Yeah, yeah — I contradicted myself. Buying CD’s when I’ve already got a digital copy takes up space. It’s an odd sort of redundancy. But my habits haven’t adjusted to the paradigm shift of which Joe Levy speaks in his jauntily defiant response to remarks by Robert Christgau on the changing nature of music consumption: from home stereo system to laptop speakers and headphones. Christgau worries that the “privatization of music consumption that the iPod-computer speaker model assumes,” along with diminishing word counts for reviews, has constricted the ability if not the desire of rockcrits to think beyond their prejudices.
Whew. The remarks may deserve their own space. As much as I enjoy drawing correspondences between subtle changes in the thinking patterns of the world at large and the banal/personal, and as much as this midthirtysomething gets off on a certain earned orneriness, I don’t see the atrophy that Bob does — not yet. I do see a lot of good writers struggling to express their thoughts in shrinking space, some of whom adjusting better than others, as usual — nothing new in that. My iPod does have lots to teach me about managing shrinking space, though.
PS: Check out the roundtable at Slate between Jody Rosen, Ann Powers, and Christgau.