Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Give It Time

Twenty-five years ago, I'd never have imagined that I'd see this performance.

Twenty-five years ago, I would have either had to be in Germany, or acquire access to videotape of this performance, or, more likely, I would be able to view photos of the performance. I would have had to purchase an imported magazine in a plastic sleeve, with the price tag in pounds still affixed, delivered to Turfland Mall Record Bar by truck from a warehouse from a jet misty from Atlantic rainclouds. Then, twenty-five years later, maybe the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I would have had to hold that magazine in my hands as I squatted in front of a tub filled with scribbled notes and mimeographed play programs and Happy Meal toys that once meant something and decide if I needed to keep it and transfer it to another, more decorative receptacle, or just throw it away.

Today, I am staggered by alpine heights of cultural detritus available to me. I can touch that mountain of ephemera in keystrokes, in seconds.

Today, the matter doesn't even have to be something that held meaning for me. It can be a song by a band that some of my friends might have liked that I'd considered buying recordings by but never got around to it because back then, when the mountain was real and unassailable, you had to set priorities, at least fiscal ones.

Now I can queue whatever that mountain yields to my keyword combination and look at it while I send emails to people, many of whom I have never spoken a single word to in person.

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