See, it goes like this. In cities smaller than your major metropolitan areas, it makes economic sense to support and preserve regional art museums and legitimate theater companies, but makes little economic sense to support and preserve regional symphony orchestras because there's no other way to experience what's on offer by the former two, but what's on offer by regional symphony orchestras can readily be experienced by the simple (and inexpensive) expedient of downloading the requisite MP3s from iTunes and playing them back on one's iPod. What's wrong with this picture? Answer: Just about everything. In fact, it's so abjectly mindless that one suspects it surely must have been suggested by a clear simpleton. Sad to tell, it wasn't. It was suggested (if not precisely in our above words) by none other than big time culture maven Terry Teachout, and in The Wall Street Journal, no less. Bloody unbelievable. We know where he's coming from, actually. Mr. Teachout is an art freak (art as in paintings and sculpture), and a live-theater freak as well (he's the WSJ's drama critic), and has stated publicly that he no longer attends classical music concerts because he'd much rather listen to his favorite recordings of whatever music might be on offer at Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, or Carnegie Hall. Therefore, reasons Mr. Teachout (or so it seems), while experiencing reproduced paintings via, say, a deluxe coffee table book or stage plays reproduced via DVD is a categorical no-no because experiencing reproduced paintings and stage plays cannot possibly equal the aesthetic experience provided by the live thing, with classical music, experiencing a reproduction (heard via an MP3 on a bloody iPod, no less!) is a perfectly acceptable substitute aesthetically for experiencing a live performance, especially when that live performance is by an orchestra that's something less than world-class. And this is a man who's a sitting member of the National Council on the Arts! Little wonder this country is in such dire straits culturally.