Tim Cook's 'rhino skin' tested by a rash of angry flies as Apple investors shrug off concerns

Posted:
in AAPL Investors edited September 2015
In the days following Tim Cook's statement that he was "proud to be gay," Apple's chief executive has been commended for his openness in a variety of online opinions, but also needled by a pestilent swarm of haters, ranging from Twitter trolls to Russian politicians and businessmen. Apple investors don't seem to care.

Tim Cook

Initial praise gives way to incessant digging

While lavished with praise for publicly coming out by figures ranging from former President Bill Clinton to business leaders including Microsoft's Satya Nadella, T-Mobile's John Legere and Virgin's Richard Branson, many people--including a number of AppleInsider readers--have wondered in their public comments why Cook should be "proud" to be gay, and whether it would be Politically Correct for a straight man to write of being "proud to not be gay."



Apple's investors don't seem to be concerned about Cook's statement; in the three days since, the company's shares are up about 2 percent, reaching another new all time high fueled by strong global demand for iPhone 6 and news of collapsing profits at Apple's primary hardware rival Samsung, which represents about half of the Android platform.

"Being gay," Cook wrote in his surprise essay published last week by Bloomberg, "has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority." He added, "It's also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you're the CEO of Apple."

Since his disclosure, Cook's "rhino skin" has been poked at by Gyrostigma rhinocerontis, the botflies of the world that have lives dedicated to burrowing under the thick skins of rhinos and living a life cycle that plagues the animals's stomaches before the parasites' barbed larvae are excreted out to continue their cycle of torment in successive generations.

The first eggs of contempt were laid on Cook's rather innocuous Twitter feed, starting with Cook's tweet announcing support for schools in the ConnectED program ("abomination" tweeted @GadgeDC, an "Indie Recording Artist" on Beats iTunes music, which Cook runs; "shame on you" contributed @ibrahimNmr from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a nation with an official policy banning gays from entering the country).

Gage on Cook


Even Cook's cheering on his alma mater Aubern Tigers attracted flies ("thanks FAG" tweeted "Aubern all day" @MrJohnD right off the starting line, followed by "the gays are NASTY creatures, monsters, fags, that pervert children with his ideas," from @___Dan__ a twitter user who has shared over 66,000 tweets to his 522 followers, regularly referencing homosexuals).

Some Russian leaders terrified Cook might spread gay

Beyond minor Twitter trolls like the prolific "Dan Black," who portrays himself hiding behind a Mickey Mouse mask, several more prominent figures have also emerged from post-poop pupae in a flight to burrow under the rhino's skin, including Russian politician Vitaly Milonov, who said Cook should be "banned for life" from entering the country on fears of "Ebola, AIDS and gonorrhoea."

According to CDC estimates, Russia and the United States have roughly identical per-capita rates of gonorrhoea, while Russia's growth in HIV infections ballooned by 41 percent last year, compared to a 10 percent retraction in the United States.

Ironically, medial professionals in Russia are blaming the HIV epidemic on the nation's failed drug policies and Milonov's new laws targeting "gay propaganda," because the anti-gay crusade makes it harder to treat people living with HIV or to distribute health related information.



"Earlier this month" reported Channel 4, Milonov similarly "demanded Russia's postal service refuse all letters from Finland bearing commemorative stamps depicting the gay Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, calling it "homosexual propaganda."

Milonov's campaign to remove any reference to homosexuality in Russia shares similar themes with laws in the Middle East and Cook's home state of Alabama in the American South, all of which also share a history of abusive treatment of gays and other minorities.

Russia worried about propaganda, spying

Milonov's crusade against gays appears to have support among some business leaders in Russia. That includes Maxim Dolgopolov, the head of ZEFS (West European Financial Union), who ordered that a memorial to Steve Jobs installed by the group be removed from a St Petersburg University after learning that Jobs' hand selected successor was openly gay.

