You wouldn't think an album that came out two years before I was born would light the fuse to a moderate psychological meltdown followed by a reflection on the human condition, but I made it happen.
I've been going through my old music collection over the past few days. A lot of it is on CD and cassette and I'm trying to decide which songs and albums I want to upgrade formats and which ones I'm willing to let go.
I have several stacks of CDs teetering next to my computer. And even though I LIKE most of it, some of it is music I haven't listened to in years.
So now the decision must be made. Which songs do I like enough to rip to my computer? Which albums are worth my precious hard drive space. Yes, Aerosmith's 'Sweet Emotion,' but do I really need the wear and tear on my CD burner when I can turn on any classic rock station and be guaranteed to hear it within a half hour? As much as it meant to my teenager-hood, will my life be any worse if I never again hear Jake E. Lee's awesome guitar riff at the beginning of Ozzy's "Bark At The Moon?"
Besides, it's not like you can't find these things on YouTube.
But what if YouTube crashes? What if rock radio finally dies. What if I need to hear TNT's "10'000 Lovers (In One)" RIGHT NOW?
Love It To Death by Alice Cooper was the final straw. I was agonizing over how much I liked "Black JuJu" when I realized I was doing nothing more than creating misery for myself.
Is the "Hackers" Soundtrack really worth this level of emotional trauma?
That's when it hit me.
The music was not why I was upset. I was upset because I have a hard time letting go of things. I have a fear of loss.
Some people would be content with this insight, but I decided to try a self-experiment.
I challenged myself to throw out one thing in my apartment. I didn't care what it was, but it had to fit two specific criteria.
1 - It had to be something I haven't used in years.
2 - It had to have some emotional connection with me.
I couldn't do it.
Oh, I could throw out the stuff that didn't mean anything to me or that I forgot I owned. There was some stuff, I had fond memories of but wasn't particularly attached to--in those cases I batted about .500 with being able to get rid of it.
But anything of sentimental value--a paperback copy of The Godfather missing the cover, a DVD copy of the first Mortal Kombat movie, an old Vampire: the Masquerade Role Playing Game Supplement--stayed, no matter how useless.
I would reach towards them, and a part of me wouldn't even let me CONSIDER throwing them away.
Emotional attachment is a powerful thing.
It made me think of how we cling to things from objects, to jobs, to relationships,to ideas about the way the world works long after they've served their purpose.
I couldn't throw away a VHS tape containing a Utah Jazz playoff game from 1999 and some dubbed Sailor Moon episodes. So I guess that's a lesson that I can be a lot more empathetic to people who have a hard thing letting other things go.
Especially when one of those people is probably me.
New City Show tonight. Looking forward to it.
Tuesday, October 6 - New City, Edmonton
Monday, October 12 - The Comic Strip, Edmonton
Dan Brodribb's Geek Love appears every two weeks at suicidegirls.com. Latest article is here.