The Old vs. The New

The juice train rumbles by my house every now and then.

To see it for the first time, was a pleasant surprise from the standard silver amtrak cars. These were quite decorative in comparison. And unlike an amtrak, this train went on for what seemed like 4 or 5 minutes.

Tropicana juice train
Tropicana "juice train"

Exhibit A (where is this? maybe New jersey?)

It doesnt take much to fascinate me, and after seeing this magnificent locomotion, I needed to know more:

According to Wikepedia:

“Juice Train” (or “Orange Juice Train”) is the popular name for famous unit trains of Tropicana fresh orange juice operated by railroads in the United States.

In the 21st century, the Tropicana-CSX Juice Trains have been the focus of efficiency studies and have received awards. They are considered good examples of how modern rail transportation can compete successfully with trucking and other modes to carry perishable products.

Well I’ll be damned! The juice train is famous! And it has stayed “old school” despite the pressures of the Information Age. And it works.

Don’t get me wrong: the internet is great sometimes. Reality tv is great entertainment.
But there is much about technology I despise:

1. The 85 billion “businesses” and “products” launching via Myspace. Some are fabulous (i.e. Killers Never Die, Breakdown Bettie, Willow’s art) with QUALITY products that would sell on their own, on a real-life display in a real-life store. But the majority of the apparell, radio shows, bands, models, etc etc are smoke and mirrors, courtesy of laziness. And here’s a secret: you may have 79,000 “friends” but don’t mistake that with returning customers. The reality of becoming someone via Myspace is about as real as Tila Tequila’s bustline. Find another way to market your product, because doing it here is the equivalent of walking into a room with business cards flying everywhere. In the old days, people worked their way to the top thru time and hard work, not a profile page.

2. Excel spreadsheets.

3. Reading on the computer is not as gratifying as a good old-fashioned book. It’s just easier and more fragmented.

4. When I was in highschool, we did not have social networking sites. And as an alumni of Northern High School, where the big joke was to yell “PENIS!” in the middle of a crowded cafeteria, it’s disconcerting to log on and see 15 year old girls ‘modeling’ in their underwear whilst ‘networking.’

5. Celebrity gossip sites and the media obsession are part of the reason for the disenchantment that comes along w/ artists these days.

6. Vanity. So much vanity. It’s so easy.


I could go on and on.
I still love a handwritten letter more than anything else.
I’d rather listen to doo-wop than a Top 40 produced to appeal to the masses.
Writers blog so much they can’t write a book to save their lives.

But it’s not all bad.
What’s better than checking the weather online?
Downloading the song you just heard by that artist you never heard before?
Re-Discovering the kids who used to make fun of you in school and thinking “who’s laughing now?”

Sometimes it’s just worth it.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Been hanging out at your blog and reading some of the posts. Certainly share your ambivalent attitude toward technology-makes everything so much more complicated than it has to be-and also your taste for doo-wop.

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