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Sunday, October 24, 2010

This Format Will Self-Destruct in Thirty Years

This is the kind of news that, depending on your first reaction to it, dates a motherfucker: Sony has officially ceased production on the cassette-playing Sony Walkman. At Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall writes that the machine, which in its day "managed to provide -- right up against your ear -- a surprising degree of audio fidelity" but adds that "let's be honest -- today it looks like kind of a joke." Whatever, Josh. I don't mean to come on like one of those outdated-format fetishists who build online shrines to their collections of 8-track tapes, but when I found out about this, I didn't think about how lame the Walkman has become but how exciting it was when I first got my hands on one.

This was early in 1985, which should tell you everything you need to know about where I've always been positioned on the high-tech cutting edge, given that this was about the same time that CDs began taking up real space in record stores. There were a few years there, which neatly overlapped with the period when yuppies were replacing their vinyl collections with shiny steel discs, when cassette tapes were my recorded format of choice, just because I loved the experience of bopping into a shop in the mall, buying the latest release, popping it into my player and bopping out again to check it out while scarfing a nutritious lunch of waffle fries. I even remember that the first tape I ever listened to on the thing was Neil Young's After the Gold Rush and that the second was Captain Beefheart's Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), and I think the third was either UB40's Present Arms or Randy Newman's Trouble in Paradise. After that, my memory gets a little hazy, but suffice to say that, for most of the '80s, my music buying habits were largely determined by whatever was sitting in the $2.99 pile in front of the store. Do that regularly for a few months and it won't be long before you find yourself using the word "eclectic" to describe your musical taste in your personal ads.

Both the cassettes and the players were flimsy and rickety contraptions, but none of that mattered as much as the combination of portability and privacy--the fact that you could walk down a city street or sit on a bus (or, in my case, wander aimlessly through a rural Mississippi hellhole so barren of life that every hiccup seemed to echo like the sound of artillery in the mountains) with your own personal soundtrack booming in your head and nobody to tap you on the shoulder and inform you that they did not share your enthusiasm for Timbuk 3. For those of us who grew up with no means of listening to music except for a living room stereo that looked like an above-ground tomb with a tone arm, it was a real Brave New World moment. I got my first portable CD player sometime in the mid-90s, but I still had a Walkman around, because I still had a lot of stuff that I couldn't get on CD. When I bought my last cassette player, which must have been nine or ten years ago, my favorite diversion during long train rides was listening to tapes of This American Life. I was still sometimes using it five years ago, by which time I was feeling a little sheepish about being seen in public with my Discman. (I still don't have an iPod.) By then, the little door had come off and I had to hold the player in my hand so that the tape wouldn't fall out. I knew it was time to retire it when I got aboard an elevator at CBS and someone twenty years older and more out of touch than myself began cooing over my broken-down old Walkman, asking what it was called. It looked so strange to her that she thought it must be the latest thing.


Tehanu said...

I was in the studio a lot with Capt. Beefheart and the band when they were recording Shiny Beast/Bat Chain Puller -- still my favorite of his albums, although I'm also very fond of Doc at the Radar Station. Did you ever see him live, doing "Big-Eyed Beans From Venus" and suchlike? Such great music.

Mike said...

Tehanu, you damn insider. Anyway, I still rock the Walkman... bought two last year because I just knew they were going away. Love the cassettes for books on tape, etc. Less bulky than a disc player and I don't have an iPod either. Now, let's talk mimeograph machines...

Anonymous said...

If people want to make a movie or write a book based on this conspiracy theory, then I waive all rights to the script, and I want people to know that I think this conspiracy is based on facts and logic.

Considering that this is election time in America, and given the genuine concern of many voters, the level of debate can be more vigorous at this time to facilitate the ability to evaluate and scrutinize both motives, and policies.

This is proven correct by some of the quotes of the American Patriots, who used their knowledge, their experience, and the fact that history repeats itself to warn the American People Not to stray from the Constitution.

These American Patriots warned and predicted that self-serving greedy Traitors would arise in disguise, and that they would seek to gain Political Office for the purpose of setting up a Military Dictatorship.

It would be too easy, or more often, too convenient to simply dismiss the genuine concerns some people hold as being wild speculation, propaganda, or even trolling.

This is done by those who do Not have a counterargument, or by those who wish to conceal their revealed conspiracy.

We know that sometimes with conspiracies, there can be no proof provided, but nevertheless the conspiracies are real.

Conspiracies are Not like a Court of Law, where proof beyond reasonable doubt must be supplied, because the Conspirators act in secret, and they can abandon their plan without being caught in the act if others become suspicious.

The ‘beauty’ of, or what some would say is the diabolical and insidious nature of the Equal Rights argument; is that sometimes it cannot be successfully argued against, until it is too late.

