Bridging the gap between the Unabomber and Beyoncé
I told my children that when I hit 50, I would say what I wanted to say on a fairly regular basis.
Much to their chagrin, I have not deviated much from that plan — and my filter grows thinner by the minute.
Ultimately, I don’t care about your political beliefs unless they line up with mine. You can believe what you want, but I don’t want to see it on Facebook. I also don’t want to hear about your passive-aggressive relationship entanglements on social media. Once again, make all the bad decisions you want, but if it doesn’t affect me, quit wasting my time and limited data.
I don’t like change and think old things are better than new things. It is a very simple philosophy and not very popular with the people who think I want to “like or share” any part of their droll daily existence.
I like the way it feels to fall asleep with a book on your chest, and I want pictures to turn yellow around the corners after years in an album, not disappear from my phone screen after 15 seconds. I like movies in Cinemascope, not on 6-inch screens.
In fact, I’m ready to pull the plug on just about the entire Internet, but there are still two things that just might keep me hanging on to the web by the very last strands — and those are food videos and music.
I love those 30-second Facebook videos of lemon dump cakes, anything bacon-wrapped, chicken wings or crock-pot pulled pork casseroles that show you every step in three-second intervals. My daily anticipation of these tasty treats may be the only thing that keeps me from giving it all up and moving away to type my manifesto from an undisclosed location in northern Idaho.
The other thing that keeps me from pulling off the information superhighway is my access to digital music. If you are a music aficionado, you may be living in the greatest period of time for access to what you love most.
For those who know me, most have been forced to endured streams of music-related minutia. I’m full of unnecessary trivia about the type of cold medicine bottle Duane Allman used as slide for his guitar (made by Coricidin), the nuances of the pharmaceutical cocaine preferred by Rolling Stone Keith Richards (made by Merck and Keith said “It was delightfully fluffy”) to stories about the exploits of Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious who were still able to change political culture, despite spending most of their time sharing needles in a seedy flophouse.
I can spend hours in a record store searching for vinyl or in a vintage guitar shop, pawning over something 50 years old, but still get just as excited knowing I have just about every song ever recorded just a touch away on my phone. It may be the only advance I have made into the 21st Century.
If I want to live with the AM vibe of 1973, I can do it (minus the platform shoes and Afro). If you need to find a connection between the Byrds and Jackson Browne, my Apple Music will find every artist that fits the bill and form a playlist that can keep my toes tapping for hours.
Let me just reiterate: I can hear any song at anytime, anywhere — thank you, Steve Jobs. Name an artist, they are there, along with anything else from what you would ever want to listen.
I’m also a big fan of Sirrus/XM satellite music. In one quick flip of the dial I can move from the mango-infused airwaves of Margaritaville to an “alternative plant-based” listening pleasures of the Grateful Dead station. There are stations for everything and everyone from deep tracks of the 60s, 70s, 80s, classic rock, album rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, death metal, gangsta rap, fake gangsta rap, hip hop, and music that my 82-year-old father thinks is rap, but is actually just Motown.
There is old country, modern country, fake country, country that is kind of rock, rock that is kind of country, along with every kind of jazz and blues, all that find their way between my dancing fingers as I’m motoring.
I can’t wait to see what the next technological breakthrough will be in music. Counterculture legend Neil Young has created a new digital player called Pono. It is a music player that allows digital files to be uncompressed so one can hear music the way it actually sounded in the studio, not like the compressed digitized patterns that has eliminated so much of what was originally put there by the artist.
So keep your apps that help you create virtual realities, meet your cybermate, or even swap faces with your pets for your profile picture.
All I need is enough bandwidth to stream a little Pink Floyd or Bob Dylan deep into the woods of northern Idaho, where I will be hunched over a manual typewriter working on my manifesto.
By Todd Lancaster
Todd writes local sports for a living, but would rather be collecting and playing vintage guitars. Follow him on Twitter at @blasterdog.