Washington Post Article

Just wanted to alert members to an article appearing in the Style section of today's (6/13/01) Wash. Post.It is one of those articles that seems to be recycled every few years ridiculing the excesses of the audiophile community. As is typical it focusses on the bleeding edge fringe of the hobby, profiling a man who is at $140K and counting,is obssesed with stopping hum being produced by his fridge. The article includes some quotes from Deja Vu Audio pointing out to the reporter a $10k turntable and a pair of speakers with "magnet-suspended" tweeters. Just what we needed! My girlfriend described the article as a disturbing glimpse of what I might become. (My system is circa $10K in total.) Thanks again to the mainstream media for shining a light on the seedy underbelly of the audio community.
Ha! A friend of mine e-mailed me the article to make fun of me. We need support groups, not ridicule. I say we get the government to institute a withdrawal program much like the Heroin ones. Instead of methadone, they can hand out equipment in order to "cure" us of the addiction. This really is a pernicious and insidious social ill that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, and I think that government support is really the only way to do it.
That article is on the Post's website, for anyone interested in reading it - it's a pretty entertaining (if frustrating) read. Jond - you're right, the author is definitely focused on the bleeding edge fringe which is especially apparent when the author speaks to Mark Levinson who has a new, simple system that costs "only" $15K, which the author seems to think is rational enough to be of this earth. Of course, then the author goes on to chastise ML for the more expensive systems RR has.

Another interesting point about the article is their main subject, he of the $140K system, is that he's 71 years old and lives in a "modest" house. There is no mention of signs of poverty or neglect. It's never mentioned whether this person has a family. He's also described as being constantly with a smile on his face. Clearly this guy is a kook - he obviously doesn't understand that he's going to live forever, that he doesn't have the right to spend the money he earned in his first many decades however he chooses, or that he should obviously be living in a much larger house with a much smaller stereo. What an idiot! On top of all that, he actually tries to pass off that he's happy. What's more, the author drew attention to the fact that this guy seems to REALLY enjoy the sound his system makes, that he's truly moved by the music of choice.

I guess it's the fate of anyone who spends more than Circuit City / Bose prices on audio equipment to be viewed this way, but this article certainly isn't journalism's finest moment. -Kirk

Authors that write about things they do not understand, and do not attempt to fathom, do their readers a disservice. The only possible motive is to entertainment by demeaning one group ('philes) so another (Circuit City-types) may feel good about itself. That kind of pablum is better relegated to the Star or Enquirer.
.....does this article give any tips on how to get rid of the refrigerator hum? ;>) Cheers. Craig
To tell the truth, I din't think the article was all that demeaning and it actually made some good points. I thought I could sense a sort of a minor sour grapes syndrome on the part of the author (a women who points out that very few women are into the hobby), but overall, I had to laugh because she did a pretty thorough job of nailing our idiosyncracies and explaining them in terms that the general public can understand. I'm laughing at myself (with no intention of changing) because if you can't recognize and laugh at yourself when looking in a mirror -- then you really are too far gone. :)
It is very rare today for me to read any newspaper story, or see a television news program, that comes close to reporting accurately. Now days they form a conclusion first, and then search for, or make up evidence to back it up.

I read an editorial yesterday by Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at MIT and board member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is one of the authors of that report on global warming that is getting all the press this week. He said the report does NOT support the Kyoto Treaty and the conclusions reported in the press over the last couple days are simply NOT true. And there is no consensus in the report about long term climate trends (warmer or colder).

This means every newe organization ignored the report because they did not like what it said and made up their own. I have more faith in the Star. At least we know it is fiction.

Plato - I agree that I didn't think it was demeaning, but in the course of describing our idiosyncracies, the author wrapped it all in a sense of, "What the hell are these crazy people doing?!?!" instead of, "Huh, now isn't that an interesting set of priorities". It's as though she is somewhat offended by this particular excess within the context, as you identified, of a bit of sour grapes about the whole thing. I certainly agree that if you don't see a certain amount of humor in this audiophile pursuit, something's wrong. -Kirk
I grew up in the Washington DC area (back in the late 1950's), and have many friends who still live there. Because of my DC contacts, I still read the Washington Post on occassion. The Post's forte is covering politics and the political/social scene, not writing objective articles about topics involving technology and technology-driven hobbies. So, in the case of this story, consider the source. Looking for intelligent articles on audio, video, etc., in the Post is like looking for objective articles on religion in the National Enquirer.
Jond got it right, shining the light on the seedy underbelly. Like any hobby some people don't care to understand. The only reason I would throw myself out of an airplane voluntarily is in case I really needed to know how to it, so I know nothing about parachuting, the thrill and the feeling.

I noticed the author liked what he heard but didn't choose to compare it to a Circuit City system, probably wasn't the purpose of the article but might have shed a little more light on things. The subject in question was single, had a good job and probably lots of free time - could have bought a helicopter but decided on a stereo, oh well, chacon son gout.

