Ritland Daily Ramble #4
Quote of the day
Donny, you’re out of your element!
– Walter Sobchak
Our stuff is just stuff
My friend Travis Mataya published a post on Amazing Stories Magazine today about the differences between being a geek now and when he was growing up. He argues that the books, movies, and video games that geeks enjoy have become such a part of mainstream culture that it’s becoming harder to differentiate between actual geeks and people who just like the stuff casually: “So what differentiates a geek from just a normal person who grew up with all the same entertainment? The answer is becoming muddier with every passing year as the crowds at various cons grow bigger, video game sales skyrocket, and comic book films continue to take over an industry.”
This observation about geek culture is an example of the general watering down of everything in our consume everything now, fast food culture. With the world at our fingertips on the internet it has become impossible to tell whether anybody legitimately likes, or has a passion for, anything. Indeed, it’s made it difficult for people to be legitimately passionate about anything. “Today, our stuff is just stuff,” Travis says. “It’s so easy to obtain that it doesn’t reflect much on our passions.” Slowly, due to this, our passions are becoming less and less passionate.
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Good times, great oldies
Coffee shops, especially chains, usually play fluffy, inoffensive new pop music, the sort that makes up 90% of the playlist on the Current. While writing this blog at Dunn Brothers on West 7th Street in St. Paul, though, I was transported back to the oldies stations that used to exist when I was a kid, only better. Songs included “Bad to Me” by Billy Joe Krammer and the Dakotas, “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum, and “Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)” by Manfred Mann. The last song was especially cool to hear because I inherited my mother’s 45 of it when I was growing up and it was written by Bob Dylan during my favorite period of his songwriting, the Basement Tapes.
So yeah, coffee shop owners take note: not everybody wants to be lulled to sleep by Neko Case when they’re drinking their coffee.
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Picture of the day
Jive Time Records in Seattle, one of the coolest record stores in America, posted this picture of John Goodman and I had to share it. While I was unsuccessful in finding out any information about it I did find the hilarious Fuck Yeah John Goodman tumblr account which proudly proclaims:
WE FUCKING LOVE JOHN GOODMAN.
DO YOU FUCKING LOVE JOHN GOODMAN?
SUBMIT YOUR GODDAMN PICTURES OF JOHN GOODMAN.
Fuck yeah, John Goodman.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He is also a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik’s music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.