Thursday, March 9, 2017

Houses, Music, and Necromancy

You don't compile lossless music because it pleases you or even because you can tell the difference, but because, like building a house out of something better than composite wood framing and styrofoam, you're supposed to be creating a useful and/or duplicable archive for the use of people other than you. The mp3 is the McMansion of music; it is, like twentieth-century architecture, the nihilist expression of a sensationary world, where what matters is the seeming convenience and brevity of the experience, rather than the partaking in the ebb and flow of inheritance that is life.

Retaining titles and estates too long already besets the planet with junior versions of the problems caused by material immortals, tying up capital in the outdated traditions of walking zombies. You buy your 16-year-old brat a muscle-car not because he deserves it, but because it's the currently equivalent type of communication to other families of your lineage's success, ergo a component of assortative mating. Teaching prudence until the nursing home finally squeezes away the miserable end of your accumulated earnings, going on an endless cycle of casino cruises in-between knee replacements, deprives the following spring of its nurturing power, like a winter that refuses to end. When we torture ourselves through lingering, we suck the blood of the young in order to survive. Along with feminism, the atomization of elders was sold as a form of independence, as though retiring early and hanging around the multi-generational residence to play with the grandkids was, like cuddling babies rather than cubicles, oppressive.

How undramatic, how banal, are our sins. We're never asked to sign ourselves, our parents, our progeny, and all our generations and worlds away for delightsome trinkets. Our temptation comes instead in smaller forms, grain by grain.

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