I have an RSS link to everything that YouTube produces tagged “radio,” and the strangest things come into my browser as a result. Today’s example: this Gmod video titled “radio” by Eltorro64Alt, whose work seems to be inspired by cult movie maker Alejandro Jodorowsky.
In this piece the rather meaty protagonist wanders about some kind of remote factory town with a reel-to-reel boombox, which he hoists menacingly on his considerable shoulders. When a mentally challenged vagrant displeases him by attempting to pulverize a metallic object with a concrete girder, he ominously raises the box to halt the activity.
The rest of the vid has our hero flung about and jettisoned into all kinds of incomprehensible trouble. But the opening seems indicative, at least to me, of the representational fate of the boombox in our time: a great big out of control urban juggernaut—a trend perhaps initiated by Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s film Do the Right Thing. The boombox is no longer just the Poor Man’s iPhone; it has become the Really Weird Dystopian Poor Man’s iPhone. Discuss.