Russia removes Steve Jobs monument


According to a report by Philip Elmer-DeWitt for Fortune, the group's removal of the monument had two underlying reasons: "the execution of the law prohibiting propaganda of homosexuality among minors, as well as the revelations of a former employee of the national security Agency, USA Edward Snowden, according to which Apple products transmits data about its users to the American secret services."

Four years ago, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met with Steve Jobs, who gave him an iPhone 4 and advised him of the need to change Russia's culture of corruption that has hampered the nation from developing a competitive, innovative economy.

In the years since, very little has changed to make Russia more economically viable as an incubator for innovation, while Milonov's efforts to end "gay propaganda" have taken the limelight, gaining support from Russian President Vladimir Putin (who signed Milonov's inititive into law) and inciting widespread outbreaks of violence against gays throughout the country.

Public access to a Private API

Despite having developed a 'rhino's skin,' Cook--a multi-billionaire executive with an unassailable record of virtually perfect operational acumen--wrote, "I'll admit that this wasn't an easy choice. Privacy remains important to me, and I'd like to hold on to a small amount of it."

Since taking the helm at Apple, Cook has emerged as a well known personality, leading the company's keynote addresses, testifying before the U.S. Senate, delivering high profile interviews, engaging leaders in China on privacy and security and increasingly addressing issues of inequality, most recently in his home state of Alabama.

In a speech at his induction into the Alabama Academy of Honor, an institution that celebrates distinguished Alabamans, Cook addressed the state's slow action on racial equality in the 1960s, noting it has only been 14 years since interracial marriage was made legal in the state.

Cooks added that Alabama is "still too slow on equality for the LGBT community," citing a legal right to fire employees based on their sexual orientation. "We can't change the past, but we can learn from it and we can create a different future," Cook said.

Republican Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, an opponent of same-sex marriage, told the Anniston Star he objected to Cook drawing connections between the Civil Rights movement and gay rights.

"I don't connect those two, and in fact I don't think the African-American community connects those two either," Bentley said."Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Martin Luther King Jr.

However, as Coretta Scott King, the wife of Martin Luther King Jr., stated in 1998, "I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'"

Cook essay described that he realized he was giving up his own privacy in the hope that hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay might help those who still struggle with their identity.

"When I arrive in my office each morning, I'm greeted by framed photos of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy," Cook wrote in his coming out letter. "I don't pretend that writing this puts me in their league. All it does is allow me to look at those pictures and know that I'm doing my part, however small, to help others.

"We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 279
    This is 2014, folks.

    Let's just get on with it.
  • Reply 2 of 279
    Being an obviously articulate and intelligent person, and now that he has decided to announce to the world his 'pride' at being 'gay', I would be extremely interested for Mr Cook to define what 'being gay' actually means in real terms.

    For men, does it mean preferring a man as a sexual partner? Does sex have to be involved, and is it necessary for a new category of 'marriage' to be invented, as opposed to simply having a 'gay' relationship recognised as having the same rights as a traditional marriage.

    It troubles me how very young children will come to think about relationships and what criteria they themselves will use to decide if they are in fact 'gay' if respected people like Cook decide to be 'proud' about it but then become overtly coy. If he's going to make a big deal about it, is it reasonable for an interviewer to ask him if he has anal sex with his partner or does that then become a matter of privacy.

    Derrida made a big deal about how all words are signs and each sign is the meaning of another sign so that words like 'marriage' have no meaning without all the other words that go with it, one of those words being 'consummate'.

    It's all very confusing to me and I cannot imagine how it would be to be a child growing up in an overtly sexualised world to be faced with these issues that no one wants to talk about.
  • Reply 3 of 279
    analogjack wrote: »
    Being an obviously articulate and intelligent person, and now that he has decided to announce to the world his 'pride' at being 'gay'...

    My interest is why now and not years ago or years from now.
  • Reply 4 of 279
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    Who gives a crap if he's gay?

