I feel compelled to return to this issue: our reference sex symbols have reached menopause, and our iconic rock bands are in wheelchairs. Despite recurring on TV, the situation is not discussed enough. I wouldn’t mention many examples, from Sharon Stone and Madonna to AC/DC and Rolling Stones. I’d rather generalize the debate by observing that only tributes are left from the great bands and stars, as if creativity has been replaced by karaoke, and everything runs on formulas made in China.
I’ve seen ever younger people singing franchised tunes without imagining that the object of their imitation has been issued, brand new, by someone who was their same age back in 1960s or 70s. Unfortunately, the cover singers have fat chances of becoming the next Hendrix, Joplin or Morrison. Creativity has been ousted by its memory displayed with a lot of corporate marketing.
In a world dominated by corporate recipes, which replace the original way of doing things, where discipline substitutes true education, we see nothing coming up. The handful of rock bands still oozing authenticity make full arenas, like Metallica in Bucharest, and are kept like holy relics. More than half a century ago, when there were the number of such bands was three- or four-fold, the competition generated a cultural leap forward; its place has been taken by its history, as long as its authors are still in good health, then tribute substitutes enter.
You might have read about Bob Dylan’s protest against war by starting an actual cultural revolution. Nowadays, people are easier to manipulate; they are about to be regimented like robots, which seems useful from a military point of view, but fails to contribute to the real development, also called a quality leap.
The current conditions seem to indicate the imminence of a war; what I can’t figure out is whether it will be followed by a new cultural leap, or by a generalization of the notion of concentration and labor camp.