The iPod of Print*

Little going on in the sports world today, besides a foiled Triple Crown attempt, a UFC event, and the beginning of arguably the third most popular international sporting event, Euro 2008. Whatever, these are fringe events. “Niche” activities if you will. Or worldly, if those terms are somehow offensive to you. I aim to please. Anyways, in all honesty, I have little interest in any event. So I’m going to talk about Google Reader.

After discovering Google Reader through my blog’s referrers (thanks to anyone who put my blog on their list. As I will soon reveal, it’s a pretty big commitment. Though the referrer was probably The Big Lead, which recently linked to my site!! I was pumped for that, so thanks to anyone who actually reads this thing. Alrite, back to the task at hand) I had to check it out, and it is sweet. The Coles Notes for Google Reader reads like this: it’s an application that allows you to subscribe to as many RSS feeds as you please and provides you with the ability to access all your favorite sites’ updated material in one neatly wrapped package. Genius. I couldn’t help but mess around with it for a couple hours today. And yes, I spent my Saturday afternoon exploring the possibilities of an internet application. Not ashamed, not ashamed, not ashamed.

Anyways, the modern device the Google Reader best reminds me of is the iPod. Like the iPod, it empowers the user to unite all its creative influences in one place. But with this power comes great worry. To me anyway, it evokes a sense of self-conciousness because of personal influences. You get me? To further explain, I will provide an example of my self-concious taste. When I’m listening to a particular song on iTunes (say the Hold Steady or Broken Social Scene or any other critically acceptable band. I’m so whipped by critics, or people that care little about what I listen to) I always allow it to play through till its end, no matter how much silent space is included within the track. Why would I do this you ask? So my listen will be officially recognized by iTunes’ Play Count application. You see, I have this sneaking paranoia that if my iTunes playlist is ever abducted or hacked by some cultural giant (say Chuck Klosterman or Malcolm Gladwell, though I wonder sometimes if Gladwell’s musical taste is as refined as his writing. Sure he’s spent the majority of his lifetime in places of higher learning or cities but he was also raised in rural Ontario. Or the place with arguably the worst radio playlists on earth) I want them to give props to my urbane taste and possibly mutter things like “This dude is awesome” or “I wish I hadn’t killed this dude for his laptop. we totally could have bonded over our love for the New Pornographers” (I can get as ridicolous as I please since the contrived nature of this scenario is quite high). On the other hand, my finger becomes trigger happy when listening to “guilty pleasures”, which of I will provide no examples (so whipped). This is completely ludicrous. The odds are favorable that next to no one will see my full Playlist and absolutely zero that some culturally refined journalist will experience the 1100 songs that currently fill my List. My cultural paranoia is through the roof despite having no reason to be so.

Anyways, the Google Reader is yet another outlet for my cultural paranoia to spawn but instead of worrying about rogue critics discovering my hidden Rihanna stash, I worry about them finding my Minnesota Vikings feed (though Craig Finn may respect it). So far, like untouched tunes on the playlist, I have added multiple feeds that I have rarely ever read and probably will never in the future such as the Economist, the New Yorker, and the New Republic. Why do such a thing? Because you never know when Chuck Klosterman will come a hacking.

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Filed under Chuck Klosterman, Google Reader, iPod, Malcolm Gladwell

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