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Sony has decided to take one of their old studs out and put him down.  He was a good performer.  He was the beginning of a trend that simply got bigger than he was and he couldn’t keep up.

I speak, of course, of the Sony Walkman.

Sony has done away with the Walkman and yet another of the cultural icons that we who grew up in the ’80’s held so dear is going the way of the dodo.  It’s hard to fault Sony on this one.  After all, I’m not even sure where I would go to buy music on cassette anymore.

CD’s pummeled the Walkman terribly in the ’90’s as he watched his brother, the Discman, rise to the prominence he had once enjoyed.  The Walkman was always happy for his siblings success, but was also bitter that he was so readily cast aside.  He struggled on, quietly standing in the shadow of his brother’s meteoric rise.  It was said that from time to time you could hear the quiet sound of sobbing in the hiss of the cassette’s he played.

In recent years, Walkman’s already failing health was further eroded by the news that his family was losing the struggle to remain relevant in their chosen profession.  It had been their legacy to rule the kingdom of portable music, but the advent of MP3 saw them begin to suffer a rapid decline.

It  appeared that they had a new nemesis and its name was iPod.

The Apple clan’s incursion into their territory hit the entire family hard, but none suffered as Walkman did.  Now obsolete by multiple technological generations, he began to show signs of senility as he was banished to junk drawers, attics, and garage sales.  Rarely picked up except to be moved, batteries slowly rotting inside, Walkman realized he needed to make peace with himself, his owner, and his manufacturer.

He passed on quietly at the age of 30.  Few even noticed he was gone.

But, here at the Jungle Gym we would like to have a moment of silence for Walkman.  Or maybe silence filled with the hiss of a cassette played through headphones.  You served us well for many years.  And, while you have not been relevant in the world for a long time, your memory will remain with us, always.  Godspeed, Walkman, Godspeed.

Now where did I put my iPod?  I had an appropriate funeral track on there.

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One Comment

  1. That was a fitting eulogy. I especially found much humor in the ending.


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