Too Much Having, Not Enough Wanting

From Dan Chiasson’s review of Life, Keith Richards’ autobiography, in The New York Review of Books:

the experience of making and taking in culture is now, for the first time in human history, a condition of almost paralyzing overabundance. For millennia it was a condition of scarcity; and all the ways we regard things we want but cannot have, in those faraway days, stood between people and the art or music they needed to have: yearning, craving, imagining the absent object so fully that when the real thing appears in your hands, it almost doesn’t match up.

Today, with overabundance, with everything available on YouTube, the distance between wanting and having is too short to generate deep appreciation.

6 thoughts on “Too Much Having, Not Enough Wanting”

  1. Speaking in terms of music alone, I think the distance between wanting and having is short, but it's not a bad thing. I think it helps people appreciate something more. I know that when I become obsessed with a song on the radio, or a television show, or a movie, I quickly google a lyric to find out what song it is. Who's the artist? I find out quickly. I may listen to the song on repeat a couple thousand times (not literally) and I do appreciate what I listen to more. The same thing can be said for comedians, no? My roommate's been watching youtube videos of this new comedian he likes… it's all accessible because of YouTube and other outlets. It lets you appreciate the artist even more beyond what you expect. People are more willing to, I feel, seek out other works by the comedian or the musician rather than just waiting for the song to play on the radio, and then maybe purchase a CD.

  2. This abundance in information & readily accessible resources will also slowly level the global economic playing field. Unless one is susceptible to egalitarian principles, this should be inferred as a warning to the US—hustle.

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