Dr. GIZMO RESPONDS TO JENNIFER CROCK
CELEBRATING HER WITH DANCE
When Jerry Falwell called me and asked for my response to Jennifers Crock comments about me in the recent edition of PF I was confused, so I asked him what he meant. Jerry said,
"Well Dr. Gizmo, we think it is time for you to the right thing and resign from Positive Feedback".
My immediate response was that I thought he had me confused with President Clinton, and not only was I not going to resign, I was going to study Jennifers article very closely and then celebrate Jennifer Crock with dance.
Unlike Jerrys and his friends I, like Allen Dershowitz, believe in not only supporting freedom of expression, but celebrating those who would deny me mine. And remember I an the inventor (in 1977) of Gay Bob, The Worlds First Gay Doll that Came Out of His Closet. I not only supported gay rights I celebrated them!
I did a quick read of Jennifers comments. Could this be true? Was it possible that my sense of humor was putrid? Was it possible that my "joker" archetype was insulting the readers of PF? Was it possible that the shamanic experience I thought was having, I wasnt really having? Was Jennifer Crocks "Shamanism in Audio" really about me. I wasnt sure because my name is never mentioned. Was someone else in the audio business, besides me, using the phrase techno-shaman, and stealing my glory? Jennifers only speaks of "him", so I immediately did a search on the web and discovered that there are many "techno-shaman" sites. Who was the mythical disrespectful and elitist "him" that Jennifer was referring to?
Was it possible that "him" was me and I was being accused of being a humorless, elitist, disrespectful, incompetent that should start acting "normal" (like her) and start respecting all our tribes highly esteemed, scientifically schooled audio engineers, or get out? What a terrifying notion.
I read and re-read JCs article a number of times and then realized that I was being criticized for being an incompetent critic by a critic, which is really the critical point. Clearly JC doesnt like "Hims" style, or spiritual beliefs, and is very upset about "Hims" improper use of names, like OTL and techno-shaman. It seems to me that JC is very unhappy over just how much fun Him is having. This may be the best way to avoid confronting real issues in the audio arts. Lets face it...I am clearly on the record about my views.
I also note that neither she or her OTL cohorts responded to the issues I raised in regards to Bernings innovative circuit, namely the desirability of power supply regulation, the sensitively of conventional OTL amplifiers to speaker loads, and the value of single-ended circuits which have no audio output transformer.
Then I realized that PF is the only "theater stage" upon which the most innovative audio journalism occurs (witnessed by my presence) and now Dave was encouraging a new genre of audio journalism; very personal, very passionate, audio right wing morality psycho-purging that needs no reference to facts, reality, nor needs to address substantive issues of the audio arts. The fantasmagorical and totally imaginary "OTL Manufacturers of America" was the beginning of this new genre, and Jennifers article is a continuation of this new inventive "emotional purging" journalism. I am familiar with it because I spent many years in group therapy and these kinds of personal releases are very satisfying.
Because I am a advocate of freedom of expression and was so impressed by JCs desire break out of the moldy mold of audio criticism I called her to congratulate her, and to my shock I discovered that her article only scratched the surface of her deep disdain for me. We spoke on the phone twice and I discovered: (1) Jennifer is generally angry and is not getting enough respect, and needs it, and who could blame her? (2) Jennifer has a very clear agenda about who should have "rights" to write about audio, with the natural corollary that if phonies like me would get out the industry it would be a much better place. (3) Jennifer was very clear that she thought I was incompetent to judge the value or quality of any audio gear (4) Jennifer believed that she was one of the few with real "engineering" training and if her types were more in charge this industrys problems would be solved (5) She further attempted to convince me that I had never had a shamanic experience, and "my types" were exploiting the spiritual traditions of her people, (6) But the most painful thing Jennifer said was that none of the thirteen different audio products I was responsible for creating at New York Audio Labs were of any value, and this view was supported by gaggles of disgruntles who were contacting her and shared her low opinion of me. I call his group the "Down with Dr. Gizmo".
Let me assure you all that I have not received such a BIG DISCOUNT since the closing of Alexanders Department store when I bought a JUICE MAN for $19.
How do I respond to Jennifers criticism? I dont because I dont need to defend myself against Jennifers emotional drama, and I dont want to inhibit the development of her new style of journalism. Dave is a brave editor and if he, in his desire to encourage diversity of expression, thinks this type of emotional hyper-ventilating is appropriate for the pages of PF, it is cool with me.
Ironically I can empathize with JCs drama: It must be terribly upsetting when a rank incompetent amateur, like me, can accomplish so much, while JC, (according to her) one of this industrys most skilled audio engineers has, in twenty years of effort, accomplished so little. I completely agree with JC that something must be must be wrong with this industry, and I take full responsibility..
It was obvious to me that JC was very passionate about the audio arts, and while talking to her I suggested that, in spite of her disdain for me, that we engage in a debate about the state of audio. Initially, I thought this a good idea. I thought YOU would enjoy a debate between an incompetent disrespectful fool with no expertise in audio engineering and a master of scientific audio engineering, This could be major entertainment...like Larry Flint vs. Jerry Falwell. Then I realized that such a debate was premature for the following reasons:
As we get older we forget. I forgot that I was the star of the Lynbrook High School Debating Team. I was so good at debating that I was given the name "Master-Debater" by my friends. In high school it was my favorite pastime. I often locked myself in the bathroom and practiced vigorously. I was very proud to hear, in the study rooms, voices whispering..."Theres Gizmo, he is our star Master-Debater". I was on the University of Pennsylvania debating team because I grew to love the art of "Master-Debating" and I made a point of practicing every day...sometimes twice a day. Some of you may remember my debate with Bob Carver in Stereophile eighteen years ago when I turned Bob Carver into audio chopped liver. Bob didnt have a chance.
Because I want to be fair to Jennifer, I reached the conclusion that until Jennifer had developed Master-Debating skills equal to mine our contest would be unfair, and fairness matters.
So whenever Jennifer clarifies her position about audio engineering, the audio arts and audio design, starts to manufacture some audio products, writes some books on the subject or opens her own web site, I am prepared to engage her in a serious debate about the fallacies of audio engineering. But I shall not waste one calorie attempting to mollify her emotional turbulence. And one other small point...I simply can not take anything she says seriously until she learns how to respectfully address the people she is criticizing and that means using my name.
In closing, let me remind you about my support for "whole-osity"; the essential ying/yang of all human pursuits. Each of us possesses all aspects of humanity; the most liberal also embodies the fascist. The hero is full of the coward. It is important for our tribe to give full expression to the cowardly, the inept, the repressive, the mealy minded, and the adolescent, as we bravely slog forward. The wider our embrace of the darkness, the brighter we shine, which is why Carl Jung said, "The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely".
Get my point? There is a Jennifer Crock in each of us, which is why I celebrate her dance.
e-mail Dr. Harvey "Gizmo" Rosenberg: firstname.lastname@example.org
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