Nostalgia, it manages to extend the natural half-life of everything.
It’s an instilled but irrational feeling caused by a biological fear of change and refusal to adapt.
Holding onto nostalgia might offer temporary comfort, but it will ultimately yield in the face of progress. Take, for instance, the compact disc and its slow, crippling death.
Although CDs, much like those musty math textbooks that feature neon geometric grids, might have been state-of-the-art technology when they first hit the scene in the ’80s, compact discs lost their luster in the new millennium — and there is reason behind it.
To start, CDs might have the ugliest packaging of all music formats. I’d rather stare at sheet music.
After you peel off a plastic wrapping, and sometimes price stickers placed on the front cover, you’re tasked to navigate a plastic jewel case, capable of pinching the least exposed of skin.
Forget about studying the packaging like the grander gatefold of a vinyl, there’s not much to read other than a flimsy lyric book.
Once open, good luck not scratching it forever, or worse, breaking it in half. Once broken, CDs become the equivalent to a prison shank, in its ability for revenge in dishing out bodily harm.
All for a few songs by Whitney Houston? It feels like a lot of unnecessary work when her entire catalog can be drawn up with a few mouse-clicks.
Nevertheless, FYE chains in every American mall prove the CD is still generating some kind of revenue. Although, the revenue is steadily declining in the face of more palatable formats like the storage space of a computer.
In addition to more efficient music retrieval methods, CDs have been replaced by formats with more interactive value. Vinyl records run on average $20 new, and less when used. It’s worth the extra cash, and undoubtedly looks better standing on a shelf. Not only does this look better to others, but also in a purely aesthetic sense.
Additionally, neither vinyl nor digital produces a low-humming noise similar to that of a CD drive. Yuck! The sounds of the early 2000s.
However, in this case, it’s really just my opinion that CDs are utterly obsolete. I spent road trips listening to CDs in the back seat, and I would say the format served its purpose.
You should listen to music the way you want. But, it’s difficult for me to understand the strange, lingering fascination for the compact disc. At least cassettes had visual charm.
As nostalgia does not actually bring back golden eras or childhood road trips, it’s important to live in the present moment rather than the moment of someone else.
CDs might not be dead yet, but the coffin is paid in full, and when all but the most dedicated walk away, you won’t catch me in mourning clothes.