June 30, 2009

Walking uphill in the snow both ways

At the risk of sounding like the proverbial old grandpa, kids these days have it too easy.  Case in point: a 13-year-old's review of the now THIRTY YEAR OLD Sony Walkman.

It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette.
Yeah, and the cell phones were the size of bricks and had batteries like the one in your mom's car.

Can you believe this kid?  Or his parents for that matter?  You mean to tell me that his mom and dad have never showed him a cassette tape?

Later, he whines about having to listen to the tape all the way through because there "is no shuffle,"and breaking the cassette"
Its a function that, on the face of it, the Walkman lacks. But I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down "rewind" and releasing it randomly - effective, if a little laboured.

I told my dad about my clever idea. His words of warning brought home the difference between the portable music players of today, which don't have moving parts, and the mechanical playback of old. In his words, "Walkmans eat tapes". So my clumsy clicking could have ended up ruining my favourite tape, leaving me music-less for the rest of the day


The ignorance of this kid is breathtaking.  He's 13, meaning he was born in 1995 or 1996, depending on when his birthday is.  My 1995 car came with a tape deck in the top model stereo.  You could not GET a CD player in that car, and yet this kid acts as if the cassette is some kind of dinosaur.

And they gave HIM a platform?  If all 13-year-olds are like this, I am frankly scared.

Get a life, kid, and pull your selfish head out of your own ass and pay attention to the whole world around you.  Not just your easy little toys.

Posted by caltechgirl at June 30, 2009 12:45 PM | TrackBack

Yeah, bizarre. My library still has cassettes with some kids books. Sheesh, I still have a cassette stereo in my car! (a '99)

Still have my SONY Walkman (yellow, sport model). Loved that thing. Bet it still works great!

Posted by: Marie at June 30, 2009 01:48 PM

Heh. I've told my kids all about the days before cable, CD players, ipods, microwaves, etc. And they use the cassette player in the minivan ('04) to um, put in one of those hook-up-your-mp3player things. Sometimes, you have to tell them just how good they have it so they appreciate how cruddy things used to be.

Posted by: Theresa at July 1, 2009 04:59 AM

Do NOT mention 8-track...

Posted by: Ken S, Fifth String on the Banjo of Life at July 2, 2009 06:02 PM

Well, if you think about it, by '95 or '96 it was pretty hard to get cassettes (I graduated high school in '96), you could get them, but by that point, CDs had pretty much taken over. I was born in '78, I know 8-track was around then, but that doesn't mean I was familiar with them at all.

Posted by: KG at July 3, 2009 06:34 PM

It sounds more to me like a very misguided attempt at humor: "Look at me! I'm so up to the minute that I don't even care about what came before me! I'm going to pretend I've never seen a cassette tape because it makes me seem cooler and younger!"


I remember saving up money when I was in high school (I received a truly pitiful allowance: $2 a week, plus an extra $2.50 if I mowed my parent's ACRE SIZED lawn) to buy a second or third generation Walkman (this would have been after they'd been out for 6 or 7 years). Couldn't even get a name brand one.

I STILL use one of the Sony Sport Walkmans (Walkmen?) for workouts; I have an awful lot of cassette tapes I bought over the years that I hate not using. (And I'm too tight with my money to buy an iPod)

Posted by: ricki at July 4, 2009 04:16 AM

What's funny is the clueless, quizzical looks you get from many of today's teens when you show them an old record player. A turntable. Y'know, the one with a needle that plays records. With two speeds. Priceless.

Posted by: diamond dave at July 4, 2009 07:31 AM

A couple of years ago, at our family Christmas party, my niece's friends came up to our ranch to visit. They tried calling home on their cell phones to let the parental units know they had arrived safely. No signal. When directed to the phone, (Black, hangs on a wall, rotary dial) not a one of them knew how to use it. And, they couldn't remember their home phone number - the phone was supposed to dial it....

Posted by: Leslie at July 6, 2009 04:54 PM
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