I love my dog dearly, but she has no taste in music. I know that because the other day, she told me exactly what she thought of what I consider to be the best album side of music ever recorded.
I like to work out to music in the basement, so the other day I flipped my favourite onto the turntable; the B side of the Beatles Abbey Road. On vinyl, not disc. Analog, not digital. There’s no other way.
Dont get me wrong. Side A is brilliant, but for my money the B side is the cat’s meow. Maybe that’s why my dog doesn’t like it. Katie never said it in so many words, but she made her point clear about 20 seconds into when she lifted her snout into the air and started howling.
‘Nuff said. I put on Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.
I didn’t put her in the doghouse, though. With all apologies to Voltaire, while I disagree with my dog, I will defend to the death her right to howl it.
But for all I love about analog sound, I also love the digital age and the web for what it has wrought. No, not porn, gambling or scary shopping – forums, blogs and the never-ending debate about anything at all. They are the digital equivalent of bar stool arguments writ large, with thousands of bar stools; it’s the stuff of grassroots democracy that no government can quash.
I threw out enough strong opinions in the first two paragraphs of this column to spark several never-ending digital debates, which will in turn set off other endless debates about different subjects.
I call them debates, though, only if the people who engage in them respect Voltaire’s original thought; “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
The downside of the medium is the immediacy and the anonymity it affords; one leads to thoughtless responses, the other to insults and cruelty.
I’m not sure if Voltaire would agree, but I believe neither should be tolerated, whether it’s from someone on a bar stool or in a web forum. Calling someone a moron because of their opinion will never get them to change it; a well thought-out rebuttal might. And if it doesn’t, that’s OK because that’s their right, too.
So if you loathe the Beatles and love digital sound, don’t flame me in the comments section, tell me who you think is better and why a CD sounds better. It might just get me thinking, whereas an insult will just harden my original opinion.
I’m off to the basement now for another workout; I’m going to see what Katie thinks of KISS.