May 10, 2007

Boondoggles vs Immediacy

I was musing over the intracacies of the logistics of mixtape exchanges:

There are songs to collect (which we do as consumers anyway),
There is media to buy (the lowly and nearly obsolete cdr discs),
And we must pay the postal piper to have these nearly obsolete bits of plastic shipped from locality to locality, sometimes internationally.

Not to mention the silver fleece of packaging, wrapping and the sealings with kisses to ensure fortuitous delivery of our prizes.

I was thinking about the equation and I realized that we might be able to reduce the steps down to a slipstream of simplicity: Collecting and then sending, thus eliminating the media, the postals and all the lovely s.w.a.k.s.

My proposal:
We keeps it digital.

We collect our musics and put the best and the brightest into a folder. i.e. "Gillz's Whipped Cream and Other Delights" and then we upload thems to a central server, like the venerable Maison des Oiseaux, where everyone with computer can access and instantaneously pull them down like so many fresh timber from the hilltops of Macedonia.

That way we have no impediments of either buying useless media, nor the mechanations of state postal delivery. We save our timber, we save our fossil fuels, we save our plastics (our futures) and most of all we save our efforts. We can spend the surplus in time loving our Loves, listening to our loves and loving to love new creations instead of wasting our strength between the gears of postal service vans.

I think I might know a person with such a server who might (with a minimal bribe) have said server already ups and runnings.
He could, theoretically, set aside a folder to enclose the mixes where all of the like-minded might set their treasures.

Thus ending world poverty, at least to a dozen or so souls involved in the mixtapesabound project, in terms of maximising the collective leisure at sharing songs with their pals.

Isn't that the point, after all is said and not mailed?


isopraxis said...

Walt Disney threw up all over the Vegas photo.

Chaucer Arafat said...


I was thinking along these lines, especially after the resurrection of your beloved KDX client.

I was thinking of YSI-ing (You Send It-ing) the mixes to each other, or somesuch.

It would be a time and material salvo, conscientous and such, but then I ran aground upon my qualm with the digital revolution: I enjoy the artifact.

Granted, albums from artists are different, you have liner notes, thank you lists, lyrics, artwork, etc. Our mixes would be mere discs, with perchance some of our own visual embelishments.

But I do like the artifact: the item, the physical receipt by mail. As digital as the world has become, nothing, absolutely nothing thrills me more than getting slo-mail.

Having said that, I see the wisdom in your proposal, and I am willing to play the game that we all agree upon, with no ill will either way. I see why.

We could ensure that even the less tech savvy among us (yours truly) could handle the process.

I hope other members sound off on this, either for or against. I, regretably, am Switzerlandia.

teacher of fruit said...

I think there are pros and cons for both situations. Pros, in my mind, include having the songs already tagged and ready to go into a mp3 device. Also, it might eliminate the confusion and delay we are experiencing right now. Cons include not having a physical disk. I like the idea of forcing myself to listen to a mix (because it would be the only thing in my discman.) I don't know...I'd like to hear other people's opinions.

isopraxis said...

I completely understand the argument for plastic media. It is tangible, it is a commodity (in the purest sense). I used to enjoy the physical medium, but have since moved to a place where a printed CD and a nice jacket an jewel-case really mean nothing at all. Tracklist . . . well, I feel it is important, but even this is (as evinced by previous converstaions,) debatable. But to take this argument to an existential level, what is the purpose of the body, once it has been transcended? Does the spirit diminish without el cuerpo? Or is it vice versa? In a world without a gold standard, does everything become equivocal?

Some might argue for the gold standard, but I say, let the mixes of music stand on their own without markers of packaging. I will listen to the mixes as units and not collections of singles. (A pledge that, if the digital tack is taken, must be kept intact.) For it is the immediacy and relative position to other songs in which the unit, (a global unit which must contain polar opposites) must exist, or become destroyed. I would liken it to our intelligences here, which are contained corporally, but which extend beyond mortal containment.

May I suggest the argument that you are fixated to the corporal, because the corporal is what you affix your music to, yet without coporality, the music still exists, yet the medium might burn and pass away without effecting the state of the music?

Cast off the scales and incorporate sound without the forms I say.

Would the student of Socrates do no less?
Corporality is imprisonment.
Beautiful information and kindred spirit need have no medium other than love of beauty. I say let love of beauty be the medium itself.

jacob said...

two of my favorite things: music and u.s. mail. ideally, this "club" offers both.

nothing! compares to getting something with your handwritten name on it delivered to your door. i like the magic of mail... to me, it is worth the hassle. the environmental stress? i promise to recycle. digital is digital is digital. . . i, for one, want to do it old school. yeah?

jacob said...

who the hell is jacob? this is sandy bee.

isopraxis said...

Jacob is someone I knew as a KGB double agent as I served my country in the CIA. (We were funding the Bin Laden group as he was a patriotic Mujahadeen at one point, fighting the U.S.S.R.) We gave him stinger missles to take down mig 29's and Hind helicopter gunships.

