Good-bye-eee, ♫ good-bye-eee, ♫ baby dear wipe a tear from your eye-eee


Do we keep and attract clutter like so many nuts and bolts to a magnet? Humans and stuff we collect are like goldfish. The bigger the pond (or in human's case house) the bigger the (goldfish) amount of clutter gets. If anyone is still looking for Elvis, Shergar or Dr. Joseph Mengele, there's a very high chance they are in my loft along with a fine collection of roller blades, hula-hoops, a Pet Rock, a vast selection of jeans that are waiting for me to lose weight.......and a trunk full of CDs. My wife and I have been clearing out as we prepare to leave the UK.

...and another thing

Opening the CD trunk was a revelation. I haven’t used CDs in years. As a physical thing CDs ticked a lot of boxes. Shiny, high tech, they loaded into the player with a slow deliberate zizzz sound that was all very James Bond.

What blew me away looking at them now was how damn expensive they were! Up to £15 a disc over fifteen years ago. No wonder the recorded music side of the music industry nearly went bust. The naked greed of the record companies was running wild in the 1990s.  With the switch over from cassette and vinyl that had started in the 1980s, they were selling us all the same records we’d bought before and boy, they gouged the market. Prices were unsustainable…and despite a spirited defence from the record companies about huge cost of production and distribution, the word started to get out that this was nonsense. Digital technology was lowering prices faster than the lowering of the Union Jack when the sun goes down. We were being fleeced.

...and another thing

Soon market forces in the shape of the next generation of customers (i.e. kids in the playground) were showing the record bosses that any tech savvy ten year old could burn a CD and sell it to his or her friends for $5. That was the price a CD needed to be. This next generation was rebelling. Yet those warning sirens were ignored by an industry convinced every generation would eventually come into line and like their parents and grandparents pay for music, even the same music several times over as they upgraded their record collection (78 rpm, 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, eight track, cassette, CD, etc). Each up-sell would be a more expensive delivery system and make more profits for all concerned. Record companies were licking their lips at the next innovation.

There were stories about some fancy digital only hard drive and Apple had a device that was going to charge $0.99 per song with no delivery or packaging costs yet could store a 1,000 songs. Happy days. You could almost hear the orders for more coke, caviar, cigars and cars being made by top record execs…. but suddenly those revenues evaporated. The Pandora’s Box of technology had been opened. After leaving the playground and becoming tech savvy, the new generation simply stopped paying for music. The only thing that stopped TV and movies disappearing down the same pirate plug hole was video games. The new generation became obsessed with them and saw the point in paying for video/audio product. Somehow they frowned on audio/visual piracy and I am convinced that this reluctance is what saved the other sound and vision of movies and TV from suffering the fate of recorded music.

...and another thing

Even if nostalgia had taken over and I had wanted to listen to a few discs (I think my DVD player can play them), I had no idea what artist or album many of them represented. A number of discs were long separated from their cases (whose hinges always broke and whose cellophane wrapping you needed a knife to open) and those same marketing numbskulls who f*cked up the actual sales allowed artists just to put a fancy picture on the disc and not actually his or her name on or even the name of the album. Not that it matters as I’m not taking any DVDs or their players with me either.

...and another thing

Cameras that take film, fax machines, Palm Pilots, and even Thunderbirds Tracy Island will not survive the attic cull. However, nothing beats a telephone directory as a door stop and a complete set of London ones will actually make the cut.  For the nostalgic A-D (yellow) E-K (pink), L-R (green) S-Z (blue)

So even when I miss my friends I can look up where they used to live — not on my I-Phone but in a book.

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  1. Jeff says:

    Mark and Kirsten — Left a comment but must have gotten a little too windy and received the command to exercise moderation which is probably a language interpretation thing. Will take rain over heat any day. Ninety days days of over 90 degrees F was more than I chose to bear but Norene would have liked it. Jeff

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