He articulates exactly what I've long thought, that it doesn't matter if your iPod has every song on it - there's something different about hearing a song serendipitously:
"No medium is as sensuously evocative of the past as radio...But for the power to have its maximum impact, the process of remembering has to be randon at both ends."He writes about how the
"iridescent bubble of the music and the air of the past that it randomly traps" [is] "the magic of an accidental conjunction, a flitting moment and the resin drop of a pop song transformed by luck and alchemy into amber. The radiant shins of a girl named Jennifer Dagenais, for example, as she oiled herself with Bain de Soleil at the Phelps Luck swimming pool in the sumer of 1978 are retained in the opening riff of 'Hold the Line' by Toto."Update: I might add that Chabon's views of religion in general and Christianity in particular are traditional, meaning traditional for a modern literary man-about-town, a man utterly of his time. He's an agnostic who admits that "learning to doubt everything has created a condition strongly akin to fierce belief," a belief strong enough to write "if there was a Jesus", thus holding Jesus to a standard no other ancient figure would be held to. But I suppose it's not surprising given the headwind of the current age.