Sunday, February 08, 2009

Don’t Doom Your Life To Death

I semi-squandered much of my weekend. My laptop fried out last summer, and on it were a bunch of music files, many MP3s converted from old vinyl for the purposes of sharing with the digital peoples. Luckily, I had been in the habit of burning mix CDs of all the blogarbage I’d been accumulating. Only thing was – over the years, these discs were growing more and more unplayable on the temperamental (read: mental) CD players we have in our kitchen and in the living room. And since I’d only scrawled cryptic names on the discs and never actually made proper playlists, I never quite knew which disc had that righteous Thin Lizzy track and which had the overdriven transfer of that Merle Haggard song. So I spent much of yesterday re-ripping some of this stuff from the discs, and then manually going through the unlabeled tracks and renaming them. It was a big time-consuming data-dump, a file-storage reclamation worm hole. But there were a lot of gems I’d forgotten about. And I read in the NYT today that digital data storage/transfer/management is a new career line.

Maybe as folks lose their jobs they have more free time to fiddle around with all the digital clutter accumulating. That’s one of the points touched on at the end of a recent story by Ann Powers in the LA Times. The piece is, on the surface, a review of new music by Animal Collective, Bon Iver and recent stuff by the Fleet Foxes, but it’s also a meditation on the pack-it-in paradigm and an exploration of how technology can aid the effort to just burrow down in some creaky cabin and explore the wind-blown corridors of the mind. Powers cites a recent column from Arthur Magazine in which the writer speculated that the economic slow-down would bring about a beneficial slow-down in all kinds of psychic metabolisms. As liquidity firms up, so too does the frantic flow of time. We’ll all have a chance to chill, and grow shit once we get fired and the banking networks and international commerce just totally shits the bed. Time to take up needlework and gardening. Have a summer-long clam bake in PEI. Remember how to be all Quaker-like, quiet with yourself. I hope so.

In the meantime, with the stimulus plan needing a nudge, this bit of man-on-the-street economic philosophy from Swamp Dogg seems particularly apt. As he says, “there’s just a little time left.” I posted this one in the early days here, but it was a short-lived link, and I thought it warranted a re-up. Plus, end-times rants never get old.

“There’s Just a Little Time Left” – Swamp Dogg

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