The Corner

Are We Really So Uncultured?

I mostly enjoyed the Post story about violinist Josh Bell playing in a D.C. Metro station that Jonah linked to, but I think it’s at least a little bit manipulative. The story is designed as a sort of lament about our collective lack of cultural refinement, but I wasn’t the least bit shocked that almost no one stopped to listen to Bell play. The musicians one tends to see playing in subway and Metro stations are, well, let’s just say … not typically world class, and rush-hour commuting conditions tend to be cramped and generally unpleasant. Commuting on public transit in cities like D.C. and New York practically requires one to develop a protective layer of apathy and uncaring–or at least some robust tuning out mechanisms–just to get to and from work every day. (It’s not for no reason that people grow so attached to their iPods.)

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