Sunday, September 04, 2005

i want

I made two major purchases last week: an iPod (60 gig model) and the new Kanye West CD. I got the latter for obvious reasons, and the former because I've always kind of wanted one and because I was gearing up for a drive to Denver and I thought it would be convenient (almost cost efficient) to have every sound file I own at my finger tips. It seemed a better way to survive the drive than my usual habit of burning a stack of CDs before hand.

But really, I bought the damn thing to get high. I wanted the rush of a big purchase. Problem is it didn't work.

First there was the disappointment of how it sounded on my car stereo -- all staticky with the weak radio transmitter ($40). So I returned that transmitter and bought a more expensive one ($80), an absurd white-plastic apendage that stuck into the lighter and stuck out a good foot or so, getting in the way of the air-conditioner controls and swaying and bouncing around as I drove. Worse, it didn't work: Still static. Andthat's why I bought it, for my car, since I don't need it at home, where my stereo is hooked into my computer. So I look up ways to attach it directly to the factory stereo in my car, and that appears to be a $200 ordeal, and for what? I drive a lot. But do I really need 15,000 songs rolling with me?

Then there's the way it organizes songs. Since a lot of my music is stolen, there's no uniformity to its coding system, so there are files on the iPod like <..00instrum.kd.track.4.m,p3--, which is as annoying as hell, especially in a small machine of such austere beauty. So I've spent hours upon hours going through each of my 3,785 songs, cleaning up their titles, so that they'll appear all clean and orderly on my iPod, which is a pain in the ass because I can't figure out how to code batches of files in iTunes.

Meantime, I'm listening the new Kanye album, and I'm hearing stuff like, I'd do anything to say I got it/ Damn, them new loafers hurt my pocket and Claiming money is the key, so keep on dreaming/ And put them lottery tickets just to tease us and:
Good morning, this ain't Vietnam still
People lose hands, legs, arms, fo' real
Little was known on Sierra Leone
And how it connect to the diamonds we own
When I spit the diamonds in this song
I ain't talkin' 'bout the ones that be glowin'
I'm talkin' 'bout Roc-a-Fella, my home
My chain, this ain't conflict diamonds
Is they Jacob? Don't lie to me, man
See, a part of me sayin', "Keep shinin'"
How? When I know what a blood diamond 's
Though it's thousands of miles away
Sierra Leone connect to what we go through today
Over here it's a drug trade, we die from drugs
Over there they die from what we buy from drugs
The diamonds, the chains, the bracelets, the charmses
I thought my Jesus piece was so harmless
'Til I seen a picture of a shorty armless
And here's the conflict
It's in a black person soul to rock that gold
Spend your while life tryin' to get that ice
On a Polo rugby it look so nice
How can something so wrong make me feel so right?

Which is deep. He's testifying on several levels here. And I'm listening to it and looking at this $400 suped up Walkman I don't need, didn't even get high on, didn't make me "feel so right", doesn't really work the way I want it to, and meantime all the images from New Orleans are driving home a clear message about inequality.

So I'm going to take the stupid thing back. Though it ain't gonna be easy. As unsatisfying as it is, I still want it. It's the wanting that's the thing.

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