The McBournie Minute: Dead Walkman walking

Great, now I have to figure out what this whole “MP3” fad is about.

As you have no doubt heard by now, Sony is canceling its outrageously-popular Walkman cassette players, in a move critics are calling nothing short of foolhardy. Get them while you can, folks, because the last batch of Walkmans (Walkmen?) has left the plant. After 31 years of production, the Walkman has been abandoned, relegated to history long before its time.

I call on you, dedicated readers, to help fight against this audio injustice, and leave no Walkman behind.

For years, I depended on my Walkman to play the tapes I wanted, and it even had an AM/FM tuner to boot! Walks to class, bus rides home, nights when I couldn’t sleep, my Walkman was there for me. I fought hard to keep headphones in fashion when earbuds and the people sitting next to you playing their music way too loud became all the rage. Remember those headphones that hooked around the back of your head? Yeah, I rocked those. I still do.

My Walkman and I were a formidable pair. I could listen to my tapes over and over again, and it became especially cool when the batteries started to die and the songs gently slowed and got deeper, until you had to hit stop and hit play again to hear it slow down all over again. Eventually, you just waited until you got home to get new AA batteries to continue your rocking.

Mega Bass? You know I always rocked it.

Sure, my Walkman and I were dealt something of a blow when bands quit releasing albums on cassette some 10 to 15 years ago, but that’s why they had blank tapes. Who didn’t love blank tapes? You could record whatever you wanted, in whatever order you wanted, even record your favorite songs from the radio, hoping the DJ quit talking over the intro. It’s not like you could just record songs willy-nilly on CDs. Ha! I bet that technology is still years away!

I will have you know that I have made mix tapes for every single one of my girlfriends. I would spend hours finding just the right songs, planning out their order and making sure the special meaning (Hey, I want to get it on with you) came though in a subliminal and enchanting way. When I gave them their tapes, they always say they love it, just before they put it in the trash can for safe keeping.

Some say that compact discs are superior in their sound quality. I must respectfully disagree with these people. Before the foam thingies wear down the tape, the sound on a cassette far exceeds that of a CD if you only listen to it once or twice. With tapes, you could throw them in your pocket and go, if you didn’t have your case with you. You can’t do that with CDs, and I’ve never heard a tape skip.

As I said earlier, MP3s are nothing but a fad. Can you hold one in your hand? Is there anything physical that you actually own? I confess I do not know exactly how these things work, but I would imagine that if you open an MP3 and forget to save it again when you close it, you could lose the whole file, just like in Word Perfect. Your computer will some day get one of those viruses, and you will lose your hard drive. Then, unless you backed up your MP3s on a floppy disk, they will be lost. Oh, that’s right, you can’t save them to a floppy because the file is too damn big. What a hassle!

Admit it, you love hitting fast forward when you hit a song you don’t like, and then guessing when it’s on to the next one. America, it’s time to rise up against this stealth attack by the Japanese. Keep the tapes rolling!