Some of us only see art where we look for it
The Washington Post installed violinist Joshua Bell, complete with baseball cap, t-shirt, jeans, and ~$3 million Stradivarius, in a D.C. subway station and reported what happened.
Almost everyone kept walking. All the laws of masses of people would have kept most of them walking even if they didn’t have to be at work/school/breakfast/___ in too soon from now. People don’t pay attention to noncritical aspects of their environment. Most people don’t know how to tell great from good or good from mediocre. Those that can might not trust their judgment anyway, and when in doubt, people follow the crowd and avoid individualistic behavior (except, of course, along vectors they know are safe, and approved of).
What makes the story cool is the people who did stop. The man who’d studied violin and was blown away. The guy who stopped and listened even though he didn’t know why. The 3-year-old kid whose mother had to drag him away.
What I really wonder is how long he would have had to play before he became an event. How long for some critical mass to accumulate, and those people who were lonely iconoclasts during Hour 1 to be encouraged, and word to start to spread? How long before the first person to go to that station just to listen to him. How long before the first article in a local newspaper. How long before the first hundred thousand views of bootlegs on YouTube?
April 7 07, 11:26 pm. Comments Off