Analogue vs Digital
Analogue vs Digital
“Hey hey mama said the way you move it’s gonna make you sweat it’s going to make your groove.”
These immortal words were first heard in 1977 at the age of 13.
Nothing can replace the memory of an eccentric older cousin passing through our small rural town in British Columbia, stopping by to take his little cousin to a record store to buy Led Zeppelin IV.
Arriving home after the purchase and not knowing what to expect, the plastic was stripped off and the fresh shinny vinyl was taken from its protective sheath and delicately put onto the thirty-three and one third revolutions per minute turntable.
Here one’s life took a significantly profound change when hearing the opening line to the now immortal lyrics of Black Dog (see above), and the warmth of the needle on vinyl and the booming of the speakers.
Not the most profound poetry to be certain, but honestly what do lyrics really matter after being exposed to John Paul Jones Black Dog bass line and his virtuoso musicianship.
Let us ponder the difference between the above described music discovery experience, and one of the digital generation unearthing Led Zeppelin for the very first time.
First, one could honestly say discovering and buying music has never been more convenient, yet it is void of a meaningful experience, an associated fond memory and even more so, to understand the true value of music and those who create it.
Alas, the shopping experience for music now merely involves the click of a button, where your download is then made instant available for one’s listening pleasure, probably just a few times as the digital generation flitters from one flavour of the day to the next.
Moreover, there is no sensory experience such as the touch and smell of a new record, nor the warmth of the needle on vinyl.
The transition of the telephone has also made a significant impact on most people’s lives, although a double edged sword to say the least.
Here in the Land Of The Rising Son, one’s own beloved mother-in-law finally made the transition just recently from a late 90’s model flip phone, to a “smart” phone where she uses her new phone, a computer in her pocket, for exactly what she has always used a phone for, and that is to talk to her friends on the phone.
Now in the word as it turns, all are face the true reality of analogue vs digital.
Cash or digital money.
Just like the vinyl records of yore, the future of paper money is now obscure.
Could what we have all understood to be money up until now be replaced with digital money on the phone?
The next burning question is:
What happens when the electrify fails?
This is where the reality of the Japanese, who unlike many places on the planet have not sold their soul to the gods of the digital ether, but still use cash as they have done, well, since the beginning of cash.
Even to this very day, many grocery stores in one’s neck of the woods do not accept anything other than cash.
Are the Japanese in possession of some mysterious secret compelling them to diligently save paper notes for the inevitable tough times which comes with living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean?
For the Japanese also have a metaphor for their own personal bank full of cash, tansu chokin, and one can observe the fastidious Japanese with pile upon pile of brown-backs (¥10,000 note), stashed away in the nooks and crannies of their own home.
Perhaps they also have a cache of precious metals as well, most likely 99.999% pure bars.
Indeed, the Japanese look upon The Land Of The Rising Son as the country of disasters, wazai no kuni, but along with this gloomy outlook, there is a pithy saying expressing a pragmatism concerning the true nature of life:
wazawai tenjite fuku to nasu
turning disaster into fortune
Perhaps the burning pangs of hunger still serve as a visceral reminder of the hard times and sacrifice the Japanese endured as they set about rebuilding Japan after the war.
One can be certain this trove of cold hard moola and precious metal will never be turn into bits or bytes
which can then be evaporated with a fickle-fingered flick of the switch.
No, the Japanese will keep this precious cash firmly gripped in their clenched fist while declaring:
You can only take our cash from our cold dead hands.