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Teresa

It's a funny thing - for Lent this year, I gave up my portable CD player (alas, I am one of the few people in the universe sans cell phone, OR an iPod). I went through serious withdrawal for the first week! This surprised me - I mean, I knew that I enjoyed my music as I walked around, but I didn't realize how much a part of me it was until I had to do without it!

Lately, I've been walking around with my portable cassette player/am-fm radio (yet ANOTHER throwback to a distant era!). So I'm still good on the Lenten front, but I still get to have my noise.

Honestly, I think the "city sounds" thing is overrated - now, I'm a writer, and I do appreciate the occasional bit of interesting overheard conversation, etc. But quite frankly, most of the noise heard in the city isn't all that inspiring - screeching brakes, honking horns, jackhammers, people flipping off cab drivers....music in my ears keeps me calm in the frenzy and allows me to arrive at my destination sane.

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Andrew Sullivan makes a good point, but would he apply the same descriptors to a deaf person wandering about the city. It's sometimes good to totally immerse yourself in the world around you, but do buds in your ears change that much when you're alone and not talking to anyone anyway? People don't look "a little vacant" when listening to their iPod, they have simply shifted their attention. When you have ears that hear you can afford to do things like make direct eye contact with strangers and notice those subtle social cues. If you are deaf or listening to your iPod your attention is simply focused more on other things your ears would normally be ever ready to tell you about.

P.S. The supposedly theraputic quality of city sounds sounds like BS to me, admittedly a bit of a country boy. I'll take my music out of my ears for real things (e.g. people, animals, nature,the movement of earth, sea, or sky), not constructed things (e.g. machines, taxi drivers, and other dead echoes ever present in a concrete jungle).

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...and when you're plugged in at the office, you miss your colleagues' scintillating repartee.

Or maybe that's the point.

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What planet is Andrew Sullivan on? "That hilarious shard of an overheard conversation that stays with you all day"???? Say what? Give me "Kind of Blue" and Elvis.

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