Unexpected consequence of iPods
It seems like it was good fortune that I didn’t end up going for my backup research plan busking for improvement, since I may well have ended up as one of the starving buskers – an unexpected consequence of iPods, according to cybersoc.
But really I think Boris Anthony’s comment at Smartmobs may be closer to the real situation:
I think that if there is any truth to this, and that statistically, differences in population ratios accounted for, there are far fewer buskers today than in 1979, a much more realistic culprit is not the media devices but the media culture itself. For most westerners, who are constantly bombarded by highly produced, polished and glossy packaged entertainment, a live musician, let alone one standing on the street asking for change, is at best quaint, at worst an annoyance. The iPod, as the Walkman before it, are merely delivery devices.
People don’t stop to listen to buskers not because they have earbuds in their ears, but because they can’t be bothered with “reality”. It’s like if you’re raised on Coke, green tea tastes awfully bland.