What Killed the Magic of Anticipation?

Gone are the days...

The Strokes are releasing their new record next month, and after downloading their bouncy single, “Under Cover of Darkness,” I can’t wait for the album to hit shelves. This is the first time in years that I’ve been on pins-and-needles about a release. And it’s not that my favorite artists (Radiohead, The Whigs, Beck) haven’t been putting out new music, but the child-like anticipation has been missing lately.  

So I was talking to a friend at work today about what killed the Christmas Day-like anticipation for things as we get older. Record releases, vacations, seeing a concert, going to a ballgame. Is it just getting older that makes the magic disappear? Or is it because we now live in an always-connected, download-savvy, app-happy society?

Maybe it’s a little of both…

I think it’s natural, as we age, for things to seem less larger-than-life. You’re far less impressionable as an adult, and the more exposure you have to something, the less precious it becomes. But I think the information age–while improving life in many aspects–has cheapened things in others. Gone are the days of staying up to get a glimpse of your favorite band on SNL or having to wait to read the box scores in the morning paper. A lot of the magic came in that anticipation.

Sure, there are still a few things that always have me eagerly counting down the days: a new Wes Anderson film, the Masters Tournament, the next Strokes album. But the one common theme between these three favorites is that none of them are over-exposed. Anderson makes a film every few years, the Masters’ television coverage is half what it is for other majors, and the Strokes are as exclusionary as any band in the last decade.

All of them could be more commercialized, could make more money, could be more connected with their fans. But they “get it.” They all do things their way, they do them sparsely, and they do them beautifully. Here’s hoping a few in the younger generation pick up on that.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Philosophy

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