Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Have and Have-Nots of the iPod Generation

"Marvels for the rich ... privation for the worker" -Karl Marx

Steven Levy, in his book The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness, remarks upon the unexpected and remarkable impacts that the iPod has had upon American society. In addition to geeking-out over the iPod's perfection, detailing the means of its creation, release, and overwhelmingly positive reception, Levy also described a criminal response to the much-desired gadget: iPod theft.

"iPod oblivion" is what cops labeled the state of mind leaving iPod users vulnerable to attack and theft. While some of these crimes were aimed at obtaining a persons' money, others were perpetrated merely to obtain the sexy mp3 player itself. The father of Chris Rose, who was stabbed to death in an iPod theft crime, stated: "We have the technology that can give us the iPod and everthing else, but...we have to work on the minds and the hearts."

Karl Marx would disagree.

Marx, the oft-discredited socioeconomic theorist wrote: "To change society you must change the material being of society," not the other way around. In other words, iPods don't cause theft, worker wage-level inequality causes theft. Of the nearly 300 million Americans today, 70 million have iPods, 35 million live below the poverty line, and 47 million don't have healthcare. But while many are coping with their sub-standard lifestyles with seeming acceptance, a music-listening device is enough to spur people to action! Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather know how I'll pay next month's rent than listen to some sweet-ass tunes on the go. It's sad that getting crucial problems taken care of never seems as important as obtaining the next big thing.


AJ said...

I totally agree with you. I think that capitalism encourages humans to be selfish and greedy to the detriment of their fellow humans, and that a "more perfect" society would blend socialism and capitalism together.

Building Rome Jon said...

That's interesting... I think I would have to agree with Marx. In my opinion, people who have the means to buy something usually wouldn't steal it. There are too many factors to prove anything though. I really wish we would have put all of the money we spent on the war on healthcare. That would have made the world a better place... By the way thanks for reading my blog :)
- Jon
Building Rome

Sarah J. Evans said...

The thing that bugs me the most about ipods is that people use it as another means to close themselves off, and avoid any contact with actual humans, then procede to ignore you while they i.m. their 5000,000,0000 little friends that they "know" online.

I could tell a huge difference on my schools campus once ipods became "commonplace". I think the idea is great, who wants 200 homemade mixed cds? Seriously though there is a time and a place for it.....grrrrrrr..... that's my biggest BEEF with ipods.