Thursday, July 20, 2006

Broken record.

The disappearance of the record store will probably garner much the same reaction as the disappearance of the independent book store--screes against big business and aghast exclamations that our society is culturally bankrupt, followed immediately by a trip to amazon or iTunes when next it comes time to make a musical or literary purchase. Speaking for myself, it feels like I should be upset about the passing of these independent stores. But then when I think about it, I don't really know why. I like them very much. It's thoroughly enjoyable to browse about and feel fetishistic about my fetishes. A record store or a book store is a place full of possibility--I could know about, have read, have listened to, all of this stuff on the shelves. Gathering all those albums or books together in one place allows me to revere them. But the truth is that the Internet is a much truer place of reverence. The music blogs and 'zines that litter the e-scape offer a far greater devotion for me to engage in than merely being able to fondle the CD's on the racks, and there's an actual growth of my knowledge in the process. After all, while I sometimes imagine that the hipster behind the counter at my local record store is nodding approvingly at my purchase, I never actually ask him about music, nor am I sure that I'd like his recommendations if I did. So, if you asked me, I'd no doubt bemoan the passing of these brick and mortar temples of culture, but I'm not sure it's completely logical of me to do so.


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