A few months ago, I was listening to a This American Life podcast on superpowers, in which one of the acts centered on one guy's perpetual party question: if you could have either the power of invisibility or the power of flight, which superpower would you choose? It was an interesting piece, and I brought up that invisibility-or-flight question later with my superpower-savvy friend. Seems a lot of people are of the opinion that everyone secretly wants to be invisible so that they can spy on others; those people who say they'd choose flight are just embarrassed by their desire to spy. I can see the logic in this argument, but I'm not quite sure if it's accurate in all cases.
Anyway, lately I've been thinking a bit more broadly about what superpower I would choose if I had the opportunity. Not restricting myself to the invisibility-or-flight scenario, I've given myself full license to choose any sort of superpower I might want, whether it's comic book-accurate or not. I've thought about this question a lot while walking to and from places on and around campus. You know, those walks where you always see people plugged into their iPods? All these walks have helped me to make my decision.
If I could choose a superpower, I would be able to selectively tune in to whatever people are listening to on their headphones. I am so intrigued by the infinite possibilities of what different people might be listening to at any given moment, and I wonder if being able to listen in on a person's playlist would allow you to learn something about that person. Any thoughts on the matter? I know that my own iPod is incredibly diverse. My "Recently Played" playlist currently includes Juliette Greco, Billy Joel, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mickey Avalon, The Guggenheim Grotto, Jewel, and songs from The Sound of Music. I also listen to a ton of podcasts on my iPod. What does all that say about me?
It intrigues and amuses me to think of the possibilities of what these random people that I pass every day might be listening to. I am absolutely certain that some of what I would hear with my radio-tuning superpower would surprise me. Who is listening to Taylor Swift or Glee? Who is secretly reveling in the fourth-grade glory of the Spice Girls and Hanson? Who is wearing an ICP t-shirt but listening to the Planet Money podcast? What a wonderfully interesting superpower mine would be.
What's on your iPod?
And what superpower would you choose?