This week, I had a brief article in the Commercial Appeal. Its by no means an exciting piece, but I enjoyed doing it. I had more fun than I would have guessed, actually.
I haven’t had anything published on dead trees in several years. The vast majority of writing I’ve done over the last 3 years (since ReZoom magazine was sold) is online only.
So the little extra thrill I got at my byline today was somewhat surprising to me and it carried me back to a recent Facebook discussion I got caught up in.
Two old DJ friends (Bobby Rainwater , Andrew Brandt) and I got caught up in the vinyl vs digital DJ argument that plagues those of us who got swept up DJ culture in the late nineties. While I won’t try to rehash the long discussion that this is, I think it comes down to the same feeling.
Owning huge crates of vinyl just came along with the act of being a DJ. Regardless of the style of music, you had to commit to the sacrifice. Guys would take road trips to other towns for hard to find records. It meant something to have your crate of records. It was romantic.
Seeing your name on paper still has a certain romance. There’s a good chance more people read my posts when I was at the gadget blog than my fluffy profile today, but I never got the extra sense of attachment that comes along with a printed byline. Numbers be damned. it still feels like something magic happens when your name is in print, unless it’s on the police blotter.
When the availability and gateway to entry for the New Yorker website is the same as this lonesome blog, something seems less romantic about the New Yorker and yet they’d never employ a hack like me.
Somehow, there is a devaluing of the romantic notion of getting to the truth and writing about it. This same devaluing of the art of the DJ goes with its full digitalization as well.
I worry the translation of our works from physical to digital media will eventual cause us to devalue the whole system to the point where were have no idea what’s real and what isn’t because its all relative to your perspective.
I need a drink.