Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where'd My Paper Go?

Call me a grumpy old bastard, but does everything inevitably HAVE to go digital?

I say this as I make the acquaintance of my new 80GB Zune, a replacement for my 20GB iPod that some inconsiderate asshole helped himself to out of my truck a few weeks ago, along with a couple of nice hunting knives. To be honest, I'll miss the blades more than the effete devil spawn of Steve Jobs. Actually, the iPod itself was pretty nice... I just hated iTunes. Anyhow, I digress.

My music is all digital, and it took me forever to make my 1,000-plus CD collection that way. Now, those discs that I've been pridefully collecting since college are now collecting dust, resigned to ignominy in a hall closet. Liner notes? Forget about them. I'm one of those music nerds who like to peruse the artwork and band shout-outs, and I haven't experienced that since Reckless Kelly's 2005 Wicked Twisted Road (which was quite cool, since there were tiny little working dice embedded in the spine, and I got my own personal shout-out). And forget about walking into that great, but frighteningly weird, record store to browse. There's just no way that iTunes can offer you the experience of walking into a dimly-lit store replete with funky-smelling gonesh sticks, freaky King Crimson b-sides, and flippant attitude. Sure, digital opens up some amazing doors, and lets me have an entire record collection (records? yep, I'm old) in my truck at my fingertips. But at what price?
Digital has even robbed us of the simple pleasure of the ticket stub. We went to see Gomez play last night, and my shitty excuse for a "ticket" was a printed out 8.5 x 11 piece of paper with a bar code and ads all over it. Nothing to save to prove to your buddies that You Were There When. Hell, I used to proudly put my now-obsolete ticket stubs in my now-nonexistent CD jewel cases.
Don't even get me started on the daily newspaper (they call it a "paper" for a reason, folks). It seems as though my local rag, along with countless others around the country, is falling victim to (among other things) free versions online. While I may also contend that lazy journalism might be to blame, I still miss having the tactile analog version to read with my cup of coffee. After all, have you ever tried to balance a laptop on your knees during your morning constitutional?

I am a grumpy bastard... I need to get off of this damned blog and get back to configuring my MP3 player and checking out a few message boards. Adios.


  1. Whoa! Nice move on the Zune. I have about 50 gigs worth of envy. I'll be interested to see what you think.

    As for going digital, you have to give it some credit. Without it you'd actually have to call someone to rant and be a grumpy bastard. Never underestimate the value of convenience.

  2. I put your Sunday paper inside your storm door you bafoon!

  3. NH: So far so good on the Zune. Interface is like buttah, nice big display, and I'm gonna play with WiFi transfer tonight. And I don't have to call anyone to be grumpy - just ask my wife.

    Jon: That's spelled "buffoon," you buffoon! And thanks again for watching the pooches.

  4. I feel your grump. I alway found a lot of music by browsing around in a store and browsing on-line just isn't the same experience. Also, as a person who likes albums, I'm not too happy with the emphasis on individual songs that digital seems to be bringing about.