Thinkable, unthinkable

Michael Kinsley has been pondering how our idea of what is and isn’t acceptable changes over time. (One example from my own life this week: women’s boxing. I never thought I’d want to watch it, yet the Olympics proved me wrong.) After rifling through his own list last week, Kinsley invited readers to respond with their own suggestions:

Here’s a great one: “Voluntary submission to noise that ruins your hearing.” Or involuntary, for that matter. The level of ambient noise keeps rising; all those “shovel-ready” construction projects from the stimulus a few years ago seem to be operating at peak noise level. Baby boomers, now paying for a lifetime of rock concerts, are adding loud music to the long “Do as I say, not as I did” list for their children.

True. And one day we’ll look back and wonder why people were willing to pay silly prices in order to shout at each other in restaurants.


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