building phones and “lifestyles” then hey, that’s great.

Here’s where U2 comes in. The band agreed (ostensibly) to have their music be the product that Apple is offering you in order to enhance your lifestyle. All U2 jokes aside, I guess this kind of makes sense. I mean, they are pretty popular, people might like some new music, and–oh wait! It was actually a scheme to get rubes to pay for U2’s back catalog! Now I get it. My fundamental problem lies in the kind of “bread and circus” mentality that Apple is demonstrating here–getting a rock band to shill for one of the most public tax-dodging corporations in America. Yeah, that’s right. This whole U2-bashing post is about corporate tax evasion. Loop that with some reverse delay and play a one-note melody, Tim Cook!

Is it a coincidence that Apple’s tax-dodge scheme and rock-band shills are both based in Ireland?

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