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Expensive corn dogs, plus 10 other things that are totally Apple's fault

Seattle Times columnist Brier Dudley speculates that we should expect the price of corn dogs to skyrocket from US$0.99 to $1.50 each. Since Dudley's report, U.S. financial markets have been in a tailspin over the news. Who does financial speculator Dudley say we should blame for the rising price of corn dogs? Steve Jobs.

Of course. It all fits.

You see, according to Dudley, small business owners enamored with the iPad will use any excuse they can find to justify owning one. "It'll help my business be more productive," corn dog vendors will say, but Dudley says this is a trap: These hapless souls will be snared into Apple's annual cycle of iPad upgrades, forcing them to shell out thousands of dollars in costs per year. Following basic economic principles, Dudley therefore expects those rising operating costs to be passed on to consumers. Therefore, you'll be paying half again as much for your corn dogs as you were last year, and it's all because Apple has hypnotized everyone into buying iPads whether they need them or not.

I know you want seconds on the corn dogs, but there's no reason to shout. Dudley has no idea how deep the rabbit hole really goes. Corn dogs are only the beginning. Put on your aluminum thinking caps and follow along as I unveil the true extent of Apple's nefarious plans for world domination.

We're through the looking glass here, people.

1. Brain cancer

Did you know the iPhone is the most dangerous cell phone ever? Dr. Joseph Mercola sounded the warning two years ago, but nobody listened. Now, every time you send your Angry Birds high score to Game Center or FaceTime with your grandparents, you're not just getting a dose of endorphins from your brain's pleasure center -- you're also soaking up neuron-killing microwaves! Everybody panic!

2. Hearing loss

iPod use causes deaf- I SAID, IPOD USE CAUSES DEAFNESS. Those white earbuds are basically the aural equivalent of staring directly at the sun during an eclipse; experts all say don't do it, but you just couldn't listen, could you? I SAID, YOU JUST COULDN'T- oh, forget it.

3. Unemployment

The iPad is a job killer! You know it has to be true, because a Congressman said so. Those guys know how to kill jobs. Digital downloads are causing stores like Borders to shut down, and it's all Apple's fault! Damn its wildly popular iBookstore! But there's another underhanded scheme behind U.S. unemployment at work here...

4. Underage Chinese labor

Apple uses child labor! They admitted it! Hundreds of thousands (11) of tiny (15-year-old) hands built your iPhone in terrible factory conditions. Next time you unlock your iPhone, think about how all eleven of those 15-year-old Chinese workers were unable to unlock themselves from Foxconn's chain gang (until Apple found out about them, anyway). And as we all know, no one else makes products at Foxconn's doom factories; once again, it's all Apple's fault.

5. Addiction

Frankly, it wouldn't matter if Apple's products were manufactured by bipedal, enslaved factory-worker kittens genetically engineered to be as sympathetically cute (and productive) as possible. Why? Because Apple has us all addicted to the iPhone. That's the core of the company's grand scheme right there: create products so compelling that we can't put them -- hang on, checking my Twitter stream -- down. Apple purposefully designed the device to be compelling for only 12-14 months, however, which means by the time the next one comes out, the iPhone you have will feel like a useless piece of junk. All part of Apple's plans to keep you in...

6. Poverty

Apple doesn't give away software upgrades like Snow Leopard or Lion for free to people running older operating systems. And you know what that means? Well, it means you have to pay for them! That's money that could've gone toward rent or getting braces for little Suzie, but nooooo... greedy old Apple insists on charging money for its products! It doesn't help matters that Apple intentionally breaks its older products to get you to buy new ones, then purposefully engineers basic flaws in its newer products in order to force you to buy accessories! Where does it all end? To the mines with you!

7. Crime

Four years ago, the NY Daily News determined that the iPod was singlehandedly responsible for a nationwide crime wave. But did we listen? Of course not! And four years later, now that Apple makes products even more desirable than the iPods of old, crime is higher than ever.

8. Climate change

Apple's leading the charge into cloud-based computing, but as Greenpeace wisely pointed out last year, clouds cause shifts in climate! All those data centers have to get their power from somewhere. Apple hasn't yet figured out how to transmute cash directly into electricity, which I suppose is lucky for coal plants run by people who turn electricity into cash. It's unlucky for the rest of us, though -- those of you in coastal cities had better buy waterproof cases for your iPhones. You know what's craziest about this? Al Gore is on Apple's board of directors! The guy who brought the whole climate change thing into the limelight! It really IS a conspiracy!

9. Espionage

"Big Brother is watching you." It's more than a line from George Orwell's 1984, it's the literal truth. Underground bunkers buried deeply beneath Cupertino monitor your every move via the iPhone in your pocket. From atop his throne built entirely from $1000 bills, Steve Jobs sits before a bank of 10,000 Apple Cinema Displays that let him know, at any moment of his choosing, exactly when you start playing Flight Control in the bathroom. Oh sure, Apple says they never used that data for anything, and they say they've fixed the "bug," but that's exactly what you'd expect them to say, isn't it?

10. War

Apple has declared war on everything. War on Flash. War on Google. War on Amazon. War on Samsung. War on Microsoft. War on Nintendo and Sony. War on publishers. War on developers. War on users. War on Porn! An entity willing to go to war with so many combatants, simultaneously, can only have one goal in mind: total, global domination. We've grown so used to reading the headline snippet, "Apple declares war on (x)," that it's unlikely we'll notice at all when (x) turns out to be "humanity."

And how are we supposed to stop Apple when it rises, gargantuan, monolithic, from its long slumber beneath Cupertino's bedrock to enslave us all? How can we battle against Apple and its legions of underaged factory workers when we're all addled with brain cancer, deaf, unemployed, poor, terrified of crime, swimming for high ground, and so addicted to our iDevices that we don't even notice when they report our locations to the Thought Police?

How, dear comrades, can we win the day without corn dogs?

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