I have an interesting relationship with Spotify, so I wrote it a love letter. Well, I wrote a letter about it, not really to it. When I’m writing, I’m usually actually getting lost in all the bands and songs there–it’s my procrastination.
When I saw TechCrunch was inviting others to write about how current technology impacts the stuff of love for a series unambiguously called #Love, I knew I had to participate. And I knew right away what I wanted to write about: mix CDs, what we made and awkwardly gave each other when we wanted to give something that mattered. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. But mix CDs have kind of vanished, with digital tools like Spotify picking up where they left off.
I recently found a stockpile of CDs I’d made–some for myself and some for others that I never shared–and cringed at how awful some of them were, and cringed again after admitting to myself I still enjoy that terrible music. For the most part, Spotify is the new mix CD. This essay is me making my peace.
Yesterday, I wrote an essay called “I Am A Toilet”: Channel Orange, Tyler, the Creator, and the Fate of Frank Ocean. It’s an essay that I’ve been wanting to write, as I had been thinking about the subject for a while. Finally, I figured out what I wanted to say, and sent it off to Thought Catalog, where it now appears:
This is not an essay about sexuality or identity. It is not about music, or lyrics, or even art. Not really. Instead, it is a place for questions: Does controversy start with two people or one? Where are we going compared to where we have been? What does it mean to accept? And yes: What happens next?
With grace and wit, The Project Twins have illustrated what they call “unusual words.” Above is a representation of tarantism, “a disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to dance.” If anything, these are reminders that what is rendered is what’s already known. That, as Robert Hass says, “A word is elegy to what it signifies words.” And, of course, that words are also images, those bright and shiny escorts of thought and movement, allowing the beat to keep its own pulse.
In a used bookstore I picked up a book called Blues. Written by John Hersey, the book is a series of entries about fishing for bluefish off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. By habit, I opened to the title page. Then, somehow, I wasn’t surprised when I found this blue-inked note, drawn in cursive and waiting to be read:
This is one of those books that ties all things together. I read it last summer and found that it renewed my spirit and made me hopeful once again. I hope that it has the same effect on you.
Also, if you do read it, you’ll seem like a local to the Cape Codders.
Best wishes for a bright future. I am confident that you’ll do well.
Recently, a satellite called the Electro-L took “the highest resolution image of our home planet.” Apparent: the mix of white and blue. The green and black. The methodical geography a mirror of the maps we already know. Looking closely, it has now occurred to me that the world is in fact a perfect circle.