honesty in playlists

Status update: Trying to get over the flu, doubtful that I ever will, feeling that I should say something about Obama and Rev. Wright, unable to do so. The most I can handle today is a thought or two about Chip Kidd’s playlist (as shared on Dwight Garner’s NYT “Paper Cuts” blog).

Thought 1: Can’t a blog about books be just about books?

Thought 2: Has anyone ever given an honest answer to the question that’s implicit or explicit in posts like this: “What are you listening to?” Anyone over thirty, anyway? Is it really possible to resist the temptation to calculate the proper degree of hipsterosity? I mean, if you’re over thirty — or, in my case, WAY over thirty — you can’t just choose a bunch of songs available only on college bands’ MySpace pages, you have to choose some older stuff — but if you choose only older stuff you’ll look out of it. You also have to be properly eclectic, drawing on different genres, even if you’ve not actually been listening to different genres lately.

The what-I’m-listening-to thing always strikes me as aspirational rather than documentary. It’s really not “what I’m listening to” but rather “what I would be listening to if I were actually as cool as I want you to think I am.”