Friday, July 14, 2006

Regretting too much choice

My husband does a smack down of Mark Gunther's lament in Forbes that we have just too many choices in media today. Gunther is worried that Americans aren't having the same cultural and informational experiences today that supposedly so united us in the past. Like when there used to be only three major networks and we could watch the same shows and the same newscasts. As my husband says,
Why do I suspect that the real complaint here is that yes, Conservatives more or less used to have to read the New York Times and the Washington Post and watch ABC, CBS, and NBC, but now--damn it all--we don't?)
Read the rest. I always laugh at these people who moan and groan about how bad it is that we have more choice and competition in any market. Just go into any grocery store and note how many new products there are that weren't there 10 years ago. They might not be choices that you like and I'm sure Coke and Pepsi would prefer that we only had two major beverage suppliers, but the rest of us benefit. And if all the choices are paralyzing you, just go back to buying the same old stuff you always bought. Hey, you can even watch CBS news if you want.

And don't you remember the 1960s and 1970s as that period in history when Americans were united so totally. No one needed to protest in the streets or complain about the government or criticize pop culture because we were all exposed to those same few networks and newspapers. Oh, wait.....that didn't happen. Oops. There goes the whole thesis.