Mix Tape versus Mix CD, p. 2

3.      Convenience versus Commitment

The CD infidels say unto me: "A CD can be played anywhere! In your computer, in your stereo, in your discman! Nobody listens to tapes anymore!" And I reply:

Commitment leads to intimacy. Do not underestimate the forced intimacy of the mix tape: the resurrection of a battery-operated tape-playing personal stereo and headphones; the full ninety minutes committed to listening to both sides of a tape without the CD's all-too-tempting 'skip' function.

Consider the duties required of the Mix Tape beneficiary. The Mix Tape must at once be heard, on the car stereo or the Walkman. The Mix Tape must accompany the giftee across town, on household errands and Slurpee runs. The Mix Tape must be cherished on a train across Eastern Europe, on a bus back home, on a power-walk through the park. And the Mix Tape must be appreciated in toto - one must never skip over a song, even if it is by the detestable Mazzy Star. And if you are fortunate, there shall be a favorite song, shared with the Creator of the Mix Tape, and it shall be recognized as a symbol of the blessed union to remain everlasting. Because you worked for it. Would you care as much for someone's latest Mix CD, scrawled-on with permanent marker? Methinks not.

And even after it is forgotten it remains. Ah, the dig through crumbling shoeboxes to retrieve one's favorite mix tapes; the chance encounter at the bottom of the closet. The Mix Tape will be cherished always, even after one has sold all one's Rush albums.

4.      Sophistication versus sincerity

And they say unto me: "Stop walking into the twenty-first century backwards! It's the carousel of progress, buddy, and you're about to get bull-dozed. Look, I made my own cover art for this CD and I think it's a perfect reflection of who I am and how well I know how to use Quark." And I reply:

You can't digitize the love. There's nothing like smudged erasable-ink penmanship to pluck at the heartstrings. There's nothing like two cleverly-named sides of a cassette tape. And there's nothing like the little ripples in the song that you wore out by rewinding it over and over and over again in your best friend's Dodge on the way to the Dairy Queen that long, hot summer that you were obsessed with rainbow sprinkles and Ani Difranco.

Do you not cherish your mix tapes? Do your little teensy weensy "portable" compact discs betray the same sentiment and personality as your cassettes? You don't have a car, but if you did, to what you would you listen while driving? And if you do have a car, and if you have installed a CD system - FIE upon you, infidel.

Remember the Mix Tape and keep it holy. Kyrie Elieson, my friends, (the version by Mr. Mister on your "Totally 80s" compilation) - that is what I say unto you. Do not fall into the deep, dark, but dangerously silent pool of ease and luxury afforded by the so-called "Mix CD." Be not led into temptation. In short, my darlings, keep it real.

Or else,
Mix Tape
Thanks for the memories.

Image: Mr. Mister
Strangely, this was easy to find.

[1]       2    

Bex Schwartz, Zeek's music critic, talks to Michael Jackson on behalf of VH-1.

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