I think the purpose was to show that computer geeks come in different stripes and I'm one of them. Ya gotta admit, sitting in a comfortable chair with a drink in one hand and a cigar in another ain't exactly one of the most exciting avocations.

Now that Levinson cat, Kim Cattrall and cds are bad for your health? He's gotta be out there. Stereogod.
people actually take the washington post seriously? I'm pretty far left and I still can't bring myself to read that poop! give me the NY times any day!
Old timers like myself keep things in perspective by removing a zero from a system's total cost. That way we understand what's really going on. If I spend say $25,000 on my system (in today's money), I remove a zero and it becomes $2,500 (it's value in money when I was growing up).
Remember: It's not the amount of money you pay for something -nominal amounts change over time; What counts is the amount of time it takes to earn enough to make the purchase. This is how to gage an item's cost (an hour of life is constant).
Wjones7412 is right! I haven't taken the Washington Post
seriously since a very strange event in my town... I live
in Madison, Wi., and at one time a very nice local bistro,
located on Washington Ave. here in Madison, called itself
the Washington Host. Well after about a year in business,
the Washington Post decided to file suit. To make a long
story short...the business was forced to change their name.
Wow....I am sure a small, locally owned bistro in the
Midwest called the Washington Host was a "real" threat to
that rag.
Metaphysics. No, she will not be invited to my party. The biases of this reporter must be revealed, so in an effort to shine the brilliant white light of truth on this subject, I will reveal here FOR THE FIRST TIME, the excesses of this Washington Post reporter.

To date, she has spent over $11,210.00 for drinks at a local bar frequented by DC writers and reporters.

In addition, there was another $23,000 for plastic surgery, $6,172.00 for a complete cap job for her teeth, and another $2,150.00 for her assertive training classes. Add all these figures to the cost of her Bose system and 275 pair of shoes, and you get a clear picture of what her priorities are. These excesses add up to more than $55,450.00.

I realize this will not buy the absolute ultimate audio system, but if she had chosen to invest in audiophilia, she would have been home, instead of the bar.

All the calories she would have avoided by dancing around her stereo, instead of consuming the drinks, would have kept her physically fit, avoiding the plastic surgery. Her teeth were in fact ruined by her excessive drinking, so the dentist bills would have been unnecessary as well. The assertive training unnecessary. Absolutely energized by her great sounding stereo, and simultaneously removing the depressive Bose system. The change in her attitude would have even allowed her to find that perfect mate she had always longed for!

So close was she to discovering that the old man with the expensive system was right. The smile on his face was from a deeper understanding of the music. So close was she to removing the band aids on her life, replaced with something of real meaning, a happy home with wonderful music, sharing with the one you love, buying shoes because you NEED them, wine in moderation and not having to sit for weeks in the dentist chair.

If you get a chance, visit Deja Vu Audio. After listening to what Vu has to offer, you'll want to spend 10k on a turntable too!
the article i read was written by a dude, not a skirt. ooh!
-2/-2!... unless david is a woman's name?? unless i'm missing something you guys are reading the name of the photographer (a woman) as the author.


i thought this article was great. thankfully the author picked a sane person to write about. imagine if he had interviewed detlof? that would have been the end of us all.
Kubla, you're right, it was a male author -- sorry I got that mixed up. Oh well, I guess it doesn't matter anyway, right?

The guy probably drives a hot sports car that he pays $500/month to own and depreciates almost as fast as he can drive it ... but oh nooooo ... we audiophiles are the crazies alright!!! I bet it has a Bose speaker system and a 6-CD changer in the trunk too. :)
"They listen and spend, then listen and argue, then listen some more and argue some more."

Hey that kind of sounds like this web-site that I check on everyday! I just can't remember which...
"Modest home in Mclean....."

I just read in Worth Magazine that the median home price in mclean is 515,000.

I did a gig up there at a church (ussually easy to find right?) but I couldn't find it because the mansions surrounding the church where all bigger! Mclean is not part of my world....but I wish it was.....
The majority of the above thread appears to me as though we're trying to kill the messenger because we don't like the message???
Geeks picked up on this article too :

Think positive! News coverage means WE EXIST, officially, as testified by articles in aforementioned prestigious publications. i.e., we may become mainstream, one day. So, we won't have to explain to significant others et alia, the *why* of our next, imminent, here it comes, giga$ upgrade. We'll be "normal", bog-standard, connoisseurs. Just like those that spend $100 on one cigar, then proceed to put it on fire. End of said cigar. (Good smoke, however.) Our rigs last longer PLUS no fire hazard (usually).
Who advertises more in the Washington Post: Circuit City or any high-end dealer?

Who likes to make fun of high-end consumers of any stripe?

Who likes to defend personal and behavioral excesses on the part of the "unfortunate" and liberal Democratic politicians, while highlighting and decrying the same by the "fortunate" and conservatives?

It's all the same crap, in the same old crap wrapper. If it didn't leave ink stains I'd use it for toilet paper to recycle it.

And...can't we all just get along?

Or as Dean Martin and Barbra Stresand used to croon,
"everybody needs somebody
to pee on..."