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An AR Carol

Guest Bret

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AR was dead to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of its bankruptcy was signed by a judge, the clerk, the creditors, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. And the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York's seal was good upon anything it chose to put its seal to.

AR was dead as an anechoic chamber.

Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is anything particularly dead about an anechoic chamber. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard hearing as the deadest piece of research equipment in the trade. But the wisdom of acoustic engineers is in the simile; and my unremarkable ears shall not disturb it, or the consumer's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that AR was as dead as an anechoic chamber.

The gate swung open and a fig-newton entered, "Maybe we can revive it, people! God save High Fidelity!" cried the naive voice. The industry never saw it coming.

"Bah!" said the CFOs. "Humbug!"

"Don't be cross, Senior V.P.s!" said the consumer.

"What else can we be," returned the executives, `when we live in such a world of fools as this? High Fidelity! What's High Fidelity to you who live on eBay trying to buy it second-hand; a goal which finds yourself constantly deafer, but not able to make us richer. . .

If we could work our will,' said the executives indignantly, `every idiot who goes about with "High Fidelity" on his lips, should be boiled with his own ferrofluid, and buried with a strand of silver and copper alloyed, Teflon coated interconnect through his heart. He should!'

"Mercy!" pleaded the consumer.

"Moron!" returned the executives sternly, "keep High Fidelity at Martin Logan, and let us keep production of thin-sounding, cookie-cutter, but highly profitable junk in Indonesia, India, and Mexico, and keep it piled high on the shelves at Wal-Mart."

"Let me leave you alone, then," said the consumer, "You've never made any money churning-out the junk you do, but I shall enjoy what I can afford from eBay. Won't you please make something I can afford to purchase that's worth owning?"

"Good afternoon!" said the chairman of the board.

"I want you to be profitable, but not at my ears' expense!"

"Good afternoon!" chimed the Board in unison.

Re-branded, noisy junk from overseas with no R&D is cheap, and the CFOs liked it.

**I fear I've taxed your patience enough, so I'll stop.**

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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