Thursday, 1 March 2018

Of Aspirations and Expiration

It has oft been noted that nothing in this mortal existence is permanent. Least of all life itself (though there may be an argument to be made in the case of taxes). Never the less, those of a human persuasion have attempted to hold on to what they could over time. A desire for preservation which has served as  a catalyst for everything from written language to recorded sound to ‘vlogs’. An instinct which has only increased in recent years, though with rather counterintuitive effects. 

There was once a time, consult the historical documents if you doubt it, in which the majority of personal and cultural documents were in a tangible form. What is now referred to a ‘traditional’ or, ahem, ‘old’ media. It is unclear exactly  when the shift occurred but at some point in the early-2000s there  music and non-theatrical film releases went nearly entirely online and ‘old-school’ video boutiques and recorded music emporiums went under like Churchill doing ‘cannon balls’ at the aquatic centre. An advent which has precipitated the effective death of nostalgia for an entire generation. 


In the olden days of physical media, particularly in terms of music, there was a propensity to experience the same works numerous times. A circumstance born of both genuine affection and cold functionalism the prices on actual things being somewhat higher than that of an Internet connection and a pair of headphones. Because of this relative scarcity both in terms of available options due to budget as well as a much longer release schedule, the majority of acts putting out an album every two to three years, the roughly album-a-year output of The Pet Shop Boys (ask your mumma), being regarded as a paragon of a work ethic one tended to be more focused. The combination of bargain to free prices and an inundation of available content online has resulted in an overall decrease in attention and enthusiasm for any one instance. In the dusty days of artifacts, it was perfectly ordinary, nay, acceptable for an aficionado of a particular act or film to partake in a particular piece of work upwards of one hundred times. In this stage of the present epoch, the most ardent appreciators of a film, song or album will experience it a maximum of three times before moving on to something else. 


There is a notion that once something is on the internet it is there forever. This may be the case in the most technical sense but existence does not automatically translate to relevance. Simply ask your chums on MySpace. 


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