Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stasis And Change: A Voice From The Past

I love the internet, but in some ways I lead a pre-internet life. I hope I always do. I buy my music in music shops like HMV (if you can still call them that), and I rely on the release information over the counter to tell me when an artist I like has something new coming out. It's that or the music magazines, though I don't buy them often; I'm too old for NME, and the magazines directed at the older fan have a disturbing tendency to write endlessly about the Beatles and the Rolling Stones--which is fine, but you want something more unusual and stimulating if you're paying a £4.95 cover price for your reading matter. And the music I buy tends to be played on what product manufacturers (apparently stuck in the Eighties, which I guess is a couple of decades more up-to-date than me) call without a trace of irony a "boom box". I could fork out more and get a proper whatever-you'd-call-it, with grown-up speakers etc., and a radio inside, but the idea just doesn't appeal to me. Such things seem pointlessly showy to me, and who am I being showy for?

Those little objects people put in their ears to play music on don't appeal to me either. You have to download the music first anyway if you want to play them on those contraptions, and I don't have a computer since mine stopped working.

As for reading itself...I mean, book reading, and poetry reading...well I prefer to do that with a book in my hand rather than reading off a computer screen. It's something that probably looks terribly quaint to most people, especially the under thirties, but I like the quaintness as much as I appreciate the activity. I don't really want to be a part of the world that's developing anyway, not a wholehearted, unquestioning part. I've seen another way and there were some things about it that I liked a lot better.

No design object, as far as I'm concerned, that you can find in the household is more beautiful than a well-packaged book.

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