Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Arcade Fire

Ross Douthat is guest blogging over at Andrew Sullivan's site. Here is his interesting take on the culture wars:

I think there are two cultures, one highbrow and one lowbrow, which interact in various ways but which are increasingly distinct from one another. These two common cultures aren't necessarily defined in terms of a single television show that everyone watches, but each one has a set of shared values, assumptions, interests and habits - all of which may manifest themselves in a wide variety of shows and books and movies and websites, but which are held in "common" nonetheless. So for instance, one set of highbrow types might spend their spare time reading literary bloggers, while another set spends theirs downloading Arcade Fire or British Sea Power from iTunes. But both of these sets probably consider the New Yorker the last word in highbrow journalism, read the Sunday Times regularly, aspire to send their kids to elite universities, laugh along with Jon Stewart (even if they don't watch The Daily Show every night) and so on and so forth. They don't share all the same tastes, in other words, but they speak the same cultural language.

I think that makes me highbrow. I've longed claimed that The Arcade Fire's Funeral is a rarity: a rock album that simply doesn't grow stale with time.


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