The Shallowing of American Taste
First tastebuds and palates fall to McDonalds, now the eyes, ears, and minds fall to Wal-Mart, according to this NY Times article (free registration required)...
"The growing clout of Wal-Mart and the other big discount chains ? they now often account for more than 50 percent of the sales of a best-selling album, more than 40 percent for a best-selling book, and more than 60 percent for a best-selling DVD -- has bent American popular culture toward the tastes of their relatively traditionalist customers...But with the chains' power has come criticism from authors, musicians and civil liberties groups who argue that the stores are in effect censoring and homogenizing popular culture. The discounters and price clubs typically carry an assortment of fewer than a thousand books, videos and albums, and they are far more ruthless than specialized stores about returning goods if they fail to meet a minimum threshold of weekly sales."
Add in Clear Channel Radio and sanitized text books, and all I can say is that the internet has come along at the time it's needed. With the fingers of big commerce all over our culture, the web can serve to reverse an old mega-trend to "high-touch, high-tech." With Wal-Mart, et al, touching our minds, we need to resort to tech to add some depth and breath to their narrow and shallow offerings.
posted by fpatrick
on May 17, 2003 -
defendant tells a court of his transformation from an irreligious drug dealer on the streets of Germany to an Afghanistan-trained militant, and the psychic journey
of some young Muslim slackers in England to become fighters for Al-Qaeda (NYT).
posted by semmi
on Apr 24, 2002 -
"All the writers are co-plaintiffs in a well-known class-action lawsuit by the Authors Guild and the National Writers Union against the Times over electronic rights and royalties disputes." The case reached the Supreme Court. NYTimes published an article
25 Sep about the accusation though its now a "pay-per-view" article. Response to NYT from one the plaintiffs here (slow server)
. Freelancers had expressed fear this would happen
posted by mmarcos
on Oct 3, 2001 -
AMTRAK still off-track
(NY Times link) Even before living in France I loved trains. So it pains to read that AMTRAK is still
heading towards its last run. Do you progressive, SUV-hating Mefi people have any thoughts on how AMTRAK might get its act together (or whether it's all SUV-futile)?
posted by ParisParamus
on Jul 25, 2001 -
NYTimes.com asks for feedback on its new home page
The New York Times on the Web previewed a new design for its popular home page today. The page widens the content areas to over 750 pixels, up from around 500. The page now presents special feature teasers, and links to NYT's hideously unpopular Internet "knowledge network" venture, Abuzz.com, along the enlarged right-hand margin. No word was given as to whether the site would abandon its free registration requirement. "Surfers" may register their opinions about the new design at firstname.lastname@example.org
posted by rschram
on Oct 3, 2000 -