Saturday, September 24, 2016

...And We LIKED It.

I was talking about music with a friend of mine at work and we thought about how things were when we were young.  We're around the same age and we recalled a world without the Internet and how difficult it was to have a hobby.  Not really difficult, but you had to work for it.  Really, really hard.  Actually, it WAS difficult.

Like in my case I loved film composer James Horner, but had no easy resources to find out information about him or to know what he was scoring next.  We checked out the movie posters in the lobbies of theaters, we went to the library to look up any articles that might exist about him or perhaps even an interview, we flipped through records, tapes, and cd's in record stores for hours looking for something we missed.  You'd find "newsletter" advertisements in horror mags or in the back of Starlog magazine and write to them asking to be on their mailing list.  Thank the gods for the fanatical people who ran those things.  Pre-Internet, they WERE the Internet.

I remember calling a soundtrack store in Leeds, England early in the morning, asking what Horner soundtracks they had...  and finding out there were foreign releases not available in the U.S., it was like finding treasure.  I think my mother made us pay for those calls.

Anyways, we talked about this stuff and pondered the good and the bad of it all.  Like is it a good thing that someone now who discovers they love something suddenly has immediate access to literally everything there is to know about their new-found hobby?  Does it feel as good getting it all so quickly?

Mind you, I'm grateful for what the Internet has provided me by way of my strange interests.  I'm certain I would have missed out on a lot of the obscure music I love had it not been heard on Pandora or suggested by Amazon.com.

But maybe I savor it more remembering the way it used to be?

Maybe I'm just old.



16 comments:

Sara said...

I believe it's bad to have it all at our fingertips. It lessens the appreciation I think. We assume now that wealth of knowledge will always be available to us. Right there whenever we want it. It is what it is of course and probably won't be going away. Of course on the flip side we all benefit from it in regards to our hobbies and interests, because who doesn't want to soak in every little detail of things we love as quickly as possible? Lol. But in the end it's just not as good or as satisfying. Like binge watching Netflix shows. Of course I want to see every damn episode of my favorite show! Right! Now! But then I do and then I'm like, crap I have nothing to watch til January.

Good topic. Interested to see what others say.

J said...

I'm usually a silent observer to your site but I have to chime in. I have thought about this as well. I talk with my brother a lot about the internet and how you can learn anything you want. He built an entire Rat Rod car from Utube. I have taught myself more about my hobbies and how to bring my hobbies to life from watching videos on the internet than from the fine art dept. at college. Although I will say I realized in college that large scale installation work is what I wanted to do. I wanted to create a space that you could be apart of. I think having to really research your hobbies meant more back in the day but I don't think I would have The Barn Haunt if it wasn't for the internet. It has been an endless source of inspiration and information that I have yet to find elsewhere.
So thank you and everyone else out there for sharing their love of Halloween.
J

Rot said...

I guess it's like a lot of hard work....the way you feel after it's done.
Seeing a garden you slaved over grow and produce fruit and vegetables and flowers and whatever you love feels way more satisfying if you are the one who planted it and worked it.. like if you hired a bunch of landscaping folks to plant and maintain your stuff, i'm sure you probably aren't anywhere near as invested in it... maybe it's pre-programming from the days you HAD to work for your existence? I dunno.

Rot said...

And thanks for leaving a comment, J.

Rot said...

Great comment, sara.

Jay's Shadow said...

I agree with all that has been said.

I think It's nice to be able to have access to a TON of knowledge. But putting in the work and finishing it by yourself is what gives you the absolute satisfaction.
I try not to do a complete copy of any bodies exact work and do my own spin off of things. Sometimes when I see something that looks really cool gives me an idea of prop that is totally different. If it wasn't for the net and finding all of you Haunters out there, I probably wouldn't have gone as far as I have gone now. I would be just doing things inside the house like I used to. After visiting Pumpkinrot's blog for the first time (which was many years ago), I built my first scarecrow. Then seeing other Haunters showing up and showing off their haunts just kept pushing me further. I owe it to all of you for making me the Haunter that I am today.



Sara said...

J has a great point. I wanted to touch on it but didn't know how to articulate it in my own comment. The Barn Haunt or fill in the blank awesome haunt/creation wouldn't be what it was without the internet, maybe...The inspiration and sharing that goes on (sharing definitely not stealing I mean) on the Internet through websites like yours, Rot, and other people's is what can give that creation that extra special-ness. Maybe a hobby of somebody's would wither and die away nowadays if the creativity shared on the Internet (not the Internet itself) wasn't accessible. The Internet definitely allows a gigantic sharing of creativity like nothing in our world ever has before. For that, I am very greatful for.

