Observations, 7/13/17


I try to put a certain amount of distance between me and new vinyl records, as they are my weakness. For the most part, they’re relatively expensive as compared to various streaming services, “free,” and digital (though interestingly, not that much more expensive than digital). But I like to just buy an album and put it on the turntable—listen to the whole thing, feel this sort of tangible “experience.”

Also, the coveting of the material object just presses all my buttons. A number of hardcore vinyl aficionados will freely cop to this fact in terms of their own collecting jones, which I appreciate.

Currently I’m playing a reissue of The Beatles Revolver in mono. It is a shiny black disc with yellow lettering spinning on my turntable; I can’t keep my eyes off of it. I’m listening right now to “Doctor Robert,” a song that I believe was dropped from my beloved cassette version from the early 1990s. I’m paying attention to my mind, that it actually has registered a slight anger-thing going on regarding being deprived of “Doctor Robert.” I guess somebody made the decision somewhere along the way that one song from Revolver “had to go,” and “Doctor Robert” was deemed expendable.

OK, maybe they had a point. Assuming that I’m not misremembering this and in reality my teenage self had simply fast-forwarded past “Dr. Robert” in an eagerness to get to “I Want To Tell You.” That I had automatically performed this fast-forwarding so many times that I actually began to believe that “Dr. Robert” never existed—or if it did exist, certainly not on “Revolver,” an album I claimed to know like the back of my hand.

I worry that I’m starting to alienate the two hardcore Trump-level supporters I have left on my Facebook. Not because of the Beatles nonsense I’ve just described in excruciating detail. Obviously. But rather, because in my mind, the whole mess in the White House is completely irredeemable at this point. It’s the death of a thousand cuts. It’s The Final Days, a book I actually have on order from Amazon. I’m reading the book—which covers the end of the Nixon administration—for the trashy schadenfreude, which I may or may not find. But it’s probably going to be healthier than constantly refreshing Raw Story.

However, back to my perhaps former Trumper FB friends. It’s…really become this “all or nothing” thing. It’s like you are either all in for Trump or not. And “Trump” becomes this whole constellation of connections and people that you have to all hate and condemn in order to be “all in.” And of course it no longer is a thing about politics, or even ideology. It’s just a cult. And the Left has their own cults, to be sure. The cults are everywhere, these days. You’re either “in” or you’re “out.”

But it’s rarely ever simply about politics. I think the “battlelines” and grievances start really early; perhaps at early childhood. Perhaps while still in the womb.

I’m now listening to a Django Reinhardt album of no great distinction. What I mean is: certainly, Reinhardt is a musician of great distinction. But this particular edition of his “best ofs” is kind of just a “budget” thing I got online. The disc sleeve is—I shit you not—made out of a simple stiff white cardboard. Yeah, I find that really disturbing too.

More to read about on Butterfly Language:
Observations, 5/30/17
Observations, 5/22/17
Observations, 5/16/17