article from my favorite music critic Lindsay Zoladz that I just read and am pretty much stealing the idea (and title of the article) from right now...
So, the thing is, and this is not a secret because we are all experiencing the everythingness of everything right now together, everything is just too damn much.
The internet has provided us with access to absolutely everything at any time and it has very much fragmented our attention, and possibly our brains forever. I've spent this week trying to hear ALL the critically-acclaimed music that came out this year so that I can make a complete and accurate mix of my favorite music from 2015. I don't want to hear a song on January 12th of 2016 that came out this year that is the best-song-ever that I didn't know about in 2015.
But as many smart people have pointed out much more eloquently than I ever could, this is impossible. I agree with Zoladz that we should go back to the mentality we had in the baby-days of the internet. Listen to an album you love over and over until you KNOW it, until it is part of your soul. Let that soul-sound lead you to other things like it or other things that remind you of it. Explore a world without time in the natural way that your brain wants to enjoy things.
I've spent a lot of time in the last few weeks reading books. Like checking out physical sheaths of paper housed in hardback covers and reading the paper within. And then checking out more books that are in the same subject. Immersing myself in a world of a subject. I'm not pressuring myself to read the top ten books of 2015 according to someone else. I'm not even reading cover-to-cover if the book doesn't keep that much of my attention. The internet has not even called to me much in this time. I'm reading, I'm taking notes, and I'm being entertained.
It's odd to grow up in this time when we've been able to observe entertainment becoming study and overconsumption. We have started thinking we have to experience all the high-brow bits of culture so that we may be able to pontificate about it. It's boring. Just read what you like. Listen to the music you like, even if you've only listened to one album on repeat for six months. If you're being entertained, you're doing it right.
We're not developing relationships with culture anymore...we're just dipping our toes into everything. I had a New Year's Resolution for this year to fragment my attention less. I think I started to accomplish that, but it's one of those resolutions that I will have to further attempt next year as well.
Maybe my "best of 2015" mix won't be the beast that past years' mixes have been. I've thoroughly LOVED two albums (Grimes' "Artangels" and Chelsea Wolfe's "Abyss") this year and I'll take that over heard-30-albums-once-and-can't-remember-them this year.