Turn Up the Pretension

30 Mar

“An iPod is not music. To truly hear the music as it was intended, you have to hear it on a CD, not an iPod. Listening to the Beatles on an iPod is like taking a shower in a raincoat.”
– Johnny’s Records – Darien, CT

(Scene: A record store in Williamsburg. A cashier is passionately discussing music with a customer. Both are clad in the droopy beanies, tight jeans, and scraggly beards of self-indulgent underemployment.)

CASHIER: I’m serious, man, I can’t let you walk out of here with that CD if you plan on burning it to your iPod. It’s just plain wrong, you know? It’s like buying a live animal only to mount it up on the wall.
CUSTOMER: Oh, relax. Its just a CD. Why do you care so much? I’ll just pay and leave.
CASHIER: Nah, man. If I let you leave here and shove all that beautiful music into a little electronic box I won’t sleep tonight. It’s unconscionable.
CUSTOMER (mildly exasperated): Dude! Don’t you want my money?
CASHIER (amusedly exasperated): No! People don’t open record stores in Brooklyn to turn a profit; they do it so they can preach to their customers and call it a job!

(Another customer walks in the store, dressed similarly. He pauses shortly to listen to the conversation.)

CUSTOMER 2: CDs, huh? What about vinyl?
CASHIER (to new customer): Yeah, vinyl’s in the back. (to first customer) So can you promise me you won’t burn the CD?
CUSTOMER 2: Oh my god, you guys actually still listen to CDs? Get with the times, guys. Vinyl’s the audio format of the future. Analog all the way!
CASHIER: Nah, that vinyl trend is so phony. The digital encryption on modern CDs is just as good as anything an LP can provide. Your speakers probably can’t even play with enough clarity to show the difference.
CUSTOMER 1 (heading for the door): Yeah, you guys have fun. I’ll just take this and-
CUSTOMER 2 (upset): No way! You guys must actually not care about music. And my speakers cost more than my house! I live in this, like, really cool art space that I rent from this immigrant family on top of their bodega, so it’s not actually not that pricey. But my speakers are really good.
CASHIER: Whatever, vinyl’s just not my thing. It’s in the back if you want to look, though.

(Another customer walks in, twiddling his handlebar mustache.)

CUSTOMER 3: What’s up? Do you guys only do vinyl here, or do you have anything higher quality?
CUSTOMER 2 (irate): Higher quality than vinyl? What the hell is wrong with you people? I move to Williamsburg so everybody would be as a pretentious as I am. Although I’m not gonna lie, I’ve missed being this condescending.
CUSTOMER 3: No, no, no, vinyl’s so 50 and, by extension, 3 years ago. Wax cylinders are the medium for today’s audiophile.
CASHIER: Wax cylinders? Are you serious?
CUSTOMER 3: As serious as one can be about his music. Wax cylinders are the most artful way to play a record. The way you can only play it, like, eight times until the wax wears out – it’s exactly the way Edison intended. You can even light it as a candle when you’re done with it!
CUSTOMER 1 (halfway out the door without his CD): Screw this, I have Spotify.

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