little Prudence, some Rattle and Hum and a whole lot of tech later…

Little Prudence sat, danced and slept through her first viewing of U2’s Rattle and Hum on Sunday. And at just over 14 months, she’s well ahead of her brothers in this respect and made one daddy pretty happy. No problems with Edge’s blaring guitars over Bullet or Streets.

I have to say that Rattle and Hum has also aged pretty well since the last time I watched it. It’s possible for me now to enjoy it as a standalone piece of work from U2 instead of another linear musical output along their discography – that was difficult cause you’re always comparing it to either The Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby / Zooropa which came after it. At least now, I can view it without such baggage – and I don’t think I’ve enjoyed it or appreciated it more.

But watching Rattle and Hum on DVD on my 42” Kuro Plasma isn’t really too kind on the eyes. The movie really shows it age with extensive grain and noise throughout. Funny thing is, my setup is already obsolete by most current tech standards – now with Blu-Ray and 3D TVs, and LCD screens, LED TVs and PS3s playing 3D Blu-Rays. I’m not even talking about network media players or Apple TV or Windows Media centre.

I remember my first copy of Rattle and Hum was a gift to me from my girlfriend / wife on a Philips CD-i / VCD. I couldn’t watch it. That was cause my Mac’s QuickTime then didn’t support MPEG. (This was fixed later by Apple through a separate standalone extension called QuickTime MPEG). The first time I watched Rattle and Hum was at my best friend’s place where he educated me on the finer points of renting and taking care of …LDs. Laser Discs!

It just makes me wonder that by the time Prudence grows, will there be any physical media for her to buy and watch movies? I guess not if Steve Jobs or any other of the new tech gods have their way with iTunes and cloud computing and streaming through AirPlay.

Marshall McLuhan’s famous quote is the “Medium is the Message” but if we’re all so, so busy eliminating all the mediums, what’s really left of the message – apart from 0s and 1s? Oh I’m not against digital or tech at all, and I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on iTunes for apps, music and TV shows – but really, you do lose something when you buy a CD off iTunes instead of, walking into a store paying for it, getting back home, ripping off the impossible to remove shrink wrap, placing that new CD (with artwork printed on it) onto your hifi disc tray for the first time and anticipating your speakers to burst to live – all the while, while you’re greedily thumbing through the accompanying booklet and complaining about how stingy the artist has been by not including more pictures / artwork / pages.

If that last paragraph didn’t make sense to you (and I hope it does to my kids one day – I endeavor to make sure of that), then it doesn’t matter too. Google and iTunes and the cloud will take care of you.

But, should need them, you should try them too – while you still can…

…listen to a vinyl record, take a polaroid picture, BUY an original videogame (any game any platform), read a book (not iBooks, not Kindle)

…and of course watch Rattle and Hum on a big badass TV, with speakers blasting with your baby in arms…on a Sunday Bloody Sunday.


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