Looking back at the editorial illustration that accompanied Megan McArdle‘s article (“The Freeloaders,” in the May Atlantic) about how “a generation of file-sharers is ruining the future of entertainment,” it occurs to me that the picture, by the very talented Jeremy Traum, serves as a kind of Rorschach test for the reader:
Does it look beautiful to you, or does it alarm you?
Do you want to hear what this music sounds like, or does it immediately telegraph the degradation of composition?
Perhaps not surprisingly, I thought it looked beautiful when I first saw it, and I still do. Of course, car crashes can be beautiful, assuming you’re not in them, so I should add that it’s also something that I’d want to hear — it resembles some dream collaboration between illustrator Istvan Banyai and composer/sound-artist Stephen Vitiello.