Overstimulating Our Little Minds

November 11th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

First, we agree there isn’t enough silence in this world. We especially direct that thought toward chronic cell phone users. You know who you are and you know what we mean. And we agree that too much of good thing can, depending on the good thing, be a) wonderful, or b) overwhelming in a scary way. While the article linked below focuses on music, the same can be said for books. Who doesn’t feel a bit anxious when confronted with piles of books still unread even as the UPS driver is delivering another box from Amazon?

Perhaps it’s our natural aversion to opera*. Sure, it was once the music of the masses, but, as much as it pains us to say this, times have changed. All the iPods in the world won’t alter the fact that certain so-called classical art forms don’t speak to today’s world. It’s not a lack of culture or understanding. We live in a different world. That our choices of entertainment — music, television, books — are more fragmented certainly speaks more to the fact that this planet contains…please wait, we are doing math, and it’s always an ugly experience…a lot of people. Try to get four people to decide on a restaurant for lunch. It is no more simple than getting that same group of four to agree to a favorite form of entertainment.

Lots of books or music or movies will likely always be the case. Probably always was the case. We can imagine indecision in another era: to go the Globe Theater or to maybe hit that little independent venue down the street. Roseland or the Village Vanguard? Pride and Prejudice or something from Sir Walter Scott? It’s time to stop worrying about the quantity and learn to love the diversity.

* – Or perhaps it is the cultural snobbery inherent in the author’s opening paragraphs. The iPod is no different than the Walkman (in concept); the technology for listening to music while walking or commuting is fairly mature. No need to raise eyebrows about it.

File Under: Square Pegs