I'd say this article is finally complete, thanks to the helpful images created by a wonderful user.
Tell me how it can be improved. I think it could use more links in the body of text, and I think the images could use better captions, but I'm at a loss as to what to make them. Everything else, I think, is pretty good. Sir Groovester | Contributions | Talk Page 23:23, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Hyperbole is engaged in the dual processes of giving you his opinion and pretending you care.
Hey Groovester! Well, the first review you got on this looked decidedly unhelpful, and this request has been languishing up here for almost a month. That's some fucking bullshit, isn't it? Let's see if I can help you out. Section-by-section:
Lede: Acceptable. There's nothing particularly funny in the lede, but it at least tells us what the article's going to be about, and it's short. So that's, you know, acceptable. Not great, but not bad.
Cult History: Meh. There's really only one joke here: Apple fanboys are fanatics. Which is the joke in the concept of the article, anyway. So, so far, I've read eight sentences, and I've only heard one joke, which is already contained in the title of the article. You've got to give me more than that, man.
Structure and Rituals/Lede: What? Initiates, Outer Council, and Hands... okay, well, I guess you're just roadmapping what you're going to talk about, but this is a little bizarre.
Structure and Rituals/Initiates: Adequate. There's a small chuckle to be had at the idea that these initiates devote their lives to a quest for the holy relics of Apple, and then eventually figure out they're just supposed to buy an iPod. The joke isn't phrased perfectly (the sentence "The search for the three holy relics of Apple simply end up in buying a MacBook Pro, an iPod, and an iPhone" is pretty clumsy), but it's amusing. The stabbing is also amusing, although I think it would have been funnier if it came out of nowhere, like "After these tasks are complete, the group must then demonstrate their loyalty by convincing a Windows user of the superiority of the Macintosh, by chanting "I am a Mac, you are a PC," several times before stabbing him to death." Something like that.
Structure and Rituals/The Outer Council: Adequate. You're poking fun of the nearly infinite models of iPod that Apple puts out, and that's a reasonable joke, but it's not told in the way that gets it the most mileage. I get it, it's just not set up where there's any real punchline - and it could be. But, you know, the section is reasonably amusing.
Structure and Rituals/The Hands of Apple: Weak until the very end. I almost said to delete this section entirely, but I did laugh at the bit about Jobs clumsily trying to manage five screen names. I'm sort of feeling like there's too much setup at the beginning: that first paragraph is long and gives the impression that this section will be pointless. I'd trim it back.
The Apple Deity: Cute. The Cult of Apple literally worship an apple? I mean, that does deviate from your concept (that Apple fanboys are a cult), but it's also amusing. The line about how most apples are not omniscient, but merely tasty and fruity, is one of the funniest lines in here.
Effect: Yeah, that's all right. This is decent satire. Nothing "spit out my coffee" funny, but solid. My only thought on this is that maybe the very end isn't the best place for it. It seems like some of this stuff could go up in the lede, or in "Cult History" - it would be a nice way to ease the reader into the stuff about the cult while reassuring them that you really are going to satirize Apple and not just say random things about people in robes.
This isn't exactly an original idea: people have been mocking Apple fanboys for about as long as the Internet has existed. But the treatment here is fairly consistent and solid. This is definitely something you can work with.
Prose and formatting:
There are a few problems with the prose. A few sentences don't make perfect sense, and there are just some jokes that aren't, you know, tight enough. Where you could tell the same joke in half the words, and it could be funnier. I'd take a good look through this thing, thinking: "Is there a way to make this same joke in fewer words?" Tight writing is the difference between backwater articles and features.
The formatting's acceptable, but there really is an awful lot of white space. You might want to look into ways to cut down on that.
They're not bad. You did find two pictures of the Apple logo that look like religious icons, so that's cool. I think they're all sized a little smaller than they should be.
You've got yourself a solid article that needs a little spit and polish. I wouldn't vote for it on VFH in its current incarnation, but I wouldn't rule out voting for it after a little work. It's definitely worth doing some more work on this. Good luck!