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"The Tech Rep" by James Michener; Continued

" After I had been working with tech reps for some years, one of them showed me an article by a German psychiatrist who argued that men turn to the reassurance of high-fidelity systems only when they find they cannot control the society about them, especially women. This head-shrinker claimed that a man who has made a mess with his association with his wife or mistress finds spiritual consolation in being able to turn a little dial and thus make a great, intricate system respond. Even the slightest turn produces results. Even the dreariest man can feel himself a master of his fate when he can reduce Beethoven to a whisper or increase Bing Crosby to a greater-than-human roar. He does all of this with a twist of a wrist, so obviously he cannot be a complete jerk. The German psychologist concluded that no man who was truly normal would need to bother with such mechanical feeding of his ego. Then, least his meanings be obscure, he added, NO MAN WHOSE RELATIONS WITH WOMEN ARE SATISFACTORY WOULD NEED TO CONSTRUCT A HIGH-FIDELITY MUSIC SYSTEM WHICH HE COULD DOMINATE! I had a copy of the essay made and showed it to several tech reps who had intricate systems, and they laughed at his analysis, but I noticed that each of them was divorced.

I have a splendid system in Geneva."

To be continued!

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