1/ Dorian Lynskey at the Guardian, "The Tyranny of Cultural Choice Is Making My Brain Gasp"
"Time anxiety induces a perverse reaction to recommendations. Links to "must-read" articles or rave reviews of "must-see" box sets make me sigh. Must I? Conversely, if I hate, say, the first episode of a new TV drama I feel a thrill of elation: "Thank God for the Newsroom's smug, self-parodic hokum! I've just saved myself hours." Recently I was a few chapters into Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer (which belongs alongside On the Road and The Magus in a subcategory of Books You Should Read Before You're 18 or Not at All) when I realised I loathed it and could exile it to the charity shop with a clean conscience. It felt great.
"When I hate something these days I find it liberating rather than disappointing because I like too much."
[I know this feeling oh so well--the relief, the delight, of eliminating something from consideration. Unfortunately, like gas pouring into a vacuum, the 'space' freed up psychologically by crossing something off the List, barely lasts a micro-second before it's immediately crowded out by all the other things rushing forward with claims on your attention).
2/ Mike Spies at New Yorker, on "Spotify and its Discontents"
Yeah, the decommodification of music didn't work out so well, did it? For consumers, as much as for producers.
What I notice is the amnesiac nature of shopping (legally and not so legally) for music (or books) on the Internet... I can remember specific moments of discovery and purchase in record shops, I can't remember any acts of acquisition on the Internet... the purchase of the moment becomes wafer-thin, context-less, without grain....