Friday, March 10, 2006

The Scourge Of White Earbuds

I am an iPod user. As such I own a pair of white earbuds. The white earbud is the way that iPod users and iPod pretenders identify ourselves to each other. It's similar to a tiger having stripes or a leopard having spots. We spot each other grooving in our own little universes, sporting the white earbuds and nod because we know how fucking cool we are. I mean if you have an iPod you are coolness defined, aren't you? The commercials don't lie, but then again commercials have never lied to anybody, EVER!

No, no. Stop cursing me and calling me a heretic. You can put away your burning effigies of me for now. I admit, I was being sarcastic.

But I do want to talk about the earbuds, though. Those white earbuds. I pay attention to the media around me as much as I can. Sure, sometimes it gets muted to a sort of drone that can easily be tuned out and forgotten, but I do my best to see what's shaking and shaping our world insofar as what goes out into the ether of public consumption. Or something like that. Rereading that sentence even I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about.

But I have a bit of a beef with the whole phenomenon surrounding white earbuds. You might not realize it, but they are, indeed, a phenomenon. They're everywhere! You can't escape them. It's not just iPod propaganda anymore. The commercial world seems to have latched on to the iPod staple and turned it into some sort of coolness calling card.

I was flipping through a recent issue of Rolling Stone and noticed that the ad on the back cover was for the Acura TSX, which I discovered with some quick research stands for Toronto Stock eXchange. So there it was, a picture of the Acura Toronto Stock eXchange (worst car name ever!) and its seeming owner, this smug yuppie son-of-a-bitch with, yep you guessed it, white fucking earbuds connecting him to his car, parked somewhere, oh say about 30 fucking feet behind him.

The ad reads: "Your life. Your car. Connected. The Acura TSX is compatible with you. Your mp3 player. Your Bluetooth-enable phone. And just about every other part of your digital life. Man and machine never had so muchin common. The TSX."

And I'm not bringing that up because I'm trying to suck Acura's dick or anything. I just want to point out that I don't want to be on the road with any guy who's plugged into his mp3 player, his Bluetooth-enabled phone, and just about every other part of his digital life. Do you want to know why? Who the fuck is paying attention to the road? Seriously. The yuppie bastard is wearing his earbuds, can he even hear it when I'm honking my horn in frustration, stuck behind him at some greenlight he hasn't noticed yet because he's perfecting his Tiny Tim mix and jabbering at his yuppie scumbag wife on the old Bluetooth? Probably not.

I suppose if there were ever an ad that needed a disclaimer it would be this one. It could read: Warning, do you really fucking need to listen to your mp3 player and talk on your fucking Bluetooth every fucking minute of every fucking day? Wouldn't driving your car when you're behind its wheel seem more appropriate? Don't be a douchebag.

But now I've kind of gone off on some sort of organic tangent because I meant to talk about the earbuds.

So anyway, this Acura ad isn't the only place you see people sporting the white buds. Every time I notice somebody depicted wearing them I cringe. They're becoming a crutch for characters to be seen as hip and contemporary. These are people with modern day crises. They wear white earbuds.

The reason why I cringe is because in my experience with white earbuds so far (they make me a contemporary man, don't you know) I have found them to be really uncomfortable. At least the factory ones anyway. They're too big for my fucking ears, which either means I have freakishly small ears or I bought the iPod For Giants version.

This being said, if I'm a human of average dimensions, then why the hell are so many people sporting uncomfortable white earbuds that pop out of the ear canal every two minutes? Wouldn't people look more hip and more intelligent if they sported listening devices that were more carefully tailored for the human form?

I don't know. It's just a thought. I suppose that it's easiest to depict people in "modern" times if they're wearing white earbuds.

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