Discovering the Relevance of Words
There are a lot of options out there, you guys.
I’ve been hearing lots of chatter lately about music and how it should be listened to from other people who, like me, take things like music and how it should be listened to far too seriously, and it has me thinking. There are the purists who go around irritating everyone with their insistence that real music is only on vinyl and the channel surfers who listen through ear buds and boast hard drives full of hundreds of thousands of songs but only ever listen to the same three. It’s not a new argument. The old versus the new is a conflict inherent in every part of life. Most of the time the answer is somewhere in the middle, since both old and new have their pros and their cons. I love the portability and options given to me by internet radio and MP3s. It’s great to be able to take as much music as I want with me on a road trip. But those portable little songs can’t compete with the act of dropping a needle on a record and hearing it pop through big speakers on the floor. One gives me portability, the other gives me experience. I’ll take both.
I feel the same way about books. Tablets and electronic readers seem to be taking over reading the way the iPod did listening. But I don’t find it distressing, necessarily. I love being able to pack as many books as I want in less space than is normally occupied by one airport paperback. But that convenience pales for me in comparison with the experience of walking into a book shop. The way the smell hits you as you walk in the door, a smell that makes you think of pencils and big ugly chairs and ideas older than the town you live in just waiting to be discovered.
Personally, I’ve always been a bit of a cranky old man. So my affinity for all things classic or old is understandable. But I think there’s room for everybody. I don’t think the new way will ever totally replace the old. No one suspected that vinyl records would still be around today when the cassette tape swept the world in the ’70s. But now that’s the only part of the recording industry that’s growing. You never know.
Where do you stand? Does it really matter?