WHAT’S IN A NAME-O-SONIC?
I look for old technology in the thrift store. It’s a wonderful place to see the decay of the once-loved. Televisions, radios, irons, hair-dryers, and other home essentials of 1950s, 60s, and 70s always have an endearing “the future is now!” vibe. Even in their declining state as thrift store fodder they still exude the optimism of progress and of more efficiently blended drinks. I am especially enamored of the names that American industry gave to its affordable workhorses. It was the name of the product that contained its promise of “better living through technology.” That sun has set. Sure, we’d all love a new car with a forward-looking-infra-red navigation display or a ultra thin cellular phone/ camera/ video game system/ heart monitor/ nose-hair groomer, but do any of us still believe in the power of that technology to make us better people. The more we rely on technology the less regard we have for its possibilities to transform society. We live in an era of cars named after algebraic formulas, of the endlessly abbreviate and acronym-ed, of LEDs, RFIDs and USBS on happy Meal toys. Wouldn’t it be nice to return to the era of the Electro-Dyna-Phono-Matic cheese-slicer, that helped us beat communism, reach for the stars, and cut mom’s time in the kitchen in half?