Too Much Bloody Choice (Part 2)

After spending months digitising my CD’s I decided to go for streaming as Tidal offered lossless sound quality and almost infinite choice of rock, jazz, blues and classical music. They even have stuff I recorded off Radio Luxembourg on AM with the signal fading regularly on a tape recorder! At first it was paradise – listen to virtually anything you want, when you want without the risk of buying a CD (or an LP) for a fair bit of money and discovering you don’t really like it. But after a while I got the “Ben and Jerry’s” again: instead of examining my limited number of discs and deciding on the strength of the cover or the memory of the disc’s contents as I’d played it so often, I was again stumped by the infiniteness of it all.

Same again with TV. I went for Amazon Prime to save on postage and packing and get quicker deliveries. But then you can choose from an almost infinite selection of films and series on your TV. Worse still, if you don’t know exactly what you want, there is the equivalent of endless zapping, clicking through title after title that means nothing to you and whose summary is so bland and unoriginal you lose all interest:

“Can love overcome the past?”

“Border Guard Tina has a special gift: she can smell fear, shame and anger.”

“Andy earns a six-figure salary as an estate agent. However, to finance his extravagant life-style and excessive drug consumption he has defrauded his employer.”

“The body of young Marina Levkoeva lies on the floor of a restaurant toilet. Policemen Lena and Max take on the case.“

OK, I sound like a grumpy old man. But I long for the days of almost binary choice. Model T’s in any colour as long as it’s black, sweet or sour, work or play, a package holiday or stay at home.

And I don’t think I’m alone. Several of our friends have children who a) can’t decide what to study, b) when they do they change in mid-stream to something they think is better c) finish their studies and still don’t know if it was the right choice and what kind of work they’d like to do and even d) start one job and then move on in the hope of finding a dream occupation.

I read a report about dating in the days of Paarship and Tinder. After numerous one-night-stands he came to the conclusion that he was constantly hoping to find someone better if he just kept at it long enough, chasing an illusory ideal who probably does not exist or with whom there would be inevitable conflict if they actually got together.

Who says lots of choice makes us happy?


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