Monday, January 5, 2009

2008 in retrospect

is really a big blur. I guess this is the time of year where everyone sits down and looks back on the year and says "This was great, this was alright, and this part here isn't invited back to 2009, or in fact any other year ever". And I'd kinda like to do one of those, because I have fairly particular tastes in music, movies, books, and other media that the kids like. And I like to think that I have a unique voice to offer the world; a way of seeing, a way of turning the phrases, that allows me to say something that other folks aren't saying already.

But I can't. There are two reasons.

One is that it all seems kind of pointless to me. Because you're either running on memory, in which case it's really an exercise in what you liked for the last three months, at which point I really wish you'd do this every three months so it's a seasonal thing (for example, I try to make a mixtape that defines my mood every few months. I inevitably grow tired of that tape as the weather changes, but then once the year comes full circle I'm all "OMG HOW DID I FORGET HOW AWESOME THIS TAPE IS" because when it's cold and grey and winter's coming, you just need to listen to a lot of Aphex Twin and wear huge black boots while you stomp around in the puddles). If you're not running on memory, then you're basically compiling a list of things you've already written about, and unless you're adding new details because you're approaching the Killers' new album from a fresh, post-2008 perspective, and face it. There aren't fresh perspectives on the Killers, you either love them or wish everyone would shut up already, and since you've already declared what side you stand on, please write something new. So in a way it's kind of pointless, and I wish folks would stop doing them because I always read them eagerly and then get disappointed because there's 50 new items in my google reader and they're all crap I already read.

But the other reason I don't do these posts myself, and perhaps the stronger reason, is that I really just can't remember anything except this Jesca Hoop CD that I've been listening to on repeat for days. This is not to say no other albums matter (and there have been some great albums this year) but just that they were all in the past, and I can't pick out the awesome albums from an arbitrary time period and separate them from other awesome albums that were from slightly before that time period. There's what I'm listening to NOW, and there's what I've already had, great or otherwise. And if it didn't spur me to write about it before, then it's not going to spur me to write about it now, because meh.

On the other hand, this gets into why I get along with Tumblr so well, and why I ultimately realized I hated Wordpress, which is that I am always like this, about everything. I read a really great book three weeks ago, but I never got around to writing about it, and now I might never because THAT WAS THREE WEEKS AGO. OMG. Tumblr is great because posting is nearly effortless. You're looking at something, or that song comes on that you get up and dance to every time even at work when people are watching, and you just click a few times and it's up there and you can show people exactly what's getting you excited at this moment. And I kinda forget about the stuff that's not on the front page, but that was ten posts ago and now I'm listening to this song and can't stop tapping my toes. So in a way Tumblr is a truer blogging experience for me, because it's more akin to what it's actually like in my brain.

But this is the part where it affects you, so listen up, internet: what I'm really getting at is that same kind of thing Warren Ellis has been hinting at for a while, which is that we need more content on the web, and less filler. Top-Ten lists are fun once in a while, but the reason I read your blog is because this one time you said something about that one album and how it made you feel, and I had a "me, too" moment, and I wish you would write more of that kind of stuff, because those moments are awesome.

No comments: