>>> Edited For Content
By staff writerMike Forest
January 12, 2005

Holy shit, I should have never gotten a camera phone. The power that it puts in my hands is far too great a temptation. I’m warning you now, please don’t give me your number because I’m the kind of guy who would take pictures of his balls and send them to everyone. Yeah. I’m that guy.

For a cheap phone, it has a ton of features. For one thing, I can make and receive calls from anywhere that I have service! Amazing! That’s more than enough for me, but in addition to that, it has a fucking radio! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, they do put men on the moon these days…but a radio in my phone I did not expect.

“Oooohhhh radio.” I know. Everyone hates regular radio now. I’m not even talking satellite radio; just normal frequency modulated radio. I don’t get satellite radio anyway—I don't see it coming in handy unless you’re driving through Kansas and you’re so sick of seeing corn and listening to country music that you'd blow your pretty little head off. But that’s just me.

These days everyone has those gawdawful iPods. Somehow people justify a $500 expenditure $500 for a little gizmo that is capable of storing every song in the world. I understand that most of you enjoy spending your parents’ money, but around here we work for what we got. Except my cat. She doesn’t do shit except pee on my roommate's bathroom rugs.

I don’t have an Apple demon box, but I do have a CD player that can play MP3 CD's, which fit about 200 songs to a disc. I know it’s a far cry from what I could be carrying around, but I’m just not that needy. Usually it’s easier for me to leave the CD player at home and just play “brain radio” anyway. Sometimes I argue with myself on the way back and forth from class. Out loud. I think my lips move. If you see me, just keep walking.

Do we really need to be able to carry every single album The Cure ever wrote? I dig The Cure, but you’d find me in a gutter 20 hours later. We as consumers have gotten sick with the spoils of availability with all that we “need” to have with us these days. What is it about society that demands that we have to be connected at all times and have instant access to EVERYTHING in the known universe? Do I really need to be able to download “Drop it like it’s hot?” for my ringtone? Well, yes…but I think I’m digressing.

The radio in my phone. Right.

Am I the last person who doesn’t dislike radio? I dig it. Not because I’m a self-righteous, boot-wearing neo-hippie, but because I like hearing *gasp* commercials and DJs. Real people! I like that when the radio is on, you NEVER know what’s going to be on next. Not only is there the heightened ecstasy of expectation, but the fact is that we ALL have our guilty pleasures.

If you’re totally “emorific” or whatever you moany losers call yourselves these days, you know that you sing along to that one Ricky Martin song in your head; and you HATE yourself for it. But there’s nothing you can do.

Say you’re a total pop princess. You know the dances to the fucking Britney video (what the hell is up with her?), but somewhere in your past there’s a weird spot because occasionally you groove to some Zeppelin. Good Zeppelin.

Even the ballers (fakers and playas) know one country song. Ask them. When it comes to the real playas, you’ll want to agree with them even before they make their case; Achy Breaky Ass Whooped ain't worth it.

If you commit to randomly scanning the radio dial and then just leave it, sometimes you hear something you love to hate, but that’s okay isn’t it? Personally, I predict that rocking out to Queen on my way to journalism class might just give me the will to go on some days. Other days it will be the drugs.

I know what you iPoders will say:

“The Beech, I HAVE every song ever written on my iPod. So it IS random.”

Fie on you, I say. Fie on you. I know there’s a couple of you who forgot to pirate a few songs before Napster was blocked at your school. For everyone who wants to boast about their 8,000 song collection just email me at [email protected]. I’ll keep your name on a list. I may need bargaining chips when they find out my roommate downloaded donkey porn on my laptop just to spite me.

Besides, what if something HAPPENS. Something bad. I’m listening to the radio while you’re attached by tiny white wires to a six-month Dylan marathon. You get hit by a wave, I’m chillin’ on higher ground on my radio/phone.

Anyway, I’m just saying that the radio/phone is sweet.

But don’t give me your number. You don’t want to see what I’m packing.