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Why I don't iPod

Why I don't iPod, originally uploaded by McNeney.

Okay. I know that the portable music player has been around for ages. My first was a transistor radio. Then there were "ghetto blasters." Then came the Walkman. And now, of course, the iPod.

Don't get me wrong. I love music. And I love the iPod's technology. What I don't love... or have any level of comfort with... is groovin' out to music in public.

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like such a private, intimate, personal thing. When I see people on the street, or on the bus, or wherever, with those little white ear plugs... blissing out in their own little worlds... it makes me a bit uncomfortable. It reminds me of my highschool graduation night party, which was out in a big field somewhere. As I made my way from Point A to Point B in the latenight dark... I tripped on something. And it was a boy I'd never seen before... masturbating.

It was pretty dark, and he was pretty out of it. Plus, he had his eyes closed. And I - stumbling onto such a thing unexpectedly, and never having seen a boy masturbate before - was stuck somewhere between shock and prurient fascination. And that's the scene that comes to mind every time I see someone lost in their own little iPod-assisted quasi-erotic, eyesclosed mindbodymusic meld.

I have, of course, grooved publicly at rawk shows. But that's different. It is akin, I think, to the gay bath house scenario. We're all engaged in our own little worlds, and expressing ourselves physically... and there is a sense of kinship... but it's dark, and anonymous. None of us can really see (or wants to see) each other... and we're all there for the same reason, engaged in the same... er, passion. It's when this kind of thing is engaged in out of context... in public, where most of us keep our passions hidden... that I find it just a little bit uncomfortable.

So... yeah. When Mike handed down his old, first generation i-Pod to me... it sat and gathered dust. I tried it in the garden, but when I'm outside, I'd much rather listen to the sounds of the natural world. I tried it on the bus once, travelling to the mainland.... but found the conflict too unnerving.

You want to get lost in the music. You want to let it take you over. You want to get to that dreamy place where you almost leave your body.

But... omigod - in public??? GAH!!! No way.

I prefer to indulge in private, where I can be free and completely unselfconscious. And if I want to close my eyes and twirl and swing my skirt... so be it. Ain't nobody's business if I do.

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