The Car Radio
In this essay I will try to show you how to read what we call a car radio. There are several ways in which you can read a car radio, but I will try to show you three. The first way to read it is to look at it like being a car buyer at automobile dealership looking at a new or used car that you want to buy. The car radio is part of the packaged product of the car in question. This can be viewed the same way the author Walker Percy might look at a tourist taking a tour. In this way the car radio is considered part of the package
or a pre-packaged product. It comes with a new car when you buy it unless you specifically request that it is not installed and if it is a used car then most of the time you have no choice. If you request that it not be installed in a new car then it is considered just another piece of technology used by someone else.
A person can tour different automobile dealership and find a car that has no radio or has the type of car radio that they would like. Car radios come in many shapes and sizes today. There are pull out systems with and without compact disc(CD) players and/or cassette players. There are in dash systems with the same options and of course both systems can come with both CD and cassette players, but no matter how it comes you are still looking at it as it is still part of the packaged product.
Another way of reading the car radio might be to see it in the same way that the author Paulo Freire looks at education by using the metaphor of the banking concept. Assume for a moment that you are driving down the road and there is a news broadcast or a song on your car radio or you are listening to a cassette or CD. What do you think is happening? Everything that you are listening to is being deposited into your memory because you are thinking about what it is you are listening to. The information or lyrics you are listening to gets deposited into you memory like when someone deposits money into a bank. In this way you can apply the metaphor that the author Paulo Freire uses, the banking concept, because theoretically you can withdraw the information anytime you want to use.
Now suppose you were in a foreign country and wanted to turn on the car radio. What do you think you would see? If you are like most people you are probably seeing a language you don t understand because you don t know how to read the language. The car itself is basically the same as what you are used to, even the radio. It could
however, be placed in a different spot in the car. The radio could be in the dash, the console between the seats if there are individual seats in the front of the car, or on the upper part of the roof inside and between the sun visors. It depends on the design of the car and who makes the car as to where the radio is going to be put. Looking at it from this point of view we can see how the author, John Berger, would see the context of a car radio and its placement in a vehicle.
Since William P. Lear first invented the first radio apparatus, known as the eight track tape player, in the 1960 s, we have seen how technology has changed the car radio. This technology from our past has had a great influence on the many changes in the radio apparatus. Some of those changes can be seen every time we get into our car. What is one of the first things most people do when they get in their car? They turn on the radio to listen to the morning or evening news or they put in a tape or CD to listen to. This is also one of the changes that has happened, they don t have to watch the news on TV or listen to music at home. Another change is technology has changed how we listen to music because it now comes in some many different forms, such as, eight tracks, cassettes, and compact discs. I think that in the future car radios will be smaller and more compact than they are now because technology is growing at a so dramatic pace.
I have one last question to ask. Have you ever wondered why the car radio was invented? I know that until now, I never had that question cross my mind, so with that question being left in your mind I will end this and let you think about it.