• James Hewlett

White Whale

Over the years I’ve had a few ‘white whale’ items for various collections, passions or hobbies I’ve been involved with. The earliest one I remember was an original Kenner Han Solo in Carbonite figure. A pretty rare figure but not out of this world expensive. My dad and I would go to collectible and toy fares all over the place hunting down Star Wars figures and that was always the one I was most desperate to find.

Eventually I did and it was a glorious and triumphant moment for me. I continued to collect for a number of years after and ended up having an almost complete collection of all the original figures, but looking back now I do think that was a turning point. Everything afterwards was just gravy.

I can’t think of one particular comic book that would have fit this description for me but there were always series and titles I’d look for whenever I’d be in a cool comic shop and could go searching through longboxes. That was also different for me though; I worked in a comic book shop and was tangentially connected to the industry. If there was any one particular item I was so desperate for, as long as o could pay for it, I could speak to a guy who could speak to a guy and it wouldn’t take much effort, in the grand scheme of things, to get hold of it.

I still read comics, though not nearly as much as I did then, but the allure of collecting is so far gone I barely remember what it feels like.

As someone who has had many passions over the years and used to love collecting things I really don’t much anymore. It takes a lot for me to get excited about a physical possession. Sure I’ve still got a load of stuff, I’ve not gone full monk and living a sparse life or anything, but I don’t hunt down things to own much anymore.

I say all of this as a preamble to explain the elation I feel at getting hold of something that arrived today.

Because The Internet by Childish Gambino has come up on various ways god knows how many times on this blog and this year in particular. The sophomore release as an official album from Donald Glover’s musical persona always had some amazing tracks I adored on it but it has taken the seven years (almost to the day, it’s anniversary was on Thursday just gone) for me to truly appreciate the genius that is this entire album. It is more than an album, he created a whole universe and narrative for BTI. I’ve written about that a lot already so feel free to go back and find my thoughts on it. Since then a whole podcast series has dropped that analysed every moment of every track and listening to Dissect each week only gave me more insight and made me fall more and more in love with everything about this album.

I’ve not bought physical music in at least six years, possibly longer, and do not have any connection or nostalgia attached to it. You lug around six jam packed massive CD wallets multiple nights a week every week for a decade and you won’t either!

I have, however, always had an appreciation for the resurrection vinyl has seen in the last ten years or so. I have a few friends who are super into collecting records and I get it, but haven’t ever felt the desire to myself.

Because The Internet is special to me though. It has solidified itself as not just one of but very possibly my absolute favourite album ever and the vinyl has long been out of print and selling second hand for ridicules money.

I would often check online in various places but record hunting isn’t my forte and I never found anything for a reasonable price.

A couple of weeks ago I messaged my friend Andy, a collector, and asked him to keep an eye peeled for the album for me. Within minutes he sent me a link to it at regular retail price. I was shocked but then quickly realised that the album was being reissued and I had missed the news!

I didn’t hesitate and ordered it straight away and today it arrived. I am over the moon with it and so happy to have a copy.

I’m not going to go mad with collecting vinyl or anything, but there are a few albums and artists that are special to me that if I find a copy of those particular records I’m going to grab them. It’s just nice to have.

And thus, I’m one sourdough starter away from completing my transition into full blown aging hipster.

Hasta luego.


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©2017 by James Hewlett.