12 Apr

"Pearls Before Breakfast"

Category: Sound Thinking
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 04/12/07

All of the guests on the MARS HILL AUDIO Journal contribute to a critique of contemporary culture. Historians, artists, philosophers, bioethicists, sociologists, the accumulated wisdom of all their comments indicates that, despite the persistence and gracious epiphanies of goodness and beauty and truth, contemporary culture is structurally alienated from the transcendent. A recent article in the Washington Post chronicles a manifestation of this disorder. The article describes a sociological experiment the Post conducted in January, 2007; it is titled "Pearls Before Breakfast: Can one of the nation's great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour? Let's find out." Gene Weingarten, the author, tells the story of how the Post hired Joshua Bell, a violin virtuoso, to play several classical masterpieces at a Metro train station during morning rush hour. The descriptions of how people reacted—or didn't—say much about the current regard of many for classical music, beauty, interruptions, consideration of public space, and limited use of communications technologies. The article is available online.

For names of MARS HILL AUDIO guests who have spoken on related matters, visit the following topics pages: beauty, classics, culture, modernity, music, technology, technology and culture, and time. [Posted April 2007, ALG]