Friday, November 14, 2014

Clark's Favorite Things 2014 (Part I of VII)

You know which two people on this planet have a lot in common? Oprah Winfrey and me (nobody else).
Oprah recently released her list of Favorite Things (2014 edition) in which you'll find what "Oprah tasted, tested, sniffed, snuggled, brewed, steeped, read, shared and dared—Check out what she's calling her favorite, favorite gifts to give and receive this year." The very first item on her list? $700 headphones.
No offense to Oprah. I have tremendous respect for her and I would go so far as to say I'm a fan. But you know who needs $700 headphones? Nobody. In fact, if you have $700 headphones or think that you need them and you're not a multi-Grammy award-winning record producer, or somebody else who might need something like that for your job, you're an asshole. I'm sorry, but that's just excessive. I don't care what they're made out of or how they're manufactured. The only purpose of any set of headphones is to act as a sort of conduit between the sounds that come out of some device or another and your brain via your earholes. There is simply no justifiable excuse (Wires made out of mink? Each set molded to the exact dimensions of each individual customer's head? Dipped in real gold?) for a delivery system like that to cost $700. If you're one of these people who say (and actually believe) things like, "yeah, but a really good pair of headphones allows you to hear micro-chords and subtle sub-layers of ambient harmonies that would be impossible to appreciate otherwise", you're a gullible idiot.
"Oh yes, your majesty! A pair of $700 headphones is EXACTLY what you need to complete that ensemble!"

First of all Johan Sebastian Stradivarius, nobody is impressed with your snobby, self-proclaimed, pitch-perfect audiophile sensibilities. Secondly, if Bon Jovi (which is what you listen to when you're not trying to impress people) wanted you to hear all that shit, they would have made it louder.
You know what's just as good as $700 headphones? .79 headphones.
Sit on them. Leave them behind on a plane or in a taxi. Drop them on the floor. Drop them on the floor and then drop heavier things on top of them. Let your dog chew on them. Do weird things to your own butt with them. Who cares? They're .79! You could literally go through two pairs a day every day for a year, even if it's a leap year, and save about a third of what you would have spent on $700 headphones.
And they do just as good a job of getting the crappy music you like into your crappy ears.

Anyway, all this has made me realize that since Oprah and I are so alike, albeit with slightly different ideas of what is good and/or necessary, that I should do my OWN (ha!) list of Favorite Things, so that's exactly what I'm going to do between now and the day after Thanksgiving, the official, semi-reasonable start to the madness that is The Holiday Shopping Season (if you shop on Thanksgiving Day or you own a company that requires people to work on Thanksgiving Day, you're a savage and probably the kind of asshole who aspires to own a pair of $700 headphones some day). There will be six entries between now and then and each will highlight different items that I determine are favorite enough for you to maybe go out and get.

Think of it as an advent calendar crossed with a shopping catalog in the form of a blog!

Think of it as a blog that doesn't serve much of a purpose!*

Think of it as a gimmick that seems to be a bigger deal than it really is by virtue of entries being labeled with Roman numerals!

Think of it as a way for me to be relatively lazy for two weeks by not having to work very hard to come up with new material!

This particular entry doesn't really count; it's really just an introduction and not an actual endorsement of the .79 headphones. I mean, I like 'em but they're not a favorite thing. Go ahead and buy some. Or don't. Who cares?

  • Part II of VII - Monday, November 17
  • Part III of VII - Wednesday, November 19
  • Part IV of VII - Friday, November 21
  • Part V of VII - Monday, November 24
  • Part VI of VII - Wednesday, November 26
  • Part VII of VII (Grand Finale!) - Black Friday, November 28

* as is always the case

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