Can I Have A Word?
A thought struck me the other day. I've never actually liked the word 'blog' it's naturally modern but as word I find it a bit clinical, and it certainly doesn't demonstrate the splendid array of words that can be contained in them like a novel or short story does. It's my love of these things called 'words' that has made me want to write one.
I've always preferred letters over numbers. There's just something beautiful about how you can bundle them together to create wondrous words, the wonder being the power they actually posses. Dependent on where they sit in a sentence, they can ether tickle your funny bone or pull at your heartstrings. I don't think numbers have that affect (well there's the recession) but it's not the same reaction. I can't remember anyone gripped with laughter repeating the number 26, or indeed anyone ever remarking 'I haven't heard that number in years.'
Words do indeed fall out of fashion, but that's nothing but the by-product of time, and indeed part of their charm and the picture they can paint. It's all about context. Such words as 'Divine' or 'languid' that now conjure up images of Twenties opulence, the sipping of a cold Gin and Tonic in between puffs from a cocktail cigarette, were once new and only so as they were uttered by these bright young things.
Naturally this is all subjective, although I am assuming you are a fan of the written word if you have got this far. As I am a fan, I have favourite words, such as marvellous, idiotic and vinyl. Discombobulated is a very good one, but perhaps I have always really favoured frivolous. It's because I like being it. I remember being in a temp job and being asked where my boss was, to which I said I was trying to get him to sober up before our next meeting. It's actually on occasions like that where I could do with a sign that said 'frivolous' so people at least know to laugh, or not take me at my word. Although sometimes I wish they would. I did really want those two connecting meeting rooms changed to 'Sly', and 'The Family Stone' respectively.
To avoid being frivolous for a second, I did actually start this blog (there's that word again) by talking about words and why I favoured them over numbers. I am aware that they are beautifully different, but for me, the fundamental difference is that while both of them can be manipulated, the numbers always have to add up. Words aren't like that, they don't have to add up, and they have so many different meanings.
So whether you like to listen to your favourite voice on a page, or out of your home speakers, take a moment to actually listen to what that person has done with those letters. They are indeed only words and you've probably used quite a few yourself before settling down to this. Go and use a few more. Start with frivolous.
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may have gathered that I have a slight interest in records. As I was listening to one last week, I realised that I'd never actually replaced the stylus of that particular record player. I'm all for authenticity, but that had been there since 1979.
Obviously I'm not going to start advocating tapes, they were naturally a bedfellow of vinyl, but their perfect union can be personified by two terms; 'The Mixtape' and 'Home taping is killing music.'
Let's look at the Mixtape. I know you remember them and no doubt a myriad of memories have started flooding back, and it was exactly the same for me. It was the personal touch, only your choice of tune, the perfect place for that song to sit and what it should follow. Whether you taped them off the radio or put your favourites together, it was the soundtrack of your choosing, and every one of those C90s embedded memories deep into your core. Everyone hears a song, and is then perplexed that the song they're expecting next doesn't come on. As that confusion builds, you're immersed in that time when you had played DJ with that song, and it's only when reality bumps into you, do you realise how much time has passed between you playing or making that tape and hearing that song again.
Whatever your viewpoint, these cassettes contained ninety glorious minutes of music that was either your choice, or lovingly made for you. The picture should tell you this, and I deem myself one of the luckiest man in the world to have these in my possession. Not only because I still own it seventeen years after it was recorded, but the time and effort put in by my best friend instantly highlights how much a person actually cares for you. I still have this over the countless birthday cards I have recycled.
Which brings me to the reason of why this blog was late. I have been playing tapes. But not just playing tapes.