On Tuesday evening I drove from D.C. to Philly then back again on Wednesday night after helping my sister and brother-in-law. This isn’t exactly far when you’re talking about distance, but the fact that I might have had to drive through 4 successive rush hours was looking like a daunting task. (D.C., Baltimore, Wilmington , Philly) I left around2:30pm from the Dulles airport area, and believe it or not the worst part of the drive was the 495 beltway around the D.C. area. On the way back I left Philly around 9:45pm, and of course, it was smooth sailing the whole way. However what I discovered, as I had left my CD cartridge in the trunk and mp3 player in my bags, was that no matter what time of the day, one out of every seven or so spins of the “seek” feature on your car radio that isn’t a commercial will yields a song that will make you dry heave… if you’re lucky.
I wondered how free radio has survived in a day when super-served targeted marketing is the norm. It’s pretty rare that you can’t find exactly what you want these days. Mostly thanks to math. Those crazy little algorithms that are busy running in the background of everything, crunching the numbers, making sense of your last 5 purchases, clicks of the mouse or how many times you’ve punched in at the gym to act like you were working out. I also wonder how songs like “Wind beneath my wings.” can be heard 4 times in a 4 hour round trip excursion within 36 hours. Are you kidding me? Where are those big brother-ish calculations now when I need them? Rescue me from the obscure guessing game that all people on the road at are possible “Delilah” listeners! I used to think being off the grid, would be so free, so independent, no strings to hold me down! As soon as I got home I plugged in my mp3 player, fired up my gmail and itunes, then remembered, indeed I can’t have my cake and eat it too, as I noticed, that the last.fm plugin has just blasted out to all my friends, that indeed at the moment, I’m listening to Christina Aguilera. Geez. Can’t a guy have one guilty pleasure? … “I’m a genie in a bottle baby. Come, come, come on and let me out!” 😉