The 101st Post: Media Love
So here we are: the 101st post in this space. I've talked music, movies, comics, books, philosophy, crudely assembled metaphors and so much more. I have also waxed about my life, and any of you who have read those posts, or at least kindly tolerated them, are forever on my "I owe you a cathartic recompense" list. Having started everything in December of 2008, I almost can't believe it has been more than a year. Every week I sit down with this space once or twice and grind out my thoughts about a new release of awesome sound, or the chaotic revision of a book to film, and it doesn't seem like time passes at all. Writing in this space is my passion, at least one of them. And I really want to thank anyone reading now, or ever before (or after) for taking that time. As much as I write for myself, I also hope sincerely to create something for everyone who loves media, with an independent voice, free of the administration and market-concern that controls (to some extent at least) the greater internet. Certainly so much of my writing and passion owes itself as much to the creations I discuss as to sites like the A.V. Club and Pitchfork, both of which churn out incredible amounts of content beyond the reach of an individual. I just hope that I can provide some new insight they do not. So, again, most sincerely, thank you to my readers. Many of you are my friends, people with whom I've shared great moments, and those of you that don't know me, please understand that I am indebted to you for your readerly patronage. There is no play without the audience, after all.
Since I've been at this for long time, I want to talk about why music, movies, books and comics are so special. I have been thinking about this for awhile, and I think it comes down to joy. Listening to a favorite album is something that cannot be destroyed or complicated. The same goes for books, movies and comics. Sure, the associations we hold with a certain material can change and we all grow and our tastes change, but it seems that once we reach a certain age, say, arbitrarily, 25, we all know what we like and the reason we like it is because of that empowering, butterfly feeling we get with each experience. It's like falling in love every time we hear a new song that hits us just right. Or reading a truly satisfying piece of literary gravitas. That feeling can never be sullied by time or experience. It is the purest aspect of human experience, and something that seems so much more fleeting as we leave childhood toward adulthood. Even the most cynical and elitist fan among us cannot deny that almost every band has written one incredible song. Every author one incredible sentence. Loving the whole of a body of work, or even a complete album or novel isn't a deal breaker for that feeling. And while we often feel, in retrospect, silly for liking a band we liked when we were 15 or 16, we can still remember the way we felt the first time we heard their music. Art, in all its forms, is purely enjoyable. That's a special, undeniably unique thing in this world. One that we should always embrace.
Consider how many emotions art can mine from our sometimes stony cores. No matter how jaded we become to the world, these things provide pure emotion. A song can make you feel like taking on the world, or sitting solemnly beside the bed in the dark. A song can alter your thinking completely, lifting you from sorrow or reminding you of the insignificance of life. So much of how we feel and think and exist comes from the sounds and words and images around us. Often, it does not matter what is happening in life, in the real, present, visceral existence, when art can provide so many angles on an individual topic. We experience great catharsis through art, whether we create it or observe or analyze it. It is, or at least can be, the purest catharsis. When trouble has its hold on your mind or heart, music can lift you out when friends may not. We all have comfort films that we turn to in times of worry. Art, I think, provides us the perfect love, when all we need is time with our minds and hearts, and solitude. But art is also so much more because it is the perfect communal centerpiece too. Music, live, with friends, is phenomenal. Discussing a book with a group is the key to free-form expression and philosophical discovery. Art and media are purity, much like dogs, and don't demand your affection in return, but offer so much. That's why I write in this space. That's why I love books and music and comics and film. All this pure love, projected out into the world, for everyone to share, is something for which we can all be thankful.
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