     

    I certainly don't. Has anybody checked out AAPL lately? :smokey:

     

    I'm actually glad that he came out, because there's a whole bunch of primitive countries that I can't stand, and I know that his coming out has no doubt upset them. That's a good thing.

  • Reply 5 of 279

    I really can't wait until this type of announcement is not needed, because it would just result in a "so?" response.

     

    Sadly, with regards to this and race, we have a loooooong way to go. 

     

    Oh, and Andrew Luck should speak out about this tool using his image as his avatar and saying stuff that may or may not reflect how he feels.

  • Reply 6 of 279
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismY View Post





    My interest is why now and not years ago or years from now.



    Especially as he was recently outed a month or so ago on a news network and everybody had conniptions about it.

  • Reply 7 of 279
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post

     



    Especially as he was recently outed a month or so ago on a news network and everybody had conniptions about it.




    It's not like nobody knew before that. Everybody knew that Tim Cook was gay, it's been mentioned numerous times on this forum before.

     

    It's just that for whatever reason, he's decided to make it official now. I guess that he just felt that the time was right.

  • Reply 8 of 279
    swiftswift Posts: 436member
    No one can look at the Russian reaction, or the Saudi reaction, and think it is not a crippling mental disease to make a big deal of how a man or woman wants to live his private life. The Russian Orthodox Church has some very primitive ideas, and in Putin's Manly, Shirtless Russia, gays are confused with pedophiles as a kind of doctrinal matter, and also you can say, the law is to protect the children. For the Russian reality, I offer to you the recent HBO documentary called "Hunted," about what it's like for gay people now in Russia: hunted down by vigilante mobs, beaten, covered in filth, and protest is forbidden. One person at a time can demonstrate, and their sign must not have any word for "homosexual" -- because that would be "propaganda."

    I agree, it should be nothing that we make a big deal of, to know a CEO's sexuality, but that moment isn't here for a while yet, probably a long while.
  • Reply 9 of 279
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I don't get the point of this article. Apple stock being at record highs just means nobody gives a shit that Tim Cook is gay or that he came out. Because it's not about HIM it's about Apple the company.
  • Reply 10 of 279
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    apple ][ wrote: »

    It's not like nobody knew before that. Everybody knew that Tim Cook was gay, it's been mentioned numerous times on this forum before.

    It's just that for whatever reason, he's decided to make it official now. I guess that he just felt that the time was right.

    His coming out is as pointless as the iPad mini 3 :lol:
  • Reply 11 of 279
    analogjack wrote: »
    Especially as he was recently outed a month or so ago on a news network and everybody had conniptions about it.

    Saying someone is gay because you heard a rumour and decided to say isn't exactly outing someone.
  • Reply 12 of 279
    rogifan wrote: »
    I don't get the point of this article. Apple stock being at record highs just means nobody gives a shit that Tim Cook is gay or that he came out. Because it's not about HIM it's about Apple the company.

    Do you think he wanted to come out when Apple was at a nice peak to keep it from being more of an issue?
  • Reply 13 of 279
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post



    Being an obviously articulate and intelligent person, and now that he has decided to announce to the world his 'pride' at being 'gay', I would be extremely interested for Mr Cook to define what 'being gay' actually means in real terms.



    For men, does it mean preferring a man as a sexual partner? Does sex have to be involved, and is it necessary for a new category of 'marriage' to be invented, as opposed to simply having a 'gay' relationship recognised as having the same rights as a traditional marriage.



    It troubles me how very young children will come to think about relationships and what criteria they themselves will use to decide if they are in fact 'gay' if respected people like Cook decide to be 'proud' about it but then become overtly coy. If he's going to make a big deal about it, is it reasonable for an interviewer to ask him if he has anal sex with his partner or does that then become a matter of privacy.



    Derrida made a big deal about how all words are signs and each sign is the meaning of another sign so that words like 'marriage' have no meaning without all the other words that go with it, one of those words being 'consummate'.



