Thursday, January 08, 2004
A list alone is useless. A shopping list with no recipe is just a bunch of food; what use is it to anybody except the person who wrote it? Little. Likewise a string of record titles; why these, what are they, why should I care, what should I do with them?
And to order a list... To have to choose 10 from 100, or 100 from 1,000, is already an arbitrary process. To then force them into a heirarchy of your making, ordered by your fallible mind and emotional memory... The purpose of a list is to try and attain a degree of permanancy and stability, of authority, that is just not real, that cannot be found, and what's more is not worthwhile. Doubly so if the list has no substance beyond the names of things. Any given list is only as final as the moment in which it is created, and the past is never final because it is the past, and were it final there would be no now.
I've had to concoct a list for something, a list of 100 albums which I love beyond others. Of course I cannot do it. Walking along the beach on Sunday I was stricken by the ridiculousness of one small choice, and I felt compelled to repeal it. One choice! One of a hundred of more than a thousand... A thousand? How many thousands? I don't know. I don't know. A couple of weeks past I posted a list of almost-theres. To exclude any of those is ridiculous. To exclude the unheard melodies too is also ridiculous. Heard melodies are sweet, and all, but those unheard...
And so here is the first part of the list, given some form of context, some brief, useless illusion. They are unnumbered and escaped from the order that I was obliged to force them into for their primary purpose. In a week or two I shall add the other fifty, and then later in the year I shall undertake the same exercise, only with individual songs rather than albums (why privilige one over the other, in this day and age?).
1/08/2004 11:56:00 pm