Do You Remember Falling In Love?

I tend to wonder anymore if we remember what it was like to fall in love with the things we love. 

In our rush to have everything at our fingertips at all times I think that convenience has made us lazy in how we consume the things we get an itch to hear, read, or watch. We are fast food addicts who don’t want to put the effort into making something so we just go with whatever’s easiest. 

I can target myself here, wanting to watch a certain movie but not wanting to go to the trouble – the trouble! – of getting up, grabbing the disc, navigating the kid zone we have, and putting it in the blu ray player and then doing all of that. 

I just want to find it, push a button, and watch it. 

The love is gone. 

The passion is gone. 

We’re just filling the void of the moment with whatever is handy and it makes me sad for the folks missing out on the art that these creations are made with.

The time and art of putting an album together, or the care of how a story unfolds during a season of television, or the thrill of watching a film you actually wanted to see and are not just watching because it’s streaming.

There is benefit in convenience, and with so much content. I do recall days when you waited months for movies to release on home video, or we’d wait years for new albums or books to drop. Now there is so much content that it’s hard to know where to start. And it’s not like there haven’t always been thousands of movies out there – I won’t go back to pre-VCR days when it really was hard to find things to watch – there are millions of albums, and millions and millions of books. There always have been. We’re just able to be utterly lazy in how we consume and pursue these now. 

We can do it in our underwear and from our couches. 



And this isn’t me being the old man in the room bemoaning the good old days because I LIKE the convenience. I like that I can order things and have them shipped to me and received in days. I love having content so available, from old to new. I love that there is SO much old and forgotten stuff that has a new life on the lower tier streaming services and can be rediscovered once more. I love that mopes like me have a chance to get eyes on our writing and a chance for someone to discover us where that rarely happens in bookstores and never in a library. 

I love this era. 

To a point. 

In pushing so much towards streaming I mourn for the media lost in the shuffle. VHS stuff, or even DVD films or television shows that someone in an executive suite doesn’t deem worth the trouble of moving it into the current technology. This happened with records and it would break my heart to see how much music and other records were just lost to the ages, never to get beyond that near-dead (at the time) format. 

{Here’s where I plead to you record fans out there to do a deep dive once in a while at old school record stores, places that have records but may not be known for being a music place. There is SO much interesting, old stuff out there that deserves to be rediscovered and I know that it can still make people fall in love with it if they only get that chance}. 

I hate that we’re losing SO much content by relying on corporations to shepherd us into the future. 

Streaming is great but there’s so much that is lost that we have to hope we hang onto old tech or can find it – have you priced VCRs lately? Phew! – so we can see old movies. We’re not even talking about weird stuff but things that were once beloved but were just forgotten. 

As an author I am keenly aware of how ephemeral writing and publishing is if you aren’t a big name. How much literature is lost as we trip through time? Books beloved and cherished but which were never reprinted and gathered dust and were eventually forgotten. 

Can you tell I worked in an old record and collectibles store?

We humans are pack rats. We are hoarders. We want to surround ourselves with things that make us comfortable and safe. We want to be as far removed from the days of caves as we can be. There is a place for all of us to assess what we actually need and to just get rid of some things.

SAYING THAT – Greater care needs to be made to preserve old media as a culture because this IS our culture. 

We are reflected in our music, our movies, our books, and the rest of our arts. 

This is who we are. 

And we’re forgetting that, quickly. 

Just as we are forgetting to ENJOY the things we are shoveling into our mind. 

We are eating without tasting it. 

*Taps the old guy to enter the ring*

I remember how I’d pore over CD and cassette inner sleeves. I’d look at the artwork, read the lyrics, read the Thank Yous, and actually knew who the members of the band were – something I can’t say for most music I listen to these days. 

For movies I wanted to watch and re-watch the movie and then watch any extras that later releases or laserdiscs had that gave more insight into what made up the movie I watched. 

Books were such an intimate and tactile thing that I’d look at the artwork, wonder who did it, read the intro, the thank you, and would even look at the publication details out of curiosity. 

With our content consumption driven more by vague curiosity and boredom I can’t help but wonder if we are actually falling in love with things anymore. I know I have watched countless movies and shows on streaming, that were made specifically for streaming and I rarely think twice about them. Sometimes I will, if it particularly moved me, but it’s rare. 

It’s more consume and move on. 

And with so many listening to streaming music we are losing sight of what strange and beautiful works of art albums are. They are not just a collection of songs we can skip past or listen in an order we want to hear it in, but they are the product of countless sessions, arguments, alternate versions and so much more. Heck, with many albums the singles are the least interesting part of them. 

I am glad for streaming music and the opportunity to create your own soundtrack for the day, and to discover things like Metallica and Kate Bush because of a show, but it makes me sad that our appreciation of the album as an artform seems to be fading in favor of picking the songs we like and adding them to a playlist and forgetting the rest. 

The thing is though, in all of this, it’s always been up to us, the consumer, with how we consume things. It’s always been up to us to mix more nutritious things in with the junk food. It’s always been up to us as to how we appreciate things. 

In a way, the statement of the time, love is love, is as true here as anything else. 

We have all gotten an album for the single we heard and loved and then realized the rest wasn’t at all like that one sample of music. We’d record that song and get rid of the album or just listen to that song over and over again. 

Many of us have movies we put on as background noise because we know it so well and just like the sound of it as we do something else. 

Books on tape have been around for decades, letting people hear a story but miss the craft of the production of it. 

And there are plenty of programs from the past that I still watch today just to watch something silly. CHiPs is a recent fave because of how silly it is. 

We have always been wishy washy on things, it has just been exacerbated by further ease of consumption. The sad fact is that some things just disappear. From the foods we loved as kids to that movie we loved but no one else did, some things just disappear. 

It’s easy to forget but there are probably millions of records that were made during that early era of music for the home. Classics that made the transition, to less famous things that simply fell out of favor, and lots and lots of things that were just made to be ephemeral. Like today, there are probably lots and lots of albums that came out similar to our self publishing where someone recorded it, it was produced in a small quantity and released and just never found an audience. 

It’s awful to lose these things to time but it really is part of the process. 

Not everything can be remembered forever. 

Some flowers are meant just to bloom for an hour, and that’s all. 

More than anything else I hope that as we consume what we do we take the time to chew before we swallow. My hope is that we take a little more time with the these things so we can appreciate them, the craft, the art, and the time people invested in something that’s a trifle to us. I hope that we celebrate those things we fall in love with and share it. We need more passion and less anger in the world. We need more artists and art and less product. 

I still remember the first CDs I bought, and the first heavy metal cassette tapes I got (CDs – Bad Company’s greatest hits was the first, I believe with Winger II coming up fast on it. Tapes – Megadeth – Rust in Peace and GWAR’s Scumdogs were the first metal albums) and I still remember how much I loved discovering what I loved. 

There used to be a ritual about consuming content like books, comics, movies, and music. With movies you had to go to a theater or a video store or catch it on TV. So much if it was in anticipation for what was to come. With music it was that love affair and connection you had when you sat in your room or in a car and listened to the album and let it roll over you. With comics and books you had to seek these out and choose them and then give yourself to them.

You were an active participant in the consumption which made you falling in love with it organic.

That love is what makes art so special. 

That connection. 

Let’s not forget that, and let’s not stop falling in love. 

It’s what makes this world worth living. 


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