"These are primitive times". So says Pepper Keenan, singer of the heavy metal band Corrosion of Conformity. So let's talk about this claim, let's talk about culture. Is it ironic, or self-contradictory/refuting, or just plain silly, for a heavy metal guy to claim that we live in primitive times? Is heavy metal a result or lack of culture, or perhaps a reason that we have a lack of culture, or perhaps both in a self-reinforcing cycle? Where is today's Bach, or Mozart, or Beethoven; or Shelley or Byron, or Frost, or Dickinson? Do we live in a world no longer capable of producing such people? Or are such people around, but society at large just doesn't notice them? Will they be recognized after their death? Who composes music, or paints, or writes poems, or does some other bit of artistry, who will be remembered and talked about and enjoyed 200 years from now? Are Madonna and Lady Gaga our contribution to the patch work of human culture?
(I have more I'd like to say on this, but as I kept writing it started sounding like a blog post, so I think I'll stop there for now and see where the conversation goes...)