Always I expected to be an exception. I never would be the cranky oldster clueless about new pop music. Now I admit that my only wish is to avoid it as much as possible. Week after week I read the articles in the New Yorker by Sasha Frere-Jones, about someone I never heard of and would hear of no more. No more. Only you, my trusted cyberface friends, will ever be told that I have a Judy Collins Station on Pandora.
I don’t listen to a lot of music, in any case. I play the same CD over and over. Goldberg Variations. A friend gave me a boxed set of Ravel for my birthday, which I haven’t opened. I understand the desire, so strong it feels like need, to grab the iPod as the first accessory in leaving the house, but I prefer the soundtrack of experience. I know, I sound grimly virtuous. So let me repeat, I understand why you wouldn’t want the soundtrack of experience. I’m trying not to be cranky about people who never hear a “good morning.” Good morning, goddammit. What?
Another thing I never expected was forgetting how to spell. I type away and a red worm slides under words like “curlique.” It’s with a c, I discover, after some digital manipulation. God forbid I actually open the dictionary, sitting on the shelf like some aunt in a retirement village. Any number of words get the red squiggle and half the time I’m clueless why. Spelling? Grammar? Bad taste?
When I type “clue less,” no worm. Helpful as technology wants to be, it has the personality of a mosquito. Look at what your local café has become. Just an observation, not crankiness. Yesterday, at a café way out in the avenues, somebody was softly playing a guitar and it sounded like a revelation. Grace notes. Glissandos. Musical curliques.