20 July 2005

Doing The iPod Space


I've seen them all over town; you've seen them all over the country. Slick white lines falling from people's ears, white lines trailing into bookbags, purses, pockets, and palms. Inevitably they pull out a little flat box, more resembling a remote control than a source of music.

iPods

Everyone seems to be buying them. Commercials tout the gizmos as "the soundtrack of your life." If they're the soundtrack of MY life, why do they look exactly like everyone else's?

Also, those I see listening to the gadgets are always in a trance, similar to the one I quite imagine some solitary independent film director looking like. Even others listen in a trance similar to someone going over last week's meeting minutes, ready to jot down the most crucial points that will fatten their portfolio.

Then there's the iPod bubble. People wearing the devices, plugged into the devices, stare forward. Once while riding the bus to work, I saw a row of three people on one of the side-facing benches. All were plugged in; All were staring straight ahead; And although two of the three were female, I visualized them standing at the urinals, focused on the pee spot (the spot on the wall directly in front of you that all men must stare at while going to the bathroom in order to avoid being fingered as a looky-loo).

This vacant absorption makes iPod users look more like assembly line drones than individuals. Maybe if the headsets they used varied. Maybe if I saw more blues, greens, purples, and blacks streaming from these people's ears, I might take the devices for what they are: a fabulous way to listen to the music of your choosing with the merest push of a button. I'm left wondering how many of these iPod users are listening to the same thing...

5 comments:

Robert Casserly said...

Remember the Walkman craze of the early '80s? The iPod craze seems like deja vu all over again.

Everything you never needed to know about the Walkman:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walkman

Adam said...

I love my iPod.

But you're right, I don't blink anymore.

Kyle Stich said...

Roberto - I remember the Walkman craze all too well, and the iPod craze feels all too reminiscent. But, Walkman listeners were far more lively while using their new toys.

Adam - I'm really just jealous and want to join the zombie forces with my very own blink reducer.

Now that I've thought about it more, maybe iPodders concentrate harder on the music because the selections are carefully chosen; no more listening to the in-between tracks on that INXS Kick tape.

theresa said...

Kyle - When you and I get our iPods, lets decorate them with stickers and wear those glasses that make are eyes look like Marty Feldman's.

Kyle Stich said...

I miss Marty. :(