How did I get in this handbasket?

Friday, August 13, 2004


So here in the City of cities the iPod has established itself firmly in the realm of ubiquitous gadget. For a while there was definate market segmentation along socio-economic lines (lots in Williamsburg, fewer on the uptown end of the 2/3 line). But after the introduction of the iPod mini, you can't swing a dead cat without it getting all tangled up in those white earbud headphones.

What's the deal? Thank you for asking, non-existent reader, I have some theories.

Basically, New Yorkers need headphones, we've been deep in this need for a long time, and the iPod is the best thing to go with them since we went portable with our 8 million respective soundtracks. We need hours or days of music, spoken word, what-have-you, at our fingertips for the same reason we donned the 'phones in the first place:

Some of our fellow citizens are stone-cold insane.

Whether they have a loud, unflagging, and intrusive relationship with Jesus or "insert-deity-here" (but usually Jesus), or wish to share their side of an argument with whatever seraphim or nephalim happen to be tap-dancing morse-code on their corpus calossum - these reality-challenged folks must be silenced. At least from a personal subjective frame-of-reference. That means drowning them out. Enter headphones, blah blah blah, electronics evolution, which brings us to current day, and the iPod reigns supreme.

I know you are thinking, "Well, we have crazy people here in (San Francisco, Rockridge, Berkeley, St. Louis, Wichita, L.A., wherever)." Yes, you do, but:

1) You guys (especially in L.A.) are always in your cars, so you never have to deal with them - in fact cars are just big headphones on wheels that suck up gas. We ride with our crazy people on mass transit. That (and ~$1.33 if you get 30 day Unlimited Metrocard) is the price we pay for whizzing underneath the bustling streets of Gotham while the suckers sweat it out in traffic above. (Note subway over bus preference here.)

Which begs the question, "Why are your crazies on public transit, ours seem to just sit around?" Which brings us to:

2) New Yorkers are a people on the move, and that applies double for those with a DSM IV diagnosis on their resume. Uptown for some lithium, Downtown for a tinfoil beanie to defend against the Soviet mind-control satellites, Westside for a new Bible to beat, or Eastside for someone who may not have heard about this Jesus fellow.

But, as with so many things, the "why"s just pale when the solution is so good.

So iPod, we thank you - Now, is there anything you can do about these crazy-ass motherfuckers?


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