The Demise of an American Tradition
Walking back home across College Green this afternoon, I encountered someone whom civility demanded I hail and for whom I removed an earbud from my left ear.
“Hi, _______. How are you?”
“Hi, Johnnie. Not bad. Listening to something new?”
“Not new. Old.”
“Is it something good?”
I looked skyward to signal thoughtful debate because DEVO’s ”Race of Doom” had shuffled in and while it’s a brilliant commentary on the futility of competition in a materialist society, good depends on mood and I had been deciding whether to skip to the next random track. “Mm, not bad,” and thinking about my interlocutor, “It's OK.”
“Do you have lots of good stuff in there?”
I sense an agenda that has nothing to do with me. “Some. I have it on shuffle.”
“So you're a victim . . .” at which point I signaled the conversation was over by turning away.
“See you later.”
“Bye . . . and enjoy, or not . . .”