But then I saw the trailer...
After I got over the excitement of seeing a 69 Love Songs poster in Michael Cera's room, the title for the film came up: Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist... er... Playlist?!?... PLAYLIST??? Darn. I instantly turned into one of those finger wagging I-tell-ya-this-generation-sure-doesn't-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH..." boneheads that everyone transforms into once they realize that the remainder of their life is simply a series of falling actions.
Still, I posit that a truly special art form has died if "the playlist" has officially replaced the mixtape or mix CD. I mean, mix CDs were already a step in the wrong direction. There was no demarcation of sides (SIDE A/SIDE B), which created a whole host of problems. Without "SIDES", the last song of SIDE A and the first song of SIDE B lose their punch.
Notice the genius of ending SIDE A with "I Can't Make You Love Me", starting SIDE B with "I'm In Love With A Girl" and ending with "Thirteen".
But playlists?!?!? Is this what (you) kids do now? Do new friends make playlists for each other ?? Do you just e-mail the girl or boy you dream of your butterflied-stomach masterpiece in a stinkin' MP3 file?!? Does High Fidelity read like a Russian novel to 17 year olds today? EEEEEEEE!!!!
This is HERESY! And here is why:
1. Mixtapes are tangible. The tactile experience that is had with picking up a CD or a DVD at the store is a much more valuable cultural experience than people let on. For one, it's part of the hunt. You find what you want, you pick it up, look at it, connect with it. When someone hands you a mixtape (or CD) they are giving you their woodwork, their blood and tears. It's a physical product of something that started in the heart. This is a benefit of materialism that people often dismiss.
2. Artwork. Some of the best mixtapes (and CDs) are often enhanced by the artwork (i.e. "cover art") attached to them. Collages, sketches, ink drawings. Even the attention given to handwriting when a song list is penciled in can carry significant weight. Also, printed initials, dates, and hidden messages can add flair.
3. Using those skinny little stickers to title each SIDE of the tape. This one may not mean as much to those other than mixtape obsessives, but naming a SIDE is key. This was the place where hidden messages could be dropped without the recipient being 100% sure of the meaning behind it. Song lyrics are often a popular choice for SIDE titles. (Ex: SIDE A - "Wise is the tongue, wet of perfect thought" ; SIDE B - "Softest neck, where I lay my clumsy thoughts").
Yeah, that was how we got down. Sitting eye-to-eye with a stereo, pressing PLAY/REC, PAUSE, STOP, and REW like our libidos depended on it. Now it's simply a click and a drag?!? Hmph. A drag, indeed.