Lose definitions aside, I know that this much is true: I sat in a car--a brand new Ford with all the trimmings, from CD to MP3 to satellite, giving all the options to experience any brand or form of music and audio media--with this eighteen year old boy. The means that we come from vary. He doesn't remember a world without cellphones or Mtv, nor does he remember a time when the M stood for something besides "Mature audiences only."
With all of these options, he only ever chooses one satellite station: a rap station. Fair enough. He enjoys rap. But this station, like all pop music stations, only has a rotation of about a dozen songs. Still he listens, regardless that he has heard only one song for the past five or seven days.
|You know who these two men are.|
It comes to me, as I imagine it came to the Buddha when he found enlightenment: the youth has become--like the culture pervading it--so stagnate, so numb that it can't even see that it needs to move on, to find something new.
But even if it did, where would American culture go? As far as I
|Ayn Rand hard at work|
can tell, there is no voice/s to guide it. The 50s had Ginsberg and Kerouac writing the Bibles of the Beat, redefining young American life in the Cold War Era. Dylan and Young (among so many others) at least tried to guide a new movement during Vietnam--Hippies. There was Mandela and Malcolm X; Pete Seeger, John Lennon, and John Updike.
Follow them at your peril; they will take you nowhere but down.