Thursday, April 23, 2009

Boom Goes the Box

NPR has posted a story about the once-ubiquitous boom box. A staple of 80s-culture, the box was beloved and mocked even then as a symbol of potent excess, a sort of street-rebellion, and a sign of changing times as music became less connected to place and more to mobility. Here's a snip:
As the '80s wore on, cities started enforcing noise ordinances. The Walkman became popular, and it was lighter and cheaper. Gradually, people stopped listening to music together. The rap world eventually left the corner and moved online. People still pass songs around, but now it's on file-sharing sites and blogs. Headphones are universally accepted, and eye contact is frowned upon.
Read the entire piece:


Vinnie said...

I don't know where I might best leave this comment, but it seemed like it needed to be related to you via this blog...
I was taking my mail from the mail lady yesterday, and I commented that she had passed two houses without stopping to bring them mail. She said the one was on hold and the other had some other reason. But then she said, "We don't get hardly any mail anymore."
I asked what she meant, and she said mostly she is delivering junk mail and netflix these days. Apparently, no one sends letters anymore. Even bills are mostly electronic. I thought that was interesting enough, but then she said something that fascinated me. She said "Except for the projects."
Why, I asked her, did the projects still get letters? She said it was because they were coming from family members in prison.
So the last vestige of the letter writing population is the sector of society that is confined to jail. My first thought was that I wished I was going to be a guest on an NPR show, so I could relate that story to the rest of the country, that not being forseeable, I thought I must, must, must report this to Dr. Andrew Wood. I hope you have some musings on it that you feel inclined to share.

Andrew Wood said...

Fascinating stuff, Vinnie! As it happens, I've been thinking about this item for a while. Let me reflect on it a bit further and I might be able to follow up. Thanks for your insights!