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iPod Nation?

I don't usually agree with Andrew Sullivan on much of anything, but he has an excellent new op-ed that appeared in the Sunday Times of London.

Sullivan describes the iPod portable music device as the symbol of the ongoing balkanization and compartmentalization of American life. No longer is music a shared experience, but along with everything else in society, is completely personalized and individualized. How can society even exist, that is, how can we get together and discuss the basic problems of what it means to live together and help foster human flourishing if everyone refuses to be challenged, be exposed to new ideas, or engage others and new people in conversation?

This is an interesting phenomenon that matches the counter-phenomenon of more and more people desiring to live in a community that has shared values and a moral content. Often, this desire is attracting people to Christianity, in all its forms. Perhaps the churches can respond to the new libertarianism that subverts both human nature and culture by continuing to offer an escape from the busyness and compartmentalization of modern American culture. Some have called for a new monasticism, and that seems about right: silence, contemplation (of real things and God), fruitful labor, and fraternal charity.

Hat tip: Mirror of Justice.


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