Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tanglewood and the car

In a fascinating essay, Matthew Guerrieri takes a look at the intersection of car culture with high culture, connecting the BSO's current Tanglewood gas promotions — lawn pass vouchers with a $50 gas purchase or $50 gas cards as reward for buying $200 of tickets online — with Tanglewood's longstanding relationship with the automobile.

Automobiles are sequestered, so as not to interrupt the manicured landscape, yet their immediate proximity reminds and reassures: easy attainment for those eager to claim a sense of Gilded Age leisure, a quick escape for anyone uneasy with the anti-democratic overtones of such privilege.

It's a thoughtful, non-hysterical examination of one little slice of the car's role in our world. The prospects for alternative transportation to Tanglewood don't look bright, though maybe there's hope for nascent bus service. But, at least a little light has been shed on the status quo.

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