What’s in You?

Dear J-

When I buy something digitally (music, books or games, lately) I like to pretend that I’m some sort of lordling in a doge, providing patronage for a favored artist or genre, scattering money in pursuit of art. This helps me get over my inherent cheapness and sense of frugality, close-baked and doubly thick lo these many years gone. I like the idea of supporting, as much as you are able, the art that brings you joy. When I’m being overly cheap I know that sure, it is cheaper to buy the physical media, used, and rip it (although ripping books is not an automated process) but the only one who benefits is the reseller, and I’m done propping up the Funcoland/GameStop empire of kiddie pawn.

I remember spending free time browsing through used shops, combing for rare gems (hooray, that’s how I found a lot of my rare Saturn games) both on-line and off- and I can’t help but wonder if I was spending my time wisely or not. Sometimes the chase is the excitement; actually getting what you were looking for can be a double-edged sword. Granted, it’s one that doesn’t get dull and can cut you(r finances) quite sharply as a result, but the thrill of ownership is not quite as interesting as finding. Unfortunately there are no jobs as a personal shopper of electronic junk and ephemeral collectibles, but I’d be pretty good at it, I think.

I like to think of myself as a dashing archaeologist with a disregard for the rules when I put together these searches designed to unearth the obscure. It’s part of being Walter Mitty, dreaming of the extraordinary amongst the mundane, and more often than not the reality of ownership tarnishes the dreams. Recently I downloaded Bioshock as I’d heard nothing but praise for the atmosphere and after playing it for a couple of hours I can safely say I’m lousy at it, and my heart may not be able to take the strain. So there. I may end up reading a plot synopsis if this sort of thing keeps going on.



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