Wednesday 24 January 2018

Darragh McManus: 'Must-have' gadget? Make mine a Taobh Tuathail compilation

Darragh McManus won't be looking for the latest iPad this year
Darragh McManus won't be looking for the latest iPad this year
Darragh McManus

Darragh McManus

Jessica Kelly was doing her regular Monday technology slot on The Right Hook (Newstalk), reviewing the year's best gadgets. And she said something that encapsulates how ridiculous is the world of gadgets and tech.

Talking about some new Nokia phone, she commented: "This caused a fuss when it was launched early in the year, because it has an incredible camera. This has 41 megapixels, which is more than you'll ever need on a camera. But the Nokia has it."

But but but, I don't understand. If the person will never need them, why is it a good thing that the phone has all these megapixels?

The business of new technology is full of rubbish: the public are sold things they don't want, don't need, won't use, and often didn't even know existed until now. But more than this, it's spun in such a way that they feel they absolutely must own these items.

They're brainwashed into believing that acquiring a new tablet will give meaning to their lives. Buying these products -- which, ultimately, are just assemblages of metal and plastic parts -- is seen as akin to an interpersonal relationship; how often do you hear people squeal about how they "love" their new smartphone or whatever?

It's the subtle sell of consumerism taken to the nth degree. And radio is complicit: this stuff is all over the airwaves. Virtually every show has a tech slot -- which of itself would be fine -- extolling the latest "must-have" bit of kit which nobody, when you think about it, actually "must have".

For real beauty and a profound sense of meaning or connection, you need look no further than music. (Be it electronic or not.) And for great music radio, delivered with proper passion and authenticity, you need look no further than the mighty An Taobh Tuathail (Raidió na Gaeltachta).

We've praised Cian Ó Cíobháin's "alternative" music show before, and now's a good time to do so again: they've just released their latest compilation album, ATT Volume 6, which can be downloaded from rte.ie/rnag.

The others are available to buy online, and I heartily recommend them as gifts for music-lovers. Much better than some lame tablet or smartphone, and a hell of a lot cheaper.

DMCMANUS@INDEPENDENT.IE

Irish Independent

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