Lacking Profundity

We’ve reached the end of the week.

Presently, I’m feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities. And I’m going to try to get around to them all. I have to remind myself that we have time for this thing to grow. It’s kind of like a marriage. We’ve got a lifetime. Maybe. I think some readers are already screaming for a divorce. You can keep the McMansion in Boca, DBailey; I’m taking the kids and the hi-fi.

I just received an e-mail from Todd. In it, he said: "If I had to do one of these everyday, I’d die."

Yes, I’m sure that I will die someday, brother, but not from blog entries.

The inside idea here is that I’ll have at least one of these entries for you everyday. Initially, I was worried about it, too. Would I really have to come up with something audio-profound to say every single day?

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t actually think I’ve said anything at all about audio, and nothing that’s been very profound. In fact, to be honest—while I am getting around to the audio stuff—I don’t think I care for profundity.

There was a time when I spent all my days sending poetry out to be rejected. There is one rejection that I still often remind myself of. Of my work, it said: "Structurally sound and often interesting, but lacking profundity."

I always thought that that would make a wonderful title for my autobiography. And I guess it’s true and appropriate. Though, some would disagree with the "often interesting part."

Well, screw that guy, Sander Hicks, and his Soft Skull. I got to meet him once. I sat directly across from him at a table at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, and I don’t remember him having anything to say that was so profound, either.

I told him about the comment he had given me. I told him how I had held onto it for years. And, you know what? He didn’t even remember writing it. That’s the way it goes, sometimes. You have no idea how your words might touch others, or if they touch others at all. Like clicking "submit" in the comments page. Sometimes your words just go out there, and you’re left wondering. Or not wondering.

I want you to know that I’ve been listening to all that you’ve said. I’m working on it. The title of this blog—"Elements of Our Enthusiasm"—comes from an e-mail conversation I shared with the beautiful Art Dudley.

This was back in January. (Again, things take time. This isn’t like pressing "play" on your SACD remote while you sit on your Eames lounge chair, taking slugs from your forty ounce, dude.) I told him:

One idea we're playing around with is to start up a blog on It will be "The Making of An Audiophile," or something like that, and I'll go around visiting dealers and industry folk here in the City, getting to know more about the hobby. I'll post my thoughts onto the site, and eventually gain a better understanding of the audiophile heart.

And Art responded:

I think that's a splendid idea. It will also be something we older writers can learn from—to retrace those steps, so to speak, and remind ourselves of the elements of our enthusiasm.

Ah, I have Art’s blessing. And, now: Do I have yours?

Art also listed two things he tries to accomplish in writing:
1. Write the way I speak—conversationally
2. Maintain a sense of wonder

And so, these are the things I will be trying to do, too.

In the very first entry, I asked that you trust me, and I admitted that I knew nothing of high-end audio. Well, I actually had a pretty good idea of what I was doing then. In an attempt to gain your trust, I have been telling you a little bit about myself. I’m asking again that you trust me. I have a pretty good idea of what I’m doing right now. We’re going places with this, but I’m also trying to tell a story and I don’t want to give everything away too fast. That wouldn’t be fun. And, yes, I do intend to write about some audio gear—just you wait and see!—but I do not intend to write in the fashion you might be accustomed to. Again, that wouldn’t be fun. And what would be the point of that? Read someone else, if you don’t want to read me.

Okay, let me slow my mind for a moment with more music. I’m listening at my desk, here in the office. The speakers aren’t very good, but the music is. Most people are gone. The president just walked out, and the janitor just walked in. That’s the way it goes.

Joanna Newsom is singing:

And Jaime has eyes
black and shiny as boots
and they march at you two-by-two
when she looks at you,
you know she’s nowhere near through:
it’s the kindest heart beating
this side of the blue

Funny: Old Art was also the one to introduce me to Joanna Newsom’s brilliant record, The Milk-Eyed Mender. Art wrote: "As much as I love the 22-year-old Newsom’s childlike voice, others consider it an acquired taste."

Do I have to tell you that, by including that specific quote, I’m trying to make a certain comparison? Read slowly and hold your horsies; this is all poetry, and there’s a very good reason for it.