Then to touch on your point, Rot, using the landscaper doing everything for us analogy. I have zero ounce of a green thumb, I kill all plants. Yes it would be 100% more satisfying for me to work hard and plant a garden and beautify our home landscape on my own but that doesn't mean I'd 100% *enjoy* it more because of that satisfaction. Sometimes hard work takes away from the enjoyment. It would in my case if landscaping were the issue. I'd love to stand outside and admire my hard work but I think I'd equally love to admire someone else's hard work,too. In this instance.

Ok I'm done for now, sorry for going down a possible rabbit hole with my comment!!

Her Strange Kind said...

I do miss having to hunt for things at times, and I miss card catalogues and browsing the shelves at the library for something to interest me, something I rarely do these days. I feel like everything is surface-level knowledge now...you just skim for what you are looking for. I do appreciate that access to the internet can bring such a wealth of information to you anywhere you are, whether you are in a large city or the middle of nowhere. I also like being able to find those with similar interests so easily, and learning new skills for free is wonderful.

Willow Cove said...

I agree with Sara and Rot, What if I won the lotto and bought every comic in a series I always desired? We live in interesting times! I remember as a kid riding my bike to the 7-Eleven to get a money order to send in with a SASE to Fangoria about mask making.The waiting, and finally the reward when the mail arrives. That's what I miss. Now there is package tracking and devlivery confirmation.
Good topic, guys!

Autumnleaf said...

It's mind boggling to consider that millennials have for the most part never known a world without the internet. We never had computers or cell phones in High school! I met my first computer at University and believe me it was pretty archaic as far as computers go. BUT...I love the internet. To have that much knowledge at your fingertips is a miracle. That being said I will NEVER part with my books either. They represent a source of knowledge that a computer cannot. You have to work a little for it! A lot of us are in a unique position of standing on the cusp of a card index and a computer screen. How this 'instant gratification' will affect the next generation remains to be seen. And it's not just the internet. The delivery times on items has been sped up beyond my imagination.
Lol..I've always wondered what would happen if a solar flair knocked out everything electronic. We might actually have to do simple arithmatic -and God forbid, crack open a book. Great topic Rot!!

Pumpkin5 said...

Hhhhmmmmm...I remember when there was no internet and our very first computer...it was dial up, and to load a page took forever. (well, forever compared to today) I miss catalogs and leafing through pages, turning down a page for something I want to go back to. I think I am old fashioned, I like books over kindle, catalogs over browsing the internet, the local newspaper to see the news. There IS something nice about finding that certain item you are looking for in minutes though via the old interweb.
I get it.
J.

NoahFentz said...

Wow! Awesome post! I guess I'm kinda old School and feel I'm out of the loop most times. I discovered that I'm one of those trial and error guys. When I cant get it to work I will turn to the World Wide Web. I don't think I'm very good at Internetting because I do not have a satisfying result. Maybe I don't use the right key words or what I want to do just is not that worthy. I wind up giving up and go back to trial and error.

Back in 1996 when I first created our little Halloween Display it was just done on a whim but the following years it became a Hobby. I discovered the Internet in 1999 but again "haunt" websites and how tos were limited. Back to Trial and error. On the off season I found the Halloween L list and discovered there more Halloween lovers out there. In 2003 a member posted a website called "Pumpkinrot.com. This person was not a member of any Halloween group or had no "How Tos". How could this be? I thought to myself if this Halloween lover is out there how many other "Pumpkinrots" are out there doing their own thing just loving Halloween with no internet interest. Mind boggling.

Besides Halloween my other interests are Home Renovation and set building. I wind up asking my father or other construction knowledgeable co workers advice on how to solve the problem before turning to the internet. Don't get me wrong....Thanks to the internet I have been Inspired by many Halloween lovers including you, Rot!! Your website may not have any "How tos" on building props but it does have quite a few. How To view you Haunt thru the lens of a camera, How To shoot amazing videos, How To be dedicated to a blog, How To look at Halloween as Art and How To Love Halloween.

Your garden analogy is quite fitting....what was the name of your 2004 Scarecrow? I guess what I'm saying is that there are STILL some folks out there that don't rely on the internet for everything. If you are old than I'm older.

K.O. said...

