Musings:Tapes and the Mix Tape

It is really starting to get hot out here. Yesterday, I came home and my new next door neighbor was blasting Alice Cooper. I like that a lot. It gives me hope that not everyone is awash in that crap I’m usually inundated with at 5 million annoying decibels and rattling speakers. Who knows, if I’m lucky next I might get some old Van Halen or something fun. Anyway, I started thinking about how much we lost when we all gained the capability of burning cds. Tape was out the window, and I mean the death of mix tapes. No way will anyone ever convince me that a burned comp cd is as good as a mix tape. I know it takes 5 minutes to burn a cd, but there is no passion there. The mix tape was passion incarnate. Pure emotion in 60 or 90 minute chromium dioxide, and maxell was my weapon of choice. When you made a mix tape for someone it was like you were writing a really personal letter. You had to sit there and sort and cue up songs and then you had to listen to them while they were transferred. Even if you were just making one for yourself it took time, love, and patience. The end result was like a journal entry detailing that particular time in your life. Mix cds lack character, don’t require much effort, and as an end result don’t say much at all. Better and faster isn’t always really better (and don’t get me started on ipods). Sometimes things in life move so fast we don’t realize what we are losing. Technology hasn’t saved us yet and it certainly hasn’t made us nicer people. Moreover, we all seem to work a lot more than people did in the past. I guess they call that progress. I’d rather not.

Check out this book by Rob Sheffield. I never knew him, but I remember him being around when I lived in Charlottesville, Va and worked at the Corner Parking Lot. It has nothing to do with my musing, but it is a good read.

Love is a Mix Tape

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