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scattered thoughts

All I have are scattered thoughts tonight.

Let me paint you a picture… pictures predate written words. Is that why I'm envious of visual artists? A picture's worth a thousand words. But just as often you'd need a thousand pictures moving, and a thousand more, 24 frames per second, thousands and thousands to tell the same story that could be told more concisely, more timely, more deeply through writing. The Lord of the Rings can be re-told in thirteen hours of film, and so much is expressed so much more effectively and concisely through the medium of moving pictures. And yet so much nuance and detail must be left out as well.

No, that's not what I want to write about. I'm thinking about art because I went through my bookmarks of artists and designers, looking at websites I only glance at once or twice a year. I went through the miscellany folder as well. Why do I still have all these bookmarks for sites I never look at? Sites I bookmarked ten or twelve years ago, maybe even more. It's more surprising that so many of them are still around, some of them even recently updated. I deleted some bookmarks, recognizing I just don't care about those sites anymore and won't read them again, as well as deleting a few that were defunct and gone. I still have too many for a just-in-case need that never comes, for a passing interest that is long gone. 

From bookmarks to books, some of the books on my shelves fit the same description, read and enjoyed long ago and never glanced at again. Though there it's surprising how many old old favorites I have that I will still turn to at times. I don't read much anymore, I haven't for decades now since college. NPR did a readers' choice poll to determine a list of the top 100 science-fiction and fantasy books, and I was surprised that I'd only read 31 of them. Sometime somehow I grew tired of seeing bookstore shelves full of series after series, so many looking like the same thing over and over. In the past few years I've felt more interested in looking up some of the older classics I never read, really old things such as Lord Dunsany's works, but I haven't done that yet either. I feel as though I became closed off, content with what I loved in my youth and disinterested in what's been done since, mainly making exceptions for a few favorite authors such as William Gibson or Stephen Donaldson.

Which is a funny contrast to my feelings about music. I'm listening now to a smart playlist of music that I haven't played in over two years, because I have that much music and because I listen to KEXP much more often than to my own collection. And I still love much of the old music, but I'm still so interested in new music as well. Over half my music collection, over 6,000 songs, was released in 2000 or later. And I haven't understood how people could stop listening to music. It's such a common thing it seems, people enjoy it as teenagers, as college students they find a few particular favorite bands, and then they just stop seeking out anything new, maybe they even stop listening to what's now old and familiar and once beloved. I know people get busy, they don't have so much time to pay attention, and I know new music has become harder to find if you're not actively seeking it, as commercial radio has been dying a long slow strangling death. But to be content with that? I'll never understand that.

And that's all the rambling for tonight.


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