When I was young and highly judgmental (young? Judgmental? Kind of a tautology there) I would grow exasperated with my parents’ stereo.
They had a big old console rig that produced remarkably inadequate quality in sound. I don’t know why I worried, really, because mainly all they listened to was treacly old crap like Mantovani and Guy Lombardo, but worry I did, nonetheless.
I told them of the virtues of my brilliant component ‘sound system’ with its mammoth speakers and wondrous Dual turntable and brilliant amp, etc. A system that my mother callously dismissed as a jumble of wires and hardly fit to be in a living room. Furniture you have in living rooms, and they wanted their stereo to be furniture. Damn archaic fools. Even silly old farts, if you prefer.
Ah, my old system. Great sound. Great parties to accompany that sound. Sucker would shake the rafters in the ancient beach cottage my wife and I inhabited in the day. It was all so good; the louder the better. “Baby, take a walk on the wild side …” quoth Lou Reed in his glory days and may old man, if he was visiting was all “Can’t you turn that goddamn thing down!” He just didn’t get it with the pathetic strains of passé shit he was wont to listen to. Silly old fart indeed.
And now comes the confessional.
The guts of that old system are sitting out on a garage shelf where they’ve lain unused for years. And the speakers – such ‘huge’ speakers they are with all their woofers and tweeters and crap – occupy their own space. It’s a space that sits right next to Wendy’s huge speakers. Speakers that have been replaced by li’l dinky ones that produce a better sound and don’t shake the house. I don’t want my house shaken any longer, and I mainly want to hear the slightly smoky sounds of Adele rather than the auditory assault of Led Zeppelin.
Nothing wrong with old LZ, I just find that dulcet tones are more agreeable much of the time a la good old blues or soul. Though I will (because one must) always make an exception for James Brown at his most raw.
Anyway, we have a nice little system in a cabinet that isn’t so wildly different from the one of my parents; though it boasts infinitely better sound what with modern component technology.
But otherwise, I realize to my almost discomfort that there are many concessions to modernity in which I have never indulged. Am I embarrassed about this? Not really. I am embarrassed that I might be becoming my parents, but I am prepared to grant the concessions for the sake of my peace-of-mind.
So, I am arguably outrageously behind the times in that I have never:
– texted anybody other than by email. Is that ‘texting’ also? I dunno. Don’t much care.
– Downloaded music. As much as I love music, I still actually buy the odd CD, and I have scores of vinyl, cassette and CD collections, so who needs it?
– Owned an iPad (sorry late Steve), an Ipod, a Kindle (I have an archaic paper loyalty), or any other of them electronic geegaws that TV advertising is full of.
I do have a cellphone that I keep for emergency purposes or if no land line is available, and I love my laptop and my car CD player and I am truly electronically contented.
Just like my old man was with his ancient junk. OK Pop, I get it now.