By Patrick Avenell

iCult members around the world, and especially in San Francisco, are preparing themselves for another congregation, with the next generation of iPod MP3 players set to be announced tomorrow at a media event.

Apple devotees, noted for their jeans, skivvies and permanent tone of condescension, will be making the hajj to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco tomorrow to once again kowtow to Steve Jobs. The golden cow for tomorrow’s function is rumoured to be the next generation of iPod Nanos. According to the obligatory spy photographs, the new iPod Nano’s form factor is a throwback to the original stick design.

In the invite to this event, an iPod screen is mocked up to show the familiar silhouetted dancer grooving next to the text “Let’s Rock…September 9, 2008 (sic)…10 a.m. (sic)…San Francisco”. This is an Apple event, and Apple knows what’s best for you, so the pomaceous company has awarded its own event ***** (five stars).

The last big Apple event was the launch of the iPhone 3G. Unlike at other product launches, instead of just clapping politely and nodding off during the boring bits, attendees of this, and other Apple events, stood and cheered as though Jobs had just announced the Democrat’s presidential nominee, rather than just another mobile phone handset.

The loyalty and dedication Apple devotees have is a credit to the company’s advertising and propaganda departments. Unlike Scientologists, who are roundly lambasted for worshipping pseudo-scientist L. Ron Hubbard, Mac users not only have impunity to criticism of their cult of personality but also a self-bestowed lifetime right to patronise anybody who dares to be part of the majority and use a PC.

The self-congratulatory “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” advertisements, officially known as the “Get a Mac” campaign, only served to perpetuate this undeserved tone of superiority. On an empirical level, neither Macs nor PCs can claim outright victory in the battle for hearts and minds – one’s choice is about more than whether you wear jeans or a suit to work – and Apple’s determination to tell us they know what’s best is unnecessary anyway: they have enough fans out there in blogland to do it for them.