Culture

Play that funky music, Apple

My trip to Star Wars made me incredibly nostalgic, so I pulled the cobwebs off my old Boba Fett action doll (with the kung-fu grip) and limited-edition Ewok trading cards.

My trip to Star Wars made me incredibly nostalgic, so I pulled the cobwebs off my old Boba Fett action doll (with the kung-fu grip) and limited-edition Ewok trading cards. My trip down memory lane yielded one surprise: the disco version of the Star Wars theme, by Meco Monarado. I hear Meco himself may be dusting off his bell-bottoms for a reunion tour. Can he still fit in the same trousers he wore in '77? I know I can't.

Neither can Intel, for that matter. TV watchers who've seen the company's MMX commercials may have noticed something slightly wrong with the theme song, a version of Wild Cherry's bicentennial hit "Play That Funky Music." Instead of the familiar chorus "Play that funky music, white boy," Intel dropped the "white boy" reference entirely.

Is this what's known as a whitewashing? Presumably Intel wanted to avoid offending melanin-deficient computer users, but I think the chip giant has been sniffing too much glue from the PC--that's political correctness--tube. (I'm obliged to mention that Intel is an investor in CNET, the company that signs my paycheck.)

Meco Monarado's isn't the only reunion tour this year. Steve Wozniak joined his buddy Steve Jobs as an adviser to Apple this week. The reunion of Jobs and the Woz, who will participate in weekly meetings with Apple execs, prompted one reader to suggest a T-shirt slogan for the duo: "When the Mac Freezes Over Tour '97." Classic rock fans will recall that the Eagles, a group that vowed never to play Hotel California together again, picked their double-necked guitars up again for their 1994 Hell Freezes Over tour. They also picked up a few millions in typical showbiz cocaine-to-Rogaine fashion, but boy, the fans loved it.

Apple hasn't even announced layoffs yet, and the Silicon Valley vultures are already starting to descend. This week, RHI Consulting issued a press release aimed at fidgety Apple employees who are afraid they'll get the ax. Now that's ambulance chasing.

Skinny's rumor mill is churning with speculation about which products Apple is going to kill or sell off, from Newton to Pippin. As I've purported before, the company is planning to snuff its MkLinux OS, but now Apple's employees have launched a grassroots effort to save the skunk-works project. A message on Apple's MkLinux site begs users to register their support for the OS with the powers that be. "We need your help to show our upper management that MkLinux is valuable," the message reads.

While Gil Amelio and Ellen Hancock were busy polishing Apple this week, Netscape was hard at work bending the results of an International Data Corporation study of the email market for its own gain. According to a press release from the Mozilla thrillas, "IDC concludes Netscape delivered email clients to more users than any other software company last year." Not true. The IDC report actually credits IBM/ Lotus with shipping 2.9 million more email clients in 1996 than Netscape did. Stay honest, kids. Email me your confessions, gossip, innuendo, and Star Wars nostalgia trips.