Jacob, how did you ever escape that Afghanistani prison? We all know you had no money left. . . and they kept whispering about your sweet ass. What ever did you sell to get out of that pinch?

isopraxis said...

And if you ever want to know how to hop a train, say from pocatella to sacramenta, go here. 6 times out of 10 it doesn't require a body. 12 times out of 10 it does require an astral projection of your mortal soul. 10 time out of 8, you'll git there wit'out the feet.

Chaucer Arafat said...

sandy lives! and is in favor of pony express!!1!11!!. it was sandy herself that probably sent me the best thing I have ever received via slo-boat mail: the double diskette Dark Castle in original packaging, for which a lung is owed in return.

JNRX--I am thinking more in line with dem Upanishads: heaven is right here. The meeting of the twain. But since we can't do half the mixes digital and half the mixes physical, others need to be less fence-sitting than I and come down with resolution.

I just worked a 17 hour stint and need sleepy. Someone decide this in the night before I wake up in the marnin' and meet the Cap'n at Dennys.

Anonymous said...

I understand the argument. I currently accept music from friends both ways, both physically and digitally. I even have to admit to most of my music is downloaded off the interweb and never makes it onto any thing more than my hard drive. I believe the music revolution is due to the proliferation of music in digital form.

Having said that, I still vote for the CD. I know it's a hassle and I'm am one lazy dude and when it comes my turn next month I'm going to be wondering why the hell I didn't want to go digital but I like the tangible.

I like the shiny new promise and the whir of it loading up. I want to go to my door and find it leaning against it. To me, it's like a present. And just that extra step of it makes me want to cherish it more. And when I send out a mix, I want people to think of it as a present I've thought about.

I download a hundred songs a week sometimes. And then I just forget about them. A mix to me is: "I made this, I care about these songs, they've changed me in some way and I want you to experience them."

The line is thin, I know, in this interpretation. But i vote for the artifact.

rice said...

i agree. you can download dozens of playlists all day. if we were going to do that, we might as wel say, "here's my playlist: . . ." or "download these now . . ." as i have seen in magazines. it's called a mixtape.

Captain Admiral said...

This one's a no brainer for me. I still own and use a record player. I can appreciate the argument, Isopraxis, but I vote the relic.

wajok weiƟ said...

Mama sent me lovan:

No, not a golden ticket, but golden wrapping from what I assume a chocolate river to flow forth from. The package says truffles but I've never known truffles to be liquified, until this smoldering temptress of an island got her fire lips on them. The pseudo-fingersnack now rests like a brick in the drawer where my cheese used to be. I'll probably never get around to opening the package, potential messes just make my breath turn to wood, but comparable to the golden ticket --could the paucity of one young girl be quelled by a single golden package?-- YES! And you know why? Because this girl's sauvoeur came by way of heart. Only a true heart knows its lover. Ahhh mon amour le post. The post.

You know where my loyalties are.

Chaucer Arafat said...


perhaps you could submit your mix digital-wise, giving the group the URL to access it. I don't know..i see the virtue, but so far it seems that the bulk of opinion favors the hassle-way. But I also see that it will be more expensive for you to send the mixes via mail (living in Canada and such). How to compromise?

isopraxis said...

Oh, price is no object.

I was mostly thinking about the Axeman Cometh post when I thought I'd throw this fish out there: Just a notion of streamlining. I'm not fixated on escaping the physical medium of CD's.

I know how difficult it can be for a working person to make it to the post office to send off multiple packages - case in point: I still have a bag full of cuba to send to a clamato which has been sitting in my 'to deliver' closet at home along with handmade cuban hats and watches from china last year.

i agree that part of the gift of sharing is sharing something physical. Most folks get gratification from opening mail to find a prize. . . But I can also see the sense in simplifying this activity to make it as parsimonious as possible

Captain Admiral said...

Just for the record...when I mailed the discs out, the US addresses were about 85 cents, and the one to Canada was about $1.25. I hand delivered two, and doubled up the two people who had the same address, and it all cost me less than ten bucks.

Iso, I've got no problem with you keeping your tracks digital, I'll just burn my own copy later. No biggie. Do whatcha gotta do.

Gillz said...

I like sealed with kisses. So I'd better see lots of digitized kisses if people start rolling this way. I believe lovin' CAN be computed, just like Alan Thicke's robotic child of our yesteryears. Or the sassy and adorable Small Wonder.

And I, however, will probably forever snailmail my mixes because how can I properly produce my whipped cream delights without actually dipping my cd cases in candy chocolate syrups and icings to seal the artistic themes of my heart/soul/wind/fire? My advice would be to follow your heart, and if you heart is tinny and mechanical and easily uploaded to a pale-throated website database hypercard, then I'll take it, damn it. I'll take it with a grin.