Friday, January 08, 2016

You can't take a selfie with a Super 8

First it was vinyl.

Then audiophiles rediscovered reel-to-reel tape decks. (I never forgot them.)

Some folks have fallen back in love with typewriters, (I have two . . . still.)

And now Kodak is bringing back Super 8 movies. (Heh . . . I have two Polaroid instant cameras, some 35 millimeter cameras, a couple of Kodak Brownies and my late mother's 1930s box camera. Did you know no one makes flash cubes anymore -- or consumer-grade flash bulbs, for that matter. Ebay is my friend here.)

It would seem that we're discovering that our brave new digitized world is lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. That we're missing something. That maybe, just maybe, our digital, instantaneous, effortlessly expressed, omnipresent selves, thrust upon the world with nary a thought . . . maybe that's not our best selves.

MAYBE we're thinking that our music ought to be touched and not just summoned. Savored and not just hop-scotched through on a smartphone.

Maybe we think our words should be put onto paper with some effort -- and editing marks and Wite-Out -- instead of emoted onto Facebook with abandon and oftentimes without thought. (Dear World: Please stop oversharing. It really is none of my business.)

And maybe if videos, those things we used to call "movies," were a little harder to make, cost us the price of a film cartridge and took us a week to see, we'd be more hesitant to record ourselves at our worst and more likely to spend that time and effort on ourselves at our best.

Maybe, just maybe, we're coming to some sort of subconscious realization that nobody likes an egomaniac, and our instant-on world of digital proliferation is turning us all into narcissistic whack jobs. I admit, typing this with trembling fingers on a computer keyboard, that as I point a finger at the world, three more are pointing back at myself.

Let's call them Blog, Twitter and Podcast. You'll note that I've hyperlinked everything, because we're not only narcissists, but whores as well.

ON THE other hand, maybe I'm just bloody overthinking it all.

Perhaps folks find records a lot more fun than CDs or downloads. I know I do. And at my age, I certainly can read the liner notes a lot better on a great, big LP cover.

It could be that typewriters are just more aesthetically pleasing than your flippin' laptop, which has just frozen the f*** up yet again and I HATE WINDOWS I HATE WINDOWS I HATE WINDOWS!!! I must say that I never had to reboot a typewriter, nor reinstall anything more complicated than a ribbon.

And it could be that Super 8 just gives us all the warm fuzzies. (Though the missus does give YouTube props for Puppy Christmas, which is pretty damned adorable.)

And, thinking about reel-to-reel tape, it is a hell of a lot of fun, as evidenced by the video above from the electronic home of 3 Chords & the Truth. (WHORE ALERT: There will be a new episode of the Big Show this week.)

SO ENJOY, thanks to our digital world, the video of my 1969 reel-to-reel deck playing back the local AM oldies station, which I recorded on 50-year-old tape -- a tribute to the Wonderful World of Analog and times gone by . . . when expressing yourself took a little time, a little effort and a lot more thought.

Does anybody else think that Facebook  should force you to wad up a post and throw it in the garbage can, rewrite it, throw it in the garbage can, rewrite it, throw it in the garbage can and then rewrite it a lot less stupidly before the "Post" button will work?

Maybe that's just me.

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