Now we baby boomers are 50- to 65-year-olds, the age cohort upon which everything always can be blamed. No matter what happens in the world, somebody over 50 wrote the check for it. And how are we doing? Obviously we’ve screwed up love, marriage, the dress code, the economy, politics, and the brief hope, when we were in our forties, that there would be a peaceful, cooperative New World Order (Vladimir Putin, 1952). But popular culture has thrived in our hands.Read the rest here.
Popular culture has become engorged, broadening and thickening until it’s the only culture anyone notices. Name a living poet, playwright, novelist, serious composer, artist, or architect who holds the place in public esteem once occupied by Robert Frost, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Leonard Bernstein, Pablo Picasso, or Frank Lloyd Wright.
But also admit we’re well rid of some of the above (all of Miller, most of Mailer, a lot of Bernstein—score for West Side Story excepted—and the decorative influence if not the indecorous output of Picasso). And did highbrow culture really used to be so high? In fact the aesthetic and intellectual atmosphere of 1974 was already stupid. Gerald Ford’s sideburns. Gerald Ford.