'Cos it's important for your mental health
Sometimes I get a little concerned that the most trivial and the most trite memories are taking up needed space in my head. There are some reasonable expectations—at work, at home—that I should be able to sort out the useful from the useless, the tasteful from the tasteless, etc., but sometimes absolute tripe just floats up from the depths. A picture. A song. A face.
This time it was a song from the frontier of esoterica. Something I've probably got collected on a CD in a box in a box in a box from undergrad days. Something right from the turn of the century at the last moment when it was difficult to find esoteric music from the bands you loved.
(I could go on and on about this last point. I think getting to see the web before it was good was a lucky stroke. Finding an FTP site or Usenet newsgroup with binary files or a shared user drive on the dorm network could lead to weird and useless troves of outtakes and demos and bootlegs of bands like Ween. It's all out there now and easy(-ish) to find—torrent, uploaded to YouTube, etc.—but it used to be a bit of a treasure hunt.)
I know why this song has...
("Treasure hunt" could be switched with "waste of time" with no truth harmed in the process.)
I know why this song has crept back into my head though. "Gotta have time to yourself". In quarantine, yes. "'Cos it's important for your mental health". Oh yeah.
Stuck in this infernal house for lockdown is just an invitation to half-formed memories from the past to come back after a long gravity assist around the outer planets, right back to the place where they started but with greater speeds and weirder spins and pieces chipped off and so on. None of them are worth sharing—just an unusual shell on the beach that you might notice for just a second—not notable enough to spend time with, not notable enough to announce—just a moment of interest and then it's passed.
Normally I'd just leave it alone, but it's been banging around my head for days. It's not even a good song. It's not even a real song. It's just some end-of-radio-interview banter then an improvised song, "Time 4 Yourself", with Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) and Instant Folk Death, collected on the equally esoteric collection, New Hope Is a Bad Scene in 1995. I probably wouldn't even include all this detail in a post but that it took me a while to sort it out.
One more thing. Don't know where to put it. I'll put it here. I think about it occasionally: what happens to these external internet sites that I embed or link to? They go away.
Lostwave's Ween site is still there, for whatever reason. Chocodog.com is not.
I was considering what it was like to discover websites on the older web and I remembered StumbleUpon, which was really from the post-old web, one of the early social media sites. I remember having to kill that account some time ago as a barrier to time waste. StumbleUpon itself is dead since 2018. A few links to nostalgic sendoffs about it:
- Megan Farkokhmanesh. Goodbye, StumbleUpon, one of the last great ways to find good things online. The Verge (2018-05-24)
- Abhimanyu Ghoshal. StumbleUpon is calling it quits after 16 years. TNW (2018-05-24).
- Julia Alexander. StumbleUpon turned internet boredom into time well wasted. Polygon (2018-05-24).
- Diamond Naga Siu. Stumbleupon died right when we needed it the most. Mashable (2018-07-17).