Thursday, March 22, 2007


I'm not an iPod guy. I have over 24,000 MP3s, but I carry none of them on a portable player.

In the mid-1990s I realized using my personal stereo not only allowed me "to listen to my music," but it blocked me off from all of humanity. Sure, it was entertaining to hear Nat King Cole sing "Frim-Fram Sauce" or Tin Machine sing "Amazing" or some other pick hit to click that I would happily blast into my ears; but I began to notice that I was not having any remotely human contact while riding the subway to work or walking down the street.

Having grown-up and spent all of my life in completely urban settings, regular contact with other humans is part of my daily life. I have no experience with suburban living where people drive everywhere and have nominal interaction. That sounds horrible to me, and I think it is one of the reasons why suburbanites kill each other so often: they have no intimacy among themselves as a social group, so killing each other is not really much different from more sensible intimate contact.

But, I digress . . . I am not really discussing random murders, I am discussing personal stereos. Where was I . . .

Oh, yeah! I realized that use of my personal stereo, no matter the entertainment value, cut me off from the people around me. I didn't like this, and it is also probably not the safest way to co-exist in a city.

When the iPod craze struck a few years ago, I considered the investment, then remembered that I don't like personal stereos, so it would be silly to own one. Then, Apple Computers, the manufacturer of iPods started inventing accessories that could make the iPod more flexible as an entertainment tool. You can mount your iPod in a stand that provides proper amplification to transform the personal stereo into a real stereo. So, the iPod is more attractive now. There are car hook-ups and picture frames, and who-knows what else! Still, I do not own one.

MadTV, the ensemble comedy show, takes the idea a step further in the following video:

Or see it at


Mark Rabinowitz said...

Well, that's as may be, but the ad is far more an indictment of W, than Jobs and Apple. BTW, iPods can now also function as stereo voice/music recorders!

DM said...