Comment: Michael N

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Michael Nystrom's picture

Michael N

That's how I used to sign my papers in the first grade. I can still remember how I used to write, all loopy, sloppy. It is unfortunate that I no longer have that documentation - all those paintings and drawings, and simple words with simple sentences. What an incredible record it would be to have. The young ones today will have an opportunity to keep all of that - digitized, and stored forever. The only reason I threw it out was for lack of space.

But at any rate, you're right! I'm pointing a gun. At my ballot. That I just cast for Ron Paul.

And you're right. I could have gotten suspended. And you've sent me back into a reverie. If I was that kid - that same kid, six years old in 1974, before cable TV, before the internet, before cellphones, before facebook, before the PC, before even Atari. The first "wow!" I remember was Pong. Seriously, at the age of i, without all this stuff we have now - Pong was the bomb! But if I was that kid now, with all these arbitrary rules placed on them.... That is so sad.

It is one reason I really don't want to have kids. That is the most ultimately pessimistic statement of all. All this sh!t, this sh!tty world, ultracompetitive to the point that nobody can make it. No one but the big stars, who are just duping everyone else. The biggest lights of all are in the government itself; then the pundit class; then the entertainment class. That is the Gold Rush of today. Gold was the rush in 1849 (go Niners!), this is like a false gold rush. Everyone is aiming to be the next Glenn Beck, the next Limbaugh, the next whatever.

Of any book, I cannot recommend one more highly than "Entertaining Ourselves to Death." It is what we're doing. That book was written in '84, or '86 (can't remember which), but it was right when I was graduating from high school. I'll tell you what the bomb was then: MTV. That was the bomb, to come home from school and vege on the couch for three hours, watching video after video, waiting for the one you wanted to see. And they'd show one you didn't want to see, and you'd say to yourself, "funk," but then you'd hope that one you liked would be on next. And it would be so random. But even the bad ones were good. Like they say about both pizza and sex: Even when it is bad, it is good.

And within the context of that bomb, the big bomb was Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

I'm going to go watch that again now. That is the great thing about YouTube: You are in control. With MTV, you had zero control. It was not random access (RAM). Unlike the record. Unlike the 8-track and cassette tape. CD was the first random access device.

CDs are pretty much outdated now, but I still like them. I like the physicality of them, even if the physicality of them is meaningless. Records, the physicality had meaning. You could at least see it. It was just one long groove per side, but you could at least see song lengths. "Whoa - that's a long song! Bob Dylan's "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowland" takes up one whole side of one LP record. Blonde on Blonde. (It was a four record set - "double album" as they used to call them. I'm sure it was the bomb when it came out, but that was before my time. I do enjoy that record.

From Blonde on Blonde to Thriller in pop music. That really was a beautiful trip, the musical evolution.

having given way to completely digital music.

He's the man.