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April 21, 2008

Comments

Tom Welch

If you really want to waste your money buy a boat or restore a VW bug.

herculodge

I'm too lazy to restore anything except maybe my slightly heavy body--get it down from 230 to 220 would be a good start.

Ed S.

I don't agree with your hypothesis that radio lovers are looking for escape... well, maybe the ipod/walkman wearer is looking to socially isolate him or herself.
But I think radio lovers like myself are looking for *contact* on some level (what philosopher said "Only connect"?), either real or imagined.
Jesus, we're talking about communicating with freakin' INVISIBLE WAVES shooting through the air!!! Can you imagine how magical a radio would seem to anyone from only a bit more than 100 years ago? To me it still IS magical! Voices and music from a box--it still blows my mind.

herculodge

Ed: I agree it's magical and yes there is a connection involved. Radio is far more intimate than TV. Excellent point. Jeff

Mike W

This is getting like a 12-step program for people seeking NOT to be cured.

Personally, I was always interested in radio, especially night-owl AM broadcasts,
but for the most part my interest in the radio receiver per se was strictly
utilitarian, the means to an end. In a word, sane. Then in 1994 at
the age of 33 I got bitten by the shortwave bug and suddenly acquired a
fetishistic obsession with receivers and antennas that exceeded even my interest in what was being broadcast. In two words, not sane.
Something similar (but more expensive) happens with audiophiles. I have
long thought that the discernable pattern involved, and the fact that only
one gender seems to exhibit it, strongly suggest a biological
underpinning; perhaps I'm in over my head on that one.

Jeff, you're right about it being incurable. It's strictly "Waiting for Godot", about indefinitely extending that state of hopeful anticipation for
something too sublime to ever be realized. After all, they're just radios. For a few years in the 90's I obsessed over the Drake SW-8. Finally I ponied
up and got one, but returned it soon afterwards. Ditto for a Kiwa
MW Loop I found on eBay.

Radios are a simple, easily controlled, and stress-free diversion that keep
one's mind off real work and the graver, more anxiety-producing aspects of adult life,
be it crime, mortality, peak oil, dirty bombs, the freak show of electoral politics,
the pending insolvancy of social security, you name it.

If it's any consolation, while there may be no cure, I know first-hand there can be
remissions - I contentedly used three or four good radios for about five years
before the itch came back again last year.

herculodge

Mike: Waiting for Godot indeed. And a 12-Step Program. I thought of referring to the chimera in Gogol's Overcoat but I didn't want to get too "deep," or indulge in academic shop talk. But I agree with all your points. Radio is a benign past-time in a dangerous world.

Here's insane: I may have to buy a black Sangean WR-2 two months after selling a wooden grain model because Ed Strnad, who lives a mile from me and contributes to my site from time to time, just bought a WR-2 and its FM is great for him. I'm wondering if my 2005 model has been improved 3 years later.
Jeff

Mike W

Yeah, I'm on no sleep myself today and disoriented enough that I almost posted something about a scene in Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life" earlier, but deleted it because I came-to and realized, "Jesus, this a load of pretentious BS even by my standards."

As far as the "insane" part goes, you're OK till you start breaking into people's beemers for their car radios.


herculodge

Mike: Do you have an engineering background? Something else maybe. I'm curious. I teach college English.

Jeff

Ed S.

A curious fact: Every single person who works in Radio Broadcasting still has his/her first radio, and will fondly show it to you upon request. What is it about these boxes of wires and sand and magnets?

Mike W

Degree in mathematics and computer science, from too long ago to matter now. Am a programmer now, so not a real engineer, although I have one in the family, a brother.

You know when I realized how much you and I think alike? When I spent about a week obsessively trying to decypher "Mulholland Drive" after watching it again a while back, and Google brought up your site, which I already knew from the whole radio thing. BTW, MD can be said to be Lynch's "Wizard of Oz" but now I'm REALLY off-topic.

I should start my own blog titled "Pretentious BS'ers Can't Be Cured."

herculodge

Mike: I don't know why but everything clicked with Mulholland Dr. I saw it all very clearly. That's very unusual for me. I'm usually a clueless film watcher. My wife has to tell me what's going on most of the time, but in that case it was she who was lost and I somehow grasped it.

You're not pretentious. You have a healthy disdain for pretentiousness.

Jeff

herculodge

Ed,

Radios represent a connection, as you say. I wish I had my grandfather's radios from the 70s and 80s.

Mike W

Ed, Jeff,

My uncle, who was also my godfather, passed away in the mid-90's. I didn't get any money, and didn't want any. All I asked his heirs for was his old Blaupunkt Granada '61, which sure enough was in his attic collecting dust. I drove it all the way back and forth to Whitman, MA to have it restored because I did not trust the mail. I have it where I live now, one of the few items I still own from the past, and probably the first radio I was ever in awe of. Here's another copy of the same model :

http://radioattic.com/item_sold.php?radio=0088030X

Jeff McMahon

Mike, that is a gorgeous radio. How do you put a price tag on something like that? You don't. You keep it. Jeff

Ed S.

Mike, Jeff-
I recently restored a big old German radio like the Blaupunkt. I'll post a picture later.

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