    It's all very confusing to me and I cannot imagine how it would be to be a child growing up in an overtly sexualised world to be faced with these issues that no one wants to talk about.



    You seem to be awash in a sea of words and significance. That's no way to live. Strip things down to simplicities. Concentrate more on "looking." What do you actually see, as opposed to "think, think, think," or "symbols, symbols, symbols." If you must use symbols, the only one that really matters is "love" in its many manifestations most of which are quite obvious if one only "looks."

  • Reply 14 of 279
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post



    Being an obviously articulate and intelligent person, and now that he has decided to announce to the world his 'pride' at being 'gay', I would be extremely interested for Mr Cook to define what 'being gay' actually means in real terms.



    For men, does it mean preferring a man as a sexual partner? Does sex have to be involved, and is it necessary for a new category of 'marriage' to be invented, as opposed to simply having a 'gay' relationship recognised as having the same rights as a traditional marriage.



    It troubles me how very young children will come to think about relationships and what criteria they themselves will use to decide if they are in fact 'gay' if respected people like Cook decide to be 'proud' about it but then become overtly coy. If he's going to make a big deal about it, is it reasonable for an interviewer to ask him if he has anal sex with his partner or does that then become a matter of privacy.



    Derrida made a big deal about how all words are signs and each sign is the meaning of another sign so that words like 'marriage' have no meaning without all the other words that go with it, one of those words being 'consummate'.



    It's all very confusing to me and I cannot imagine how it would be to be a child growing up in an overtly sexualised world to be faced with these issues that no one wants to talk about.

     

    Man, what did I read. Is that insanity in your text?

  • Reply 15 of 279
    noivadnoivad Posts: 186member
    I realize that spell check can%u2019t catch everything, but one instance of flies was spelt %u201Cfiles%u201D:
    %u201CEven Cook's cheering on his alma mater Aubern Tigers attracted files ("thanks FAG" tweeted%u2026%u201D

    BTW: fix your decoding of UTF-8 on the main AI.com pages for comment filtering%u2026
    look at all the %XXXX I made without even trying.

    Ditto on the, %u201CWaiting until such an announcement gets the reaction, %u201CWhat%u2019s your point?%u201D

    Also, odd how Apple shows the same sexual intolerance towards sexually oriented material (that is non-pornographic, mostly educational) by removing their podcasts, apps & books from their stores as the some religious zealots show towards LGBT.
  • Reply 16 of 279
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    Do you think he wanted to come out when Apple was at a nice peak to keep it from being more of an issue?
    What issue? Nobody cares. It's so not important.
  • Reply 17 of 279
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,855member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     



    It's not like nobody knew before that. Everybody knew that Tim Cook was gay, it's been mentioned numerous times on this forum before.

     

    It's just that for whatever reason, he's decided to make it official now. I guess that he just felt that the time was right.


    I think the announcement shows that he is a thinking person. That he is constantly evaluating himself and the world around him. He decided for his own reasons to make it clear to everyone who he is. It would have been easy for him to say nothing about this and go about his life and career. He chose another path, and yes I guess the time was right. 

  • Reply 18 of 279
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    What issue? Nobody cares. It's so not important.



    Billions of people probably care.

     

    However, the most important people, Apple stockholders do not care.

  • Reply 19 of 279
    rogifan wrote: »
    What issue? Nobody cares. It's so not important.

    If there was no issue then there would have been no need to come out, no media coverage, and we wouldn't be discussing it now. Clearly Cook thought it was important.

    You're confusing two very different topics. It's like if I asked, "So who is George Clooney getting married to?" and you responded with, "No one is against marriage!"
  • Reply 20 of 279
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,029member

    Have the Russians heard of Alan Turing? Because that would mean they would have to throw away all of their computers. Yeah, didn't think so (Hypocrites). 

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