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Tyler Cowen argues that food has replaced music as central to American culture.
Posted by Allison at 08:52 PM in Culture, Food and Drink, Music | Permalink
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Nice article, I agree totally and in fact have been saying this for years. It seems obvious that music doesn't generate the same buzz or serve the same social bonding function that it did years ago, the way new trendy restaurants do now. Tyler doesn't come right out and say it, but he hints at a possible reason why: dining is an inherently social activity and leads naturally to conversation and (sometimes) connection.
Music can do that too, but for nearly 20 years it's been consumed primarily, or at least significantly, in a solitary way via earbuds/iPod or a streaming service. Technology also makes it more possible than ever to develop and feed one's own idiosyncratic musical taste rather than simply listen and react to what's being broadcast on conventional sources. Music has therefore become more personalized and customized and less social and communal.
The ironic thing is that music lovers are living in a golden age. We can access almost any type of music past or present instantly and at little or no cost. Nevertheless, because listening to and enjoying music has become so individualized, music has lost much of its cultural power and influence.
March 30, 2017 at 10:50 PM
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