Of Back-to-School, New Cars and the iPhone 7

Mr. Brien McHugh's picture

Do you remember when the first part of September was a really important time of year? Anyone younger than 40 or so may not realize that there once was a time when the “I’ve got to have it now” internet didn’t dictate everything.

In another era, early September meant three things; back to school, new car models and the new fall television lineups.

“Back to  school” still happens around this time, though it seems kids are starting earlier and earlier in August. New cars come out whenever the company needs to amp up revenues by holding clearance sales for the old models. New primetime television shows are produced, piloted, scheduled and cancelled at a record pace with, seemingly, no reasoning behind the moves.

I’m trying, unsuccessfully, not to sound too curmudgeonly when I fondly remember looking forward to broadcast television’s finest efforts, all debuting within a two week period after Labor Day. Networks fought each other for control of strategic days and timeslots. There was a benefit for a new show to appear immediately after an established show. The network executives thought that audiences would, automatically, be too lazy to change the channel.

Admittedly this was before remote controls were popular.  Cable TV was in its infancy. Broadcast television was the be-all and end-all…..the source for news and entertainment for every age group.

The web, enabling our Veruca Salt I-want-it-now attitude, changed all of that. It gives us whatever we want, whenever we want it.

The exception seems to be Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.  He usually waits until the Apple Developer conference in September to announce the latest and greatest things from America’s favorite Megalith. He recently announced the new iPhone 7 and 7s. The problem is, everyone already knew what he was announcing weeks before the actual announcement. At least he perpetuates the sham of actually trying to surprise an audience. Even though that audience already knows everything up to, and including, the shoe size of the janitor who sweeps the floor of the secret Apple Design Lab.

At least I’ve got that to look forward to every September…..

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