Vinyl Me Please

Dinosaur Jr. – Green Mind

Us old dudes are suckers for reissues of our favorite records. I’ve owned Green Mind by Dinosaur Jr. on cassette, compact disc and vinyl. Still, when I saw another colored vinyl version newly available for sale, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted to make a purchase. It’s especially hard to resist that kind of acquisition when you believe that, after the apocalypse, the only currency worth anything will be vinyl records.

The limited edition vinyl game is not for the faint of heart nor the easily discouraged. A rare bundle of reissues came up recently for another one of my favorite indie rock bands, and before I even knew about the bundle, it was sold out.

The most frustrating thing about this sort of “you snooze, you lose” situation is that being off Instagram for a few days was what ultimately prevented me from getting the bundle of LP’s. Now that the three LP bundle is unavailable, the only way to get the third record is to buy it off of Discogs for a cool $100. This wouldn’t irritate me as much as it does if it wasn’t a case of a legendary independent record label like Merge Records using a corporate silo owned by Facebook exclusively to advertise their new hotness. There is a news section on the label’s website, but it doesn’t appear to have an RSS feed.

The founders of Merge records are famous for their progressive political activism. However, not even they consider the role that Facebook has played in undermining our democracy. That is a role to which even executives at the company now admit. It doesn’t seem like Facebook is a company a fiercely independent label would want to help strengthen. Merge shouldn’t force their fans onto a Facebook platform to keep up with new releases.


The Facebook Imperative

Rob (@robertsboone) raises a good question in this tweet. If you buy his assumption, that so many people who use Facebook hate it, it raises another question. Namely, is being on Facebook a contemporary technological imperative? With all of the other technology at our disposal, are we de facto luddites, if we do are not on the Facebook graph? More important than whether or not we are luddites, and whether or not we embrace technology, is the question of whether we are at least partially incommunicado without the giant social network.

I have never signed up for Facebook. A few weeks ago, I missed out on being able to ask my pastor questions when he attended our Sunday School class, because I did not have the opportunity to post questions on Facebook. A few months ago, I missed the news that a childhood best friend had tongue cancer, again, because I wasn’t on Facebook. At least my wife is plugged in. I’m not sure what our family would be like if at least one of us wasn’t on the social network. I almost certainly wouldn’t know when my cousins in other states were moving, or having a child, or taking a new job. To date, my most read piece on Medium only has that status because my wife shared it with our young families group at church, on Facebook.

Has it come to a point where I have to join Facebook, or suffer a uniquely modern form of social isolation? Perhaps others, having made the same calculation, have decided that the utility or necessity overcomes the dislike of the service. People get angry whenever there is a UX change, or some sort of mostly unregulated psychological experiement done on users, but how often do they actually rage quit? Have the consequences of quitting become too costly for those who place a high value on social connections?