Tag Archives: iPod

You are what you buy, whether you know it or not

kickin it like an old skool iPod

kickin it like an old skool iPod, originally uploaded by kandyjaxx.

I’m reading Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, by Rob Walker (about whom I’ve written in the past). As a result, I no longer trust myself — or at least, I no longer believe I understand my motivations for the things I do.

I’d already begun having doubts about the tricks my mind plays on me, thanks to having read a bit about another current book, Dan Ariely’s Predictably/Irrational. Ariely’s book provides all sorts of evidence that people act on motivations they don’t know they have and make up plausible explanations that have nothing to do with the real causes. Seem impossible? Check out a few demonstrations, and you’ll see what I mean.

Buying In is similarly full of simple but startling revelations (although also equally entertaining). Here’s a sample:

Here, then, is the real problem with the argument that this new generation sees right through traditional advertising and therefore is not fooled by its messages: Everybody sees right through traditional advertising. You’d have to be an idiot not to recognize that you’re being pitched to when watching a thirty-second commercial.

But recognition is not the same thing as immunity. And what’s striking about contemporary youth is not that they are somehow brandproof, but that they take for granted the idea that a brand is as good a piece of raw identity as anything else. These are the consumers, in fact, who are most amenable to using brands to fashion meaning for themselves — to define themselves, to announce who they are and what they stand for.

If you’ve struggled to understand what has made the iPod such a success, why Pabst Blue Ribbon is enjoying a sudden surge in popularity despite the company never paying for television ads, and what it means for everyone to become a brand unto themselves, you’ll enjoy this book.  

iPod Ching

I’m very late to this meme party, but loving All Things iPod as I do, I can’t resist:

The iPod Ching: The premise is that the shuffle function on your iPod provides answers to preselected questions, and you then interpret those answers. This is probably best done with the help of a drink or at the end of a three-day fast … I haven’t eaten anything yet today though so I am feeling somewhat light-headed. So here goes!

How does the world see you?
"Spirit in the Night," Bruce Springstein
I seem like a wild and crazy girl I guess. The truth is much less exciting, but I’m happy to keep everyone entertained.

Will I have a happy life?
"Time for Me to Fly," REO Speedwagon
Either I should pursue a pilot’s license or the iPod Ching is trying to get out of answering this question.

What do my friends really think of me?
"One Last ‘Whoo-hoo!’ for the Pullman," Sufjan Stevens
I have never managed to listen to this Sufjan Stevens album in a single sitting. Yesterday I tried starting halfway through and still quit a few songs from the end. It’s interesting, but also weird. Anyway, so this particular song lasts only 6 seconds. I assume this means that when my friends think of me, they don’t think for very long.

Do people secretly lust after me?
"In My Own Mind," Lyle Lovett
See?

How can I make myself happy?
"I Don’t Wanna Grow Up," Tom Waits
Well, that’s obvious.

What should I do with my life?
"Greenbacks," Ray Charles
Forget the pilot’s license and go for the Benjamins. Check.

Will I ever have children?
"Whistling in the Dark," They Might Be Giants
Hmm.

What is some good advice for me?
"Complicated Shadow," Elvis Costello & The Attractions
I think "Whistling in the Dark" is better advice. What can this mean? The song is on the Sopranos Soundtrack — I guess it means I should avoid New Jersey and/or "connected" people. That is good advice either way.

How will I be remembered?
"Wicked Game," Chris Isaak
I will be remembered as a monochrome video of a model rolling around on a beach with Chris Isaak. That’s fine by me.

What is my signature dancing song?
"Oh My Golly!" The Pixies
This is absolutely true. My signature dancing style is bouncing frenetically, nearly crashing into the people around me, as if I graduated from the Tourette’s School of Dance. And that’s exactly how one should dance to this song.

What do I think my current theme song is?
"(Night Time Is) The Right Time," Ray Charles
This is also true. I am a night owl.

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
"Hate To Say I Told You So," The Hives
And more truth. Gosh, this thing is great!

What song will play at my funeral?
"Love in Vain," Rolling Stones
What a failed romantic figure I am.

What type of men do you like?
"Thunderwing," T.Rex
I am actually more drawn to Audi TTs these days, but maybe the song simply points out my general automotive leaning.

What is my day going to be like?
"Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well," Mike Doughty
I am submerged beneath layers of work, plus my office is in a basement. So this is delightfully accurate.

OK, who’s up next? Subdivided? Housewife Cafe? Syntax of Things is en route to a new home but maybe if he finds a motel with Wi-Fi….