Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Posting From Well Behind The Technology Curve

I love listening to my local NPR affiliate, WNYC, home of the excellent Brian Lehrer (politics), Leonard Lopate (culture), and On The Media (journalism)--and, of course, broadcaster of many national shows that I also consider part of the necessary background of my life. A.M. 820 has become a tether to me--ever since that early afternoon in September 2001, when I finally came to terms with the fact that classes were cancelled and returned to my tv-less apartment, alone and confused, and looked up the local NPR station in my tourists' guide to NYC. In order to preserve some modicum of autonomy in my increasing addiction to news, I went out and bought a walkman so that I could at least do laundry while fretting about the world. I've grown used to listening to NPR while exercising, commuting, cleaning, blogging, grading... Even when I lived in Germany, I got my NPR fix via the American Forces Radio Network.

Now, walkmen (walkmans?) are fragile and easily lost, so I end up replacing mine about once every two years. Over the last six months, I have endured an increasing amount of mockery about the size and unwieldiness of my cassette-radio walkman from my IPod-carrying peers. Then, about two weeks ago, I lost my walkman. I dithered a bit, thinking I might finally move into the portable-digital-audio thing for real (mind you, I still have a lot of my favorite music on cassette). This morning, contemplating the mind-numbing boredom that awaited me in the form of indexing a 700-page book on postmodern novel, I said "fuck it" to myself and bought a cheapo walkman at Rite-Aid.

I cannot begin to describe to you what it feels like to hear Leonard Lopate overlaid with Rush Limbaugh. And this evening, trying again to zero in on A.M. 820, somewhere where NPR should be presented an uncanny mix of a New Jersey Limbaugh-wanna-be with an Evangelist and with Arabic music. Granted, this is an auditory sensation that some might pay good money for.

So. I'm thinking again about an MP3-player of some sort (I'm working off a PC). The downside of that format for me is that one would have to plan ahead, download material rather than simply switch the machine "on." Some of the best material I heard from WNYC--live broadcasts from Senate hearings, commentary on Presidential speeches--is the kind of thing I might hesitate to download but get totally engrossed in when it's broadcast live. Still, almost everyone I know has digitized their music collections, and my collection of cassettes is degrading fast...

Trivial dilemmas, dilemmas. Any advice, ye five readers? Or are you spam-bots? (My newly installed site meter is not so finely tuned as to be able to distinguish.)


Blogger hilzoy:

Hi -- hilzoy the spambot here. Get an ipod. You won't be able to discover hitherto unknown radio evangelists, but that's why God gave us cars. Plus, the amount of music that fits on an ipod is so vast that you will find yourself rediscovering music that you already like, but have forgotten about.

And while you're at it, get a Mac, especially now that Microsoft is subsidizing Ralph Reed. Completely reliable, no viruses, no interoperability issues, and so pretty. Plus, only Mac users can use my Philosophers' Birthdays calendar (and don't you want to be reminded when it's Pico della Mirandola's birthday?)

Also, did you find the annoying Mormon song I left up on my homepage (link at ObWi, in the post 'Oops')?

4/30/2005 02:57:00 PM  
Blogger Marilee Scott:

Helas, God did not give me a car; I live in NYC. And yes, I'm thinking about switching to Macs, but the last Mac I had was a Mac plus, and I think it left some psychical scars.

I'll make haste to find the annoying Mormon song!

5/01/2005 09:46:00 AM  

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