I’ve never owned or used a walkman. When lots of people bought one in the eighties I Stayed Away, and true to that I’ve also rejected its descendants Ipod and shit.
There are several reasons for this. At first I didn’t care much for the sound. And companies like Sony and Apple have always been inedible to me, long before a rather long list of horrors from both companies appeared.
But the main reason is quite simply this: I’ve never understood why anyone would walk around with plugs in their ears and close themselves off from the world, from its inspiring sounds.
This is a quite common ailment today, but that makes it worse, not better. Many people feel the need to be «entertained» all the time, to have some kind of prepackaged constant harmonies in their ears.
I don’t. I love music, both playing it and listening to it, but I see this way of «listening» as demeaning, really. I see it as one more sign of the sickness dominating today’s human society. It isn’t strange that humanity as a species is in major trouble, when we so easily cast away life’s bounty.
Most people would rather hear mindless pop than birdsong and whatever other great natural sounds we might encounter in the natural world. They prefer to close themselves off from the world, and not experience its full and exciting audio imagery. The world is painted by sound, by its voices. Listening to nature and one’s surroundings is an amazing experience and people close themselves off from it voluntarily???
I was twenty-three when I decided I wouldn’t be one of them. Ever! I’m happy to say that my resolve hasn’t diminished since then.