Hikikomori (of a sort)

Via Salon:

When I first brought home our sleek, silver, double-deck, Panasonic stereo cassette player during the summer of 1993, my then-wife, Gitty, frowned.

“It has a radio,” she said with an accusing glare.

The device, fresh out of the box, lay on the chintzy oilcloth on our kitchen table, and she stuck her index finger at a spot on the top, near the volume control. Tape, AM, FM, printed in tiny white letters along the ridge of the circular switch. There was no denying it. And in our all-Hasidic village in Rockland County, N.Y., radio — along with TV, movies, newspapers and other sources of secular influence — was verboten.

“We’ll do what everyone does,” I said, slightly annoyed at the suggestion of impiety. Many of my friends had cassette players, and when the device came with a built-in radio tuner, there was a standard procedure for it: Krazy Glue the switch into the tape-playing position, paste a strip of masking tape over the channel indicators, and put the antenna out with the next day’s trash…

That seems sad to me, but there it is…

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