I didn’t watch the Grammys. Haven’t in years. But one news report caught my eye. Apparently, they were pairing up new acts with old and all went well until they got to the rappers. By the time the censors got done with their act, it was, so the story said, unintelligible. This brought to mind a pet concern of mine. America, for all of being a country of immigrants, had not only a shared set of values but a shared culture.
As late as the 1960s we listen to the same music, watched the same TV shows and movies and at least aspired to speak the same language. Now we listen to many different types of music, watch our 500 highly specialized TV channels, get our niche audience movies from Netflicks, and print our ballots, for crying out loud, in multiple languages.
My question to you is whether any of this matters. Do we need a common culture and a common language? Can we hope to maintain a shared set of values when each of us marches, perhaps literally, to a different drummer?