I think I’ve already said that I think humans turn to literature to get ourselves through challenging times. Since the Bible seems to have lost its footing as the go-to literary consolation in most segments of society, and no one reads poetry anymore (she says as she scribbles fragments that may eventually turn into poems) we’re left with what poetry can be found in lyrics.
What gets me is how intimate music is. If I found six poems and copied them into an e-mail or letter and sent them to a friend, it might be a little self-serious, but it wouldn’t be personal in the same way that making a cd of a bunch of songs is personal. I’ve got a friend who is very far away. I have sent him some music already and am adding songs together in my head to see if they make sense.
But of all of the times we’ve talked about personal stuff, or hugged before lunch, or exchanged e-mail, this sharing of Music business seems the most fraught with potential blurred lines and muddy intent. I don’t know why this is. I’ve shared movies and books before and none of it adds up to “I want to see you naked.” The music doesn’t either, but somehow that seems like it needs saying, whereas with lunch and inside jokes, I never felt the need to say “look, this little bit of shared irony is not an indication that I think we need to try on each other’s skin, just to see if it fits. I see that there might be potential for that were the circumstances other than what they are, but as things stand, I’m just showing you the mood I’m in and, ok, perhaps flirting a little, but with no real intent.”
Why is it that music-sharing and mix-making are so much more personal than any of the other ways a friend might let you know that you’re thinking of them?
The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.
Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do’s and don’ts. First of all you’re using someone else’s poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing.
— from High Fidelity