At Macworld, Apple Steve Jobs shows that he loves Teton Gravity Research!

April 26, 2008

Apple is simultaneously admired and hated --- sometimes by the same people. On the one hand, their stuff is constantly cool. On the other, they are even less open than Microsoft. But one thing we can now agree on with Apple CEO Steve Jobs --- Teton Gravity Research rocks! At Macworld this year Steve Jobs was demonstrating AppleTV (which is definitely a piece of gear that I want to nab & review) which now allows you to rent movies right over your HD...Dolby 5.1...all that jazz. No more slogging to the video store, or Redbox, or waiting for dvd's in the mail. And of course, you can watch which one does he pull up? An excerpt from Teton Gravity Research's film "Lost and Found". It's the part where Erik Roner ski-bases off Cajun Coulior. Siiiiiiick crazy base jumping video....and the crowd goes wild. Click here to check it out. You've gotta love Roner, and you've gotta love TGR. Roner did a "jump out of the Snowbird tram" spot this year too. What a classic! The type of guy who loves life, man. There is something sick about the Rockies, the Tetons, the Sierras, and the Cascades. These mountains breed killer riders with a laid back style, and a willingness to dedicate their lives to progressing the sport. Will every athlete be recognized in bright lights at Macworld? No. Will every rider who deserves it have a spot in a TGR film? Probably not. But those who do are hopefully doing it for the right reasons. Hopefully they are not just trying to get attention doing crazy things to make up for lack of recognition and emotional validation when they were kids. This moment where TGR crossed paths with Macworld really stood out to me as a simultaneously ironic and harmonious moment. Lately I've been reading the book "Affluenza" by Oliver James (the famous clinical psychologist from England). His main question in the book is "Why are we getting wealthier but not happier?" Basically, his studies have given some indications that there are much higher rates of depression & addiction among the wealthy English-speaking nations -- and that there is a much higher likelihood of suffering depression and addiction if you are driven to obtain wealth and fame/recognition for the "wrong" reasons. So the TGR/Macworld moment was ironic to me because on the surface you have a bunch of people whom some would call selfish capitalists that were in total awe of the feats of an individual like Erik Roner who was just doing what he loved. On the other hand perhaps the so-called selfish capitalists actually love what they do, and they are doing it for the "right" reasons. And maybe Roner is just doing crazy things because he is craving attention ---- so he's doing it for the wrong reasons. Maybe he needs the approval of his peers and his sponsors and to see himself in TGR movies to feel good about himself. I has been years since I spoke with Roner, and then it was only on occasional meetings so I can't really speak to his internal reasons for his drive to do what he does. For all I know, Steve Jobs does what he does not because he is a tyrant but because he loves technology. He loves producing beautiful pieces of technology that solve real problems. And perhaps Roner does what he does whether the cameras are rolling or not. If so, the moment was very harmonious...two kindred spirits. Steve Jobs admiring Roner, and maybe Roner also recognizes the art that Jobs produces. So call me naive, but I'm hoping that that's the case. I love TGR, and I confess an admiration for Apple products and for what Steve Jobs has built. So here's to both of them.... :)

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