On college campuses, for example, a new form of bigotry called “playlistism” is emerging.
The invention of students at Wesleyan University, playlistism was first reported by Stephen Aubrey, a 20-year-old student and columnist for The Wesleyan Argus.
Playlistism, Aubrey explained, is discrimination based not on race, sex or religion, but on someone’s terrible taste in music, as revealed by their iTunes music library.
Aubrey said an iTunes music library tells a lot more about people than the clothes they wear or the books they carry.
“It’s the T-shirt, plus the book, plus the haircut,” Aubrey said. “It’s everything.”
Aubrey said Wesleyan students are enjoying a new parlor game — going through music libraries trying to guess what their owners are like. At any one time, 30 or 40 iTunes libraries are available on the campus network, which is shared by about 2,000 students.
“This one playlist had a lot of German techno,” Aubrey said. “We predicted this was a kid wearing a mesh shirt who wanted to be a Nazi.” At a party shortly afterward, Aubrey recognized the playlist and asked whose music it was. “They pointed to this kid in a mesh shirt with a swastika on his arm,” Aubrey said.
When Aubrey showed his own music library to a friend, she said it belonged to a “wimpy, skinny kid who liked to sit in his room a lot, which is myself.”
“We were right on several counts,” he said.