Fixing What’s Not Broken

Apple-iTunes-UpdateDid you get an Apple update? How did it go for you? I’m not talking about the latest iPhone, I’m talking about the day you connected your phone to your computer, turned on iTunes and suddenly a pop-up comes on information that either your phone or iTunes has a new update available. It’s Apple so you can trust them, right? The update will improve service, add something cool, support something cooler. If only that was the case. Apple updates iTunes with the regularity of needing to brush you teeth, or at least it feels that way. And most of their updates suck. I updated my iPad late last year and lost all of my save data and the thing still has not work correctly since. I had to put it back to factory setting and reload most of what I had, however I lost my game saves, many of the data I had on my helper apps and the stupid thing still crashes some apps. Of course apple doesn’t feel the need to give you a practical update. Like something that saves app data, notes and a more efficient way to transfer your play lists to other devices to you don’t have to constantly recreate them. Nope. Instead they keep trying to improve on functionality in ways that do everything but improve on functionality.

For instance once upon a time I could get my play list to play my songs or podcast in various ways. They could be played at random or in different orders. Now I have no clue where this particular feature went and can’t find an answer to it anywhere on Apple’s website. Thanks a lot Apple.

The need to fix what is not broken is not an apple thing. It seems like every company does it at some point. Take Marvel comics. Once upon a time Marvel decided to fix Spider-man. In the 1990’s the reason was to make Spider-Man relatable to kids again. Peter Parker was married with a job and responsibilities that went past who was bullying him this week. Kid’s can’t relate to that stuff, so let’s fix him. So they did a story called Maximum Clonage, where the Peter Parker you’ve been Spider-Man-Maximum-Clonagereading for years was actually a clone and the real Peter Parker was out there doing something or the other. I don’t remember. And this involved Venom and Carnage in some way shape or form, but it ended with our Peter Parker going off to live his life while the “real” Peter Parker was Spider-Man. Actually it ended with Spider-Man books suffering huge sales drops and Marvel reversing the story two years later and endless apologizing for that stupid fucking move.

But it did not end there. Idiotic fanboy turned editor-in-chief, Joe Quesada, decided that Peter Parker should never have been married. Why? Come on, take a guess. If you guessed that his brain dead reason was “because Spider-Man was not relatable to kids” you guessed it right. So he had Peter make a deal with the devil to save his Aunt May and what the devil wanted was for Spider-Man to give up his marriage because. . .reasons? Forget the fact that by the time this happened kids were not the main source of comic revenue. Forget the fact that everyone loved the marriage and had absolutely no problem with it. Forget the fact that the reason Spider-Man was not selling as well as it’s counter part, Ultimate Spider-Man, was because of a string of really stupid fucking stories, including one where the dead Gwen Stacy gave it up to Norman Osborne because she saw him crying one night. (Yeah, that shit actually happened.) So instead of improving the writing, or the art or erasing some of the dumb shit that happened the book, Mr. Quesada decide it HAD to be the marriage.

New-CokeIf you think this trend is in Apple or comics, you’d be wrong. Coke, the soda that’s been around since, like, forever, decided one day that in needed to improve on the coke. So they came up with, NEW COKE. Yeah, that happened too. I have no clue what went into this decision. No one was bitching about old coke. Coke and Pepsi have always been up and down with sales. But somewhere in the mind of the executives who own the Coca-Cola company, they decided that something was “wrong” with Coke, so they came up with New Coke. The reason why you don’t see this “New Coke” today is that the only people who though this was a good idea was consumers because they pretty much refuse to buy that garbage.Crystal-Pepsi

New Coke must have made Pepsi panic in some way, shape or form because shortly after coke made that dumb move Pepsi decided to match their stupidity by introducing Crystal Pepsi. That ended pretty much the same way.

If you think stupid improvements are just the realm of soft drinks and comics, let not forget the time somebody thought “Hey, giving cats milk or water isn’t enough. What out cats need is a soft drink.” If you’re scratching your head thinking “WTF?” you won’t believe what these geniuses decide to call their soft drink for cats. Ladies and gentlemen I give you the Pussy Pop. Yep, they actually called it Pussy Pop. Even writing this I’m having trouble not laughing. How did that get that one past sensors? Pussy Pop sounds like the lyrics to a rap song. Or the title. Nope, it was an Pussy-Popactual soft drink for cats and it was met with exactly the result you’d expect. Laughter and failure.

Television is notorious for fixing what’s not broken, or not accepting the show’s time is just over. Dallas has to be the most famous for doing this. In the last 1970’s to mid 1980’s Dallas was a much watch show for people who were into that sort of thing. It reached a zenith with the now famous “Who shot JR” series of episodes, especially when you consider that congress actually took off from doing their damn jobs so they could watch the big reveal. Somewhere along the line Dallas killed off one of it’s main characters, dallas-tv-show_-300x3001Bobby. So as the shows popularity began to falter some years later the show runners decided to bring him back. In the second most famous, and stupid, idea they decided not to use the “I faked my death” or “I’m Bobby’s twin brother.” You know, the plot device that works on daytime soap operas? They decided to have Bobby’s wife wake up to find Bobby in the shower where he informed her that everything that happened on the show up to and after Bobby’s death was “Just a dream.” I guess it’s no surprise that Dallas was canceled shortly after.

I started off with Apple’s constant updates and so-called improvements but don’t think I’m going to let Microsoft off the hook. For the number on software provider on the planet their versions of windows are like Star Trek movies. Every other one sucks. Windows-All-VersionsWindows 95 wasn’t bad but 98, ME and 2000 sucked. Then they fixed things with XP but completely broke it with Vista. Once again the improved by leaps and bounds with Windows 7, and went completely off the rails with 8 and 8.5. They seem to be going in the right direction with Windows 10, but let’s wait and see on that one. How ever it turns out, at least it will be free.

The need to fix what’s broken is something we should start a campaign to ask companies to stop doing. I’m sure there are places where it works, but for the most part it’s just a bad idea. Dear companies, if you have a product and it’s working find stop fixing it. You will make life a lot easier on everyone, especially the consumer.

Situation comedies used to try the “bring on the cute kid” trope. Most of the time that did not work out like they wanted. Other tried to make things interesting by having the character go to exotic locations. Happy Days and it’s “Jump the Shark” episode not only put an end to that, but it also gave pop culture a new phrase for describing when a show does something so stupid it never recovers from it.