It's Accessible When You Believe In It, It's Primary When You Love It, It's Trivial If You Don't 

No, no, no, I thought, reading Simon here. The reason no music criticism seems vivid or vivifying to you anymore is because you are old now. When you're young, things you read can strike you as new, and the things you experience all strike you as new, and the writing you do about what you experience, and the things that you love, it's all so new, so exciting, it's so alive it makes you hurt and it makes your readers, who are you in other circumstances, hurt, too.

It's completely different when you're old, as the young you probably suspected, and as you now recognize, as someone older, except when you remember how you used to be, and how much different and sometimes better it used to seem to be young.

It wasn't better, and you know that, too, but it feels as if were better, you remember it being better, but you're wrong, and those young readers and writers are wrong, too, in their ways, not in your ways, and you can't understand them anymore, and it makes you both sad, the younger reconstructed you and the older you.

But it doesn't make them sad. They don't know about you or care about you. They live differently. What's important to them too often seems trivial to you, but it isn't trivial; at least, it's no more trivial than things you used to deem important when you were young, and which, over time, you've invested effort and belief into feeling the importance of again in your mind, though it may well have been unwarranted then and now, and though none of these young people know or care about what you think or believe is important. Nor do they care whether you believe their art is unimportant or inaccessible or trivial. Their knowledge works differently. They nouse. You don't nouse. You can't. You are now too old.

And so am I.


Earth That Was? 

Characters in Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars books realistically worry that wealthy, powerful, entrenched self-interested groups of people might disregard the damage they've done to the Earth and instead simply move away off-planet, using technologies available only to people as powerful—and as self-interested—as themselves. It's dismaying and hard to believe, but those characters' worries have become our realistic worries.

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