Bringing the holidays home
In a revelation of seismic proportions, a consumer electronics company called Behringer announced in an emailed press release that it had created the “world’s largest iPad/iPod/iPhone dock with 10,000 watts of power.”
This staggering news was all the more astounding when Behringer revealed that the device, called the iNuke Boom, is 8 feet wide, 4 feet tall and weighs 700 pounds. The iNuke is so big that an iPhone docked on top of it looks something like a tick on the back of a blue whale.
The only thing more incredible than that is the price - $29,999.99.
This news has no particular importance, except in the context of a paradoxical Christmas season in which we are all hoping for an economic recovery that is dependent, we are told, on us spending a lot of money on Christmas presents, money that many of us don’t have.
Whether the $30,000 iNuke is just a publicity ploy to launch a new product line, or a serious addition to the unimaginably overcrowded world of consumer electronics, doesn’t really matter. We have to ask ourselves – does the world really need this? Is it OK to spend that much money on a boom box the size and price of a Mini Cooper when Congress is debating whether to slash social service programs further and the state legislature can’t balance the budget without eviscerating education?
Which is all by way of passing on the contents of a chain letter from reader Lynne Strohm, who said it arrived while she and her husband were contemplating what they “needed” for Christmas.
“As the holidays approach,” the letter reads, “the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods – merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.”
The letter goes on to argue that meaningful, useful and local gifts can be had without the help of a single Chinese factory worker, who earns on average $426 a month.
Everyone gets a haircut, the anonymous missive, points out. “How about gift certificates from your local, American hair salon or barber?”
Other outside-the-box suggestions include gym memberships, car detailing, a certificate for summertime lawn mowing or rounds of golf at the local links.
Also, how about gift certificates to local restaurants, an oil change for the family car or a few visits from a local cleaning service?
If you prefer something more personal, this Valley is awash in artists and craftspeople whose products make ideal holiday gifts. If you’re unclear about where to look, check with the Arts Guild of Sonoma.
And for those on your gift list who already have it all, there are more than 30 nonprofit organizations in the Valley that would love to be the recipients of donations made in their names.
So, with just a little creativity we think it’s a short reach to bring the holidays home.
Of course, if your Christmas gift list wouldn’t be complete without an iNuke Boom, we are positive you could find someone in Sonoma County – if not in the Valley – to build you one for less than $30,000.