We have what is called circumstantial ‘evidence’, which is the ‘evidence’ provided by human nature, history, and some known facts, and these can be used to determine the percentage likelihood of the conspiracy theory being a correct evaluation.

If Heterosexuals Soldiers have to be in an environment where there are many Homosexual Soldiers, then the bad influence will corrupt the Heterosexual soldiers over time.

They will be subjected to having men married to each other who are kissing and holding hands in public possibly with adopted children that can be used to bribe normal Soldiers with Paedophilia.

Black men have large penises, which are repulsive to the Non-Black Sodomites’ Anuses, and to the adopted children of the Non-black Sodomites, and so the future of Blacks, especially Black Males in America is bleak.

It could why ObamaCare was invented to kill those who oppose a Homosexual and Paedophile America while pretending to cure them, because the Dark and Lunatic Left want a Homosexual and Paedophile America.

In this world, we have the War Budget called the Defence Budget, Self-Servers called Public Servants, and Shame Parades called Pride Parades, and perhaps Obamacare is really ObamaDoesNotCare, or ObamaCaresOnlyForObama.

With Gay Bars on the Military Base, and all the other things that would come with equal rights, then before too long, you will have a 100% Sodomite Army, because the Homosexuals will offer themselves to the drunk Heterosexual Soldiers.

What this means is that the Army with dwindling Global Resources, will see themselves as being the prosperous Dictators of America where they can satisfy their vile lusts, and this will be very tempting for the American Army.

Equal Rights is just a fancy deceptive word that covers up No Responsibilities, but few people ever speak of Equal Responsibilities.

The few Heterosexuals that did remain in the American Military, would be bullied, slandered, or even killed by the aggressive Dark and Lunatic Left; and before too long, the American Military would be a 100% Sodomite Army.

The Clintons know that the American Army has to come home one day, and they want it to be a 100% Sodomite Army to entrench their Dictatorship of America.

Anonymous said...

Considering that this is election time in America, and given the genuine concern of many voters, the level of debate can be more vigorous at this time to facilitate the ability to evaluate and scrutinize both motives, and policies.

We know that History is full of examples where the oppressed became the oppressor, and the Nazis and the Jews, and then the Jews and the Palestinians are just one example, where history teaches us that the Oppressed become the Oppressor.

I know that there will be people who will say that these things will not happen, but Schemers, Liars, Deceivers, and Gullible People are everywhere in abundance.

I wonder if the American People have seriously thought on what the World’s Most Powerful Military would do to their own country, if America ever had a Rogue 100% Sodomite Army.

Anonymous said...

The Dark and Lunatic Left will tell lies during this American Election, because they hope to implement their Evil Policies.

There are some people in America who have Not studied American History properly, and will be influenced by the lying and manipulative Mainstream Media.

If the American voters have Not understood the dangers of continuing the Clinton Dictatorship of America, then possibly the Republican Party will notify them.

The best time to assess a Political Party is Not at Election time, when lies run even thicker to the thick, but they should be assessed on the performance and mindset during Elections.

This is because that is who they really are, and that is what their plans really are for America.

The wise thing to do is to Not vote for the American Democrats Regardless of the promises the Dark and Lunatic Left make in this American Election.

Mike said...

Fellow Conspiratorial Traitors:

The jig is up! Anonymous has uncovered our plans... most likely some careless member of our Dark and Lunatic Left left them at Starbucks.

Write me in our secret Code with the Random capital Letters and tell me What to do next.

2d Lt (jg)
Rogue 100% Sodomite Army

Anonymous said...

We know that one President of America will cover up for a previous President, and that is what president Bush had to reluctantly do for President Clintons.

We should Not forget that President Hillary Clinton admitted to be the Real President of America, and she said that We are the President.

It would be good to share these videos with other and add them to the comment I made concerning the Dark and Lunatic Left.

I provide the titles of the videos, because those who do Not like them in partnership with Internet Providers may try to make me look liar or a deviant, by changing the video that is referred to in this comment.

Other examples of the short video films are giving at NATO's Illegal War Against Serbia/ Lies About Kosovo War1/1 at, and NATO's Illegal War Against Serbia/ Lies About Kosovo War 2/2 at

I provide the title of the video made by a famous American, because those who do Not like it in partnership with Internet Providers may try to make me look liar or a deviant, by changing the video that is referred to in this comment.

An example of the short video film is giving at History of Kosovo video clip

It would be good to inform others how the Clintons are the authors of great lies and injustices against the Serbian people.

The video clip Joe Biden Compares the Serbs with Nazis can be viewed on the internet at:

American Vice President Joseph Biden who is a Clintonite with full knowledge of the managed Clintons evil doings Did Not even saying one truthful thing in this video clip, and this should give knowledge as to the character of the Dark and Lunatic Left.