Dead Links
by Dan
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.



Long Long Long - "To Be Alone"

When I was 14 my grandfather died. He left me a .zip file. I didn't open it for four years. I was cleaning out my computer before moving away to college and found it again. I opened it; 25,000 jpegs. Screen caps. His Social Wall. From when he joined Social back when he was 14. I was suddenly touched and embarrassed. I didn't appreciate the gift then (my dopey cousins all got four hundred bucks each and I was so jealous cause they all bought xboxes), and guiltily but ravenously spent the summer going through them, projecting them on the side of my parents' house on hot nights, following comments, patterns, and dead links.

Birthdays would swell and shrink depending on the kind of year he had, where he was living. He spent a year in the Kingling Mountains, and he only got about 3 birthday wishes that year (but lots of "hey, long time"s). When he got sick there was lots of attention. Some prayer-ish, some philosophy-ish, some practical wisdom-y. "If it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen, let's go for drinks some time." And this level of casual speech, this constant lapping of soft compliments, small talk, brief nudgings, after a while made me wonder why he had left this for me. At first I was just interested in the way people talked 75 years ago and the kinds of things they cared about, but then I started to think "this is not the way to show me who you were." The people who cared about him most would never post on his Social Wall. They were too close for that. But maybe this is what he was telling me. That, for a man who kept no record of his own life, this was as good a record as any, as valid. He existed something like a monad, my grandfather, visible only through the reflections he made and never present himself, save the odd news story he posted: "Camel on Mars Hoax", or cryptic status update: "I'll never do that again"


(image result for 'Perishable Mountain Cat' (dead lynx) search)


past: my entry on Parenthetical Girls' "The Pornographer" has been edited to include the new, NSFW video. The ever-compelling Zac Pennington dispels once again any rumours that there is such a thing as fixed sexuality.

Posted by Dan at March 29, 2011 4:59 PM


Posted by Jimbob at March 29, 2011 9:55 PM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

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