Nice post. And man, so interesting. Y'know, I can't even remember how I "grew" my hobbies before the Internet. I think there was a lot more chance involved back then, like I would just happen to run across a new book at the library or hear about an album from a friend. This may also be because I've always been lazy. But it was definitely a more limited experience, and more reliant on serendipity, back before we had the ability to actively go find new things so easily.
I recall as a child imagining how badass it'd be to have a robot that could report facts to me, like the weight of the biggest cat in the world, the place on Earth with the most caves, or how many times a particular word appears in a book. And now I guess that exists. It's like, the Internet filled such a huge void, such a basic human need to KNOW, that it's hard now to imagine life without it.

girl6 said...

just from my point of view & no disrespect to anyone...but, the internet is not the problem here. i think every human being has felt this way at one time or another in their life. think back to when you were a kid & your parents or grandparents would tell you how different & better things were for them when they were a kid. & the problem wasn't the internet for them it was just the face of change. hey, change has been rearing it head & making it appearance since the beginning of time & i think as long as there are people alive it's going to keep popping up, wearing different masks of course but....yeah, always there to meet you.


i think society thinks whenever something new comes along they have to live their lives differently or something? like they have to give something up & hop on some kinda generic bandwagon. i still stop by the library whenever i have some extra time daily & just dig thru the stacks. i'll just grab a bunch of books on...film, silent movie stars, costume design, botanicals, furniture design, art etc & just soak in it all & RELAX. we borrow a lot of movies from the library too. yep, they even have blurays. it's so much fun to go there with my dude & browse the racks & pick out movies together, sorta like we're in a video store, LOVE it!!! & the library will even order items they don't have from other branches for you, so it's totally a win win situation. then we go to one of the bodegas in our neighborhood & load up on our favourite snacks for our movie date. i've been enjoying the Free Library since i was a kid, i still do now & will continue to do so. NO internet is gonna make me feel like i have to do otherwise.

i will always send people handwritten letters too. i will always be a HAHAHAHAHAH kinda person & NOT a LOL kinda person. who is this person who decided that laughing is now a tedious chore that should be abbreviated rather than a wonderful pleasure. i have no idea who they are. nor do i care.

THERE IS SO MUCH Romance still out there!! trust me, there is!!! the secret is just not to let go of it. like don't forget it. take care of it & keep it alive, pass it on even. just dig around some & you'll have so much fun in the process too.

there's a balance tho. some wonderful things have happened to me via the internet. i met a wonderful friend on the internet about 8 yrs ago now. she is the Charles Halloway to my Jim Nightshade. we even have the same initials hahahhaa & i guess i never woulda met her if it wasn't for the internet. i also got to meet Hallowaltz (another horror fiend & Brian De Palma fan) because of the internet. we even got to hang with him in person at the John Carpenter concert in Philly.

i could go on & on...but, i won't. hey, the internet IS very cool. but, i'm still gonna be me, still doing the same things i love to do. i gave up my cell phone a good while back & i don't miss it at all. i feel so free now. people have to call my home line now & leave a message or they can call Carl's cell. hahahahahhaha. whatevers.

i think the secret is to live timeless NOT the way society tells you to, don't be held down by the present, but rather set yourself free with the past, with how you like/love to do things. cause the internet has it limitations too depending upon the soul punching away on it's keys. do your thing man & you will never grow old....i promise.

it does suck tho, to see what we love being put in jeopardy, whether it's due to the internet or just billion year old change. we gotta find ways to keep what we love alive.

Jon Glassett said...

Reminds me of tape trading. Back in the day, bands would make cassette demos and give them away/sell them at shows. People would make copies of the ones they liked and share them or trade them. The vetting was built in. If a band sucked their tapes didn't go anywhere. If they were good, it got passed around. Same thing with recording songs off of college radio shows and passing those around. A lot of metal and punk bands got established this way. If enough people heard and liked the songs, they'd start asking the clubs about having them play, then the bands could expand their territory, and so on. Then there were zines all about underground bands that were happening. People would see a write-up of some band and then ask around if they wanted to hear them. Unless you were lucky enough to live near a cool record store, that could be pretty challenging. Lots of legwork and research. You had to love it to really get at it. Punk and metal were widespread enough that I personally didn't have to rely on this to hear bands (plus I grew up close to a major city) but it was all about friends recommending stuff and listening to college radio metal shows.

Clemetine Potts said...

Wonderful post. truly wonderful. I remember being obsessed with a particular band and not being able to find their stuff in the deep south where I lived....go figure. then I ran into someone in New Orleans who was from New York who mentioned that they saw this band's album in a record store in SOHO. I made them write the store name down, street, etc...It was the greatest find ever. Now...there's Google.