Philippians 2:2

Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

There are certain things in this world that leave me speechless: the incredible audacity & determination that people possess when put in front of one of those toy crane machines in a bowling alley or bar, the fact that the average person will have dreamed for 9 years of their life by the time they die, & the alarmingly increasing disinterest in literature that Americans have, just to name a few. Perhaps the most awesome feat to boggle my mind as of late, however, is the ability of the internet to stretch on towards infinity & carry the continuing lives of so many globally self-interested people with it.

I bring this up now partly because I’ve become very interested as of late in upping the anty of human connection & interaction in ways that simple e-mails or letters cannot do. In my efforts, I’ve been pushing for the idea of beginning a bake-sale-penpalship with anyone who might hold interest — what this entails, as I envision it, is mailing baked goods back & forth with letters &/or recipes along with the food (I suppose the problem is that the food needs to be non-perishable to survive in the mail, so options are very limited. Still, I will not be dissuaded). In keeping a little more with today’s theme, I’ve also been trying to sprout interest in sending more interactive e-mails that would work much like a blog in that links, music, & videos could be included. The UMW server is not good for this, but I use Gmail anyway, so I’m not bothered. One idea I have in this vein is that the writer of an e-mail listens to music while writing, then proceeds to attach those same songs (or other ones, even) to the e-mail for the person on the receiving end to listen to while reading the e-mail. The idea, I suppose, is supposed to be that when you write to someone, you are putting something of yourself more than just your words into your work, ideally something that will remind the reader of you & thus enhance the experience of letter writing in general. I generally pride myself on my letters, but I still usually feel that it can only go so far, & I’ve been trying to push it more & more.

To continue along with the topic of the internet, though, this interest of mine that has to do with the breadth of the Web is sparked even moreso than usual whenever I come across homemade (some might say “DIY,” though I tend to associate that term with a dated aesthetic & thus will try to stick to something less affronting for this purpose) artifacts online. One example of what I mean: there is a compilation released by the Evolution Control Committee & Illegal Art (those great Gods of plundering commerce) called Default’s Greatest Hits, which gathers together a rather large slew of “Napster nuggets.” The ECC website explains:

A lot of people use the Music Match software package to convert and archive their MP3 files. However, some people aren’t content to just sit back and rip their fave CDs. These people actually make their own MP3s, recording direct to MP3 from the computer’s mic input or line input. The resulting recordings aren’t always prime-time entertainment, but if you’ve ever wanted to hear how badly some people karaoke, strum their acoustic guitar, or can’t get their mic working right, this is the way.

You start by firing up Napster on your computer. Then search for this phrase:


The results (and there will be many) are the files people have recorded of themselves but haven’t given names yet (or maybe never will). A lot of the results are, well, crap, and you may have to listen to a few to find ones that are worthwhile… which makes your success ratio about the same as listening to the radio, right?

The CD that has been released (I don’t have my own copy, but a couple years back I sat in a friend’s room & listened to the whole thing & it was a complete hoot), then, is just a collection of other peoples’ personal mp3 files. Most of them are a trip. I offer up some examples, taken free from the ECC website:

Ex. 1

Ex. 2

Ex. 3

(that last one’s my favorite — it’s titled by the ECC as “Typical Nirvana fan”)

This stuff is hyper-fascinating to me, not only because it represents the everyday & tediously boring like nothing else can, but because it’s the product of real Americans doing real dumb things with too much time on their hands. How big is the internet? Perhaps it’s too big, my friends, or perhaps it’s only as big as we are willing to dig into; space is relative, after all!

In relation to all this, I have a track on my iTunes that refuses to disappear (chiefly because I refuse to erase it). It is a song that my sister included on a mix CD she made for me a few years ago, the product of a Napster search for “Rilo Kiley.” This track she found instead is attributed to “! Riley” & had no original title. It’s the most mysterious file on my computer, & I can’t stop listening to it. There is probably an 8 year old girl somewhere who I will never meet who one day recorded a song into her computer & then forgot about it. & this is why I love the internet:

The Squirrel Song

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.