I’m working on a mix CD to distribute at a wedding I’ll be attending over Memorial Day. It’s a way to distribute a lot of the new music I’ve run across, and also just an excuse to do a mix CD, which I enjoy. For those of you who also like to get in on the mix CD action, have no fear: the Pipeline People Summer07 Mix will be unveiled shortly.
But meanwhile, this Memorial Day wedding mix has turned into a fiasco. It’s probably true that mixes should be somewhat ephemeral; pick what sounds good, and put it together without too much thought. But I started on this mix a month or so ago, and have been tinkering ever since. iTunes makes that a little bit too easy; add in the fact that I’m continuing to acquire music, and this mix has become anything but a spur-of-the-moment event. I’m being completely truthful when I say I’ve spent more time on this mix than I did preparing for the GRE, and now I can’t tell if it’s any good anymore.
Even worse, for some of the bands I’m struggling to just put one song on, which leads to absurd ideas like a 2 CD mix. That’s the problem with being the sole creative talent behind a project, which is how shit like Use Your Illusion I and II and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness came about. I’ll probably go through a complete core meltdown once my prospective song list gets to about 80, at which point I’ll just decide to hand out blank CDs to people in a completely reactionary response to Song Overload.
Speaking of content overload, I have undertaken a project to copy all the text of every Pipeline entry into a Word document. In very rare instances I have an electronic copy of a post, and I did paper printouts of Pipeline for the first two years or so, but I have no archive that would be suitable for posterity. It’s kind of dumb to think about recording Pipeline for posterity, because so much of it has been fluff, just a quick reaction to an issue of the day. But taken as a whole, Pipeline is the closest I’ll ever get to a journal, book, movie script, documentary, love letter to my kids, etc., and I don’t want to rely on decisions made by other people about servers I have no control over to maintain that record.
So I copy and paste. I’m working backwards, and am only through October, 2005. Already the document is around 350 pages long, and I fear the grand total will end up somewhere around 1500 pages when I’m done. Just seeing the sheer volume of posts and words, I find myself wondering why the hell I wrote so much, and feel I should almost apologize for the amount of content. I’m not reading any of the old posts as I go back in time, but I can already see there is so much absolute crap in there, especially anything I ever wrote about politics or sports. But sometimes passion gets in the way of good writing as much as it can help it, and I think that’s been the case with Pipeline’s political and sports content.
Out of all of it, the posts about parenting seem to hold up the best. I’d love to be able to do something with that content, but given how saturated the writing marketplace is, I’m not optimistic. And it’s not necessary, either. It’s enough for me to look back and relive parts of the journey, and be happy that I took the initiative to write about it, something I will be eternally thankful to Jim Haefele for, because without his encouragement there would have been no Pipeline. In fact, without Jim’s encouragement many years ago, I would never even have realized I enjoyed or was capable of writing.
Oh, and the movie and album reviews tend to suck, too. But not everything has to be great, or even good. Half the time I’m just trying to start a conversation with Pipeline People, who almost always oblige, and that’s why Pipeline will always be much more than just words on a page to me.