Wednesday, August 01, 2007

project 365 #212: sunset clouds and trees

I'm a bit disgruntled today, partly because I stayed up waaay too late last night listening to music and considering making intensely message filled mix CDs for pretty much all my friends. Fortunately, I didn't carry through on this. Yet. It's such a weird adolescent impulse, the desire to use pop songs to express your every wish, hope, dream and thought. Also, it doesn't work very well. You may be sure that this exact mix that goes from, say, the Buzzcocks to the Jayhawks to Lou Reed is expressing a precise and complicated mix of emotions such as "I miss you but I know you had to leave but all the same I wish you hadn't of left like that, I mean, you could have called me, you shit, plus by the way I have this huge painful bruise on my leg from the dog that reminds me of that day six months ago when you said that thing that almost, but not quite, broke my heart, remember that? Did I tell you about that?" but, once it's in his hands, the recipient is just thinking, "God, I can't believe she put Bitchin' Camaro on there. . . jesus, I hate that song."

I'm not sure what it is in the human soul that believes that it's possible to communicate in complicated ways other than language, because honestly even language doesn't really work all the time and conversations and text messages alike can be and are horribly misinterpreted on a daily basis. Without this fact, hell, we would have no comedy. Or tragedy. But somehow it just seems easier, if more opaque, to sometimes let Warren Zevon say it for you.

4 comments:

Edward said...

I think the other than direct communication pokes something in our brain that makes it more powerful than the direct variety. Like the best Steven Spielberg movie isn't that good because he insists on treating us like dummies, hitting us over the head with whatever idea he is trying to get across. Maybe something about decoding a metaphor makes us feel smart and appreciate the subject of the metaphor more.

Now, yesterday I had trouble with even this sentence from THJ: "Dude, you're fucking Tinker Bell. Did you not notice that she was a little on the short side?" At first I couldn't get past thinking fucking was an adjective for some reason, modifying tinkerbell. But it's a verb, and then it made sense. duh. So, given that, especially when it comes to boy-girl relations I've mostly abandoned nuance for direct communication. I think I'm becoming famous among craigslist women for asking if they're interested in kissing me... Well, I guess I still employ the nuance for the romantic lovey-dovey talk, because it is powerful. But think I better stick with the direct communication for the issues, and when I'm confused about nuance I think I might be on the receiving end of.

Edgy Mama said...

Some days, you have fricking brilliant insights. Thank you for stopping me from making morbid CD mixes for various people who wouldn't get what I or Warren Zevon was really trying to say.

syntax said...

i miss cassette culture in general, including the mix tape. you know that back in the day when someone handed you a mix tape, they spent a good deal of time poring through their music collection, cleaning the records, carefully cueing each track, maybe even going as far as manually adjusting the recording levels down to 0 dB before hitting pause to avoid popping...

which isn't to say that i'm down on mix cds - i love 'em. i just don't get the same kind of empirical satisfaction as i did from crafting a mix tape when i drag and drop mp3 files into nero and click "burn". you know what i mean?

i'm going to stop before i start to sound like a character from a nick hornby novel.

mygothlaundry said...

@ edward: Everybody had trouble with that "fucking Tinker Bell" line. It says something about contemporary language that all of us read "fucking" as an adverb first, verb second. I'm not sure exactly WTF (used as, uh, noun?) it says, but something.

@ EM: I had this other really bad teenage type idea: making a mix CD that would totally define me. I can hear it now, the confused mumblings: "So, uh, segue from Mother's Little Helper right into Madonna of the Wasps. . . uh, yeah, right."

@ syntax: Yeah, the other problem with the mix CD as opposed to the tape is that it won't necessarily be played in order, which kind of bites. My players are pretty much all set to default to random play, which is great most of the time, but not when the transition is as important as the contents.