“Getting out of your chair at home to experience something in the real world has started to become a rare occurrence,” White says. “Why go to a book store and get a real book? You can just download it. Why talk to other human beings, discuss different authors, writing styles and influences? Just click your mouse.” (None of these qualify as activities in White’s real world.) “Well here’s what they’ll someday learn if they have a soul,” White says. “There’s no romance in a mouse click. There’s no beauty in sitting for hours playing video games . . . “
“We need to re-educate ourselves about human interaction and the difference between downloading a track on a computer and talking to other people in person. The size, shape, smell, texture and sound of a vinyl record; how do you explain that to a teenager who doesn’t know that it’s a more beautiful musical experience than a mouse click?”
I can’t stop rolling me eyes at this.
Why do we get this kind of whining from artists and writers and the like? Why must it always be framed as one medium being somehow morally superior to the other, as though a vinyl record or a dead-tree book or a reel of film possess some kind of ineffable virtue or godliness?
In what way does downloading a track keep one from “talking to other people in person”?
And while we’re at it, what’s so inherently great about the smell and texture of a vinyl record? I thought the thing about vinyl was that it played music As It Was Meant To Be Heard. What if the exact same sound could be produced on a computer? Would that still not count because an MP3 doesn’t have a smell?
Oh, and of course, the Internet allows for no opportunities to “discuss different authors, writing styles and influences.”
Anyway, with this little tantrum (as some kind of official representative of indie record stores, apparently), White joins the ranks of folks like Prince, the Artist Currently Known as the Guy Who Thinks the Internet is a Fad.
But not John McCain, actually, as my title says. He at least tweets.
This has a touch of Schadenfreude for me, as I never actually liked anything I’ve heard from Jack White, save for one song, and mainly because it accompanies this.