358 • Mad Men

The classical music world hurts for appropriate, responsible, intelligent, and critical mass commentary. Music critics should contribute to a secondary and informed memory in the minds of the audience, as well as formulate an expectation to future listeners.

Information about an event given to us by witnesses (e.g. music critics) can eventually override the memory of our actual experience. It is thus critical to receive an educated and sincere opinion, which should also serve as a foundation for future experiences.

The entertainment media is able to sell all that whimsical nonsense to us by making it seem cool before, during, and afterward. We are sheep: we believe it, we crave it, we buy it. And it is by design entertaining, engaging, fun, and distracting. Once classical music started competing with Destiny's Child, the written word became a tool for peddling and trafficking.

"Music has a new face … and it has a great hair cut." – Written by a proper authority makes us believe it.

We can't recapture the insightful sincerity of Schumann, reclaim the biting wit of Shaw, repeat the transcendent gimcrack of Adorno, but the modern classical music critic has to contribute to the experiences of the audience in an informed and intelligent as well as compassionate and personal manner. Critical music review should accept responsibility or be silent lest it becomes an instrument of Madison Avenue.

See: 293 • Peer review

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