19 June 2006
Download: Tokyo Police Club's "Cheer It On"
In a totally unhilarious turn of bad luck, wasn't me, modernday walking cliche bullshit, closet racism, etc., Saturday morning I opened my LLBean schoolbag after working all day Friday and found that my iPod nano had been swiped. Its name was (is?) Antiphon (I can't imagine whoever took it and picked up my nervous tick of naming all my technologies after Greek orators). This thing was in my pocket pretty much all the time, just a few hours a day not, so to my chagrin I have to give the thief credit for impeccable timing. And determination, really--he'd clearly been eyeing it up for a while, memorizing my moves, going through my shit, etc., possibly since the morning I put on the new Scott Walker album and not a single fucking order came out the kitchen right because the chef couldn't concentrate. Maybe the thief will keep the iPod's name Antiphon? More likely he has his own set of orators to commemorate.
So now I do the thing where you walk around New York City listening to absolutely nothing because somebody stole your iPod. I found myself smiling at random people sitting at bars, just practicing how to make eye contact, and then watching them hold a stare in reply as they fix white buds into their ears and shout, "Fuck you dude! I'm listening to the Warlocks!" Just yesterday I ran into 15 or 16 people I haven't talked to since college--they "always see [me] around but [I'm] always listening to [my] iPod, what's its name again, the Anti-Fonz?"--and now I have dinner dates.
One of my friends stopped listening to headphones on the streets years ago because he got mugged outside his apartment. He didn't like the fact that his favorite album ever suddenly had become his favorite album to get mugged to. It's a cruelty muggers are undoubtedly aware of, and I wonder how they feel about it. I bet some think it's a little cruel, while others merely look forward to making judgements on their victim's musical taste. I bet a lot of the latter say stuff like "ha, Cocteau Twins? he deserved to be mugged" or "Fuck, another mix CD, stupid stupid stupid, I can really be an asshole sometimes can't I, mugger" or "holy shit I just mugged Jadakiss."
The bottom line is that it takes only a day of no iPod to realize how anti-social we've all become from this device--just like all our friends' parents who wouldn't let their kids have Walkmen or play Nintendo used to say. Why am I complaining about dinner dates? I'll probably have really good conversations with these people--I might even learn a thing or two about myself. Maybe we'll even go to a restaurant that doesn't play music, and when the conversation gets really awkward I can say, "you know it's funny how music excuses all sorts of conversational hiccups" and she'll reply, "if I knew you say shit like 'conversational hiccups' I would have just bought you a new iPod myself."
So maybe the muggers will have a change of heart after all, and maybe the mugged will have an idea for a compromise. Here's what I'm thinking. Every mugger and mugged sojourns to Central Park. Just like in March of the Penguins, they try to find their match. Obviously the muggers have the pick of the lot here but everybody would know that coming in--everybody knows the stats. Now it is sun down. The mugger and the mugged have united. They know they're in for the long winter. The mugger takes the stolen iPod out of his bag and puts it on shuffle. The mugged takes out the earbuds the mugger forgot to take when he mugged that time. The headphones go in the headphone jack and....music! Each person gets one earbud.