Why Food Replaced Music

March 31, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

We’ve previously covered the idea that food has replaced music in culture. Tyler Cowen wrote a little about why this was:

  • With streaming services we now access whatever music we want – fewer people listen to the same music, and it’s hard to build a social identity around it.
  • Streaming also means that we no longer own our music making it difficult to let it define us.
  • In the past music played a big role in political movements like civil rights and anti-war. Today Taylor Swift is assiduously non-political, and Kanye West’s endorsement of Donald Trump generated few headlines.
  • Food has taken over. Instead of MTV you now have the Food Network. Talk among friends is often dominated by the latest restaurant.
  • On the bright side this allows people with a diverse set of preferences to join the conversation. Come from abroad and you can talk with pride about your home cuisine.
  • But food seems to be less important as a cultural touchstone to minority communities, creating further divides in society.
  • And a good meal with perhaps a splash of wine induces lethargy rather than the drive for political action that music used to.
  • With the exception of one commentator worried about an over-abundance of taco trucks, our conversation about food is mostly non-political and perhaps somewhat banal.

In fairness things may be changing. As we’ve previously covered brunch may be losing its allure to political activism.

Read Cowen’s entire article on Bloomberg.