I can see your point, of course, J. Generation gaps and all that. Thanks for your input, J.!
You're welcome, and glad I could contribute!
And your right, describing culture is like Seven Blind Men and the Elephant.
Hey, hey. We don't need to get into your favorite "ska" bands here, buddy.
But I'm also raising a question of ease of entry via new media which has not always been a part of humanity, but has, in fact, transformed culture in ways that are not clear yet. There is something significant to the democratization of communications in a way never seen before in human history.
I'm not young, and I'm not old. And what I see is that it is far easier to "achieve" something using digital crutches, sorry, enhancements - and the ubiquity of available communications channels.
Okay, I see what you mean. I was taking "cultural standards" to mean all culture. Of course, ease of access can spread across multiple mediums, which can be an attractive (I swear I'm not trying to be dirty as I type this) prospect for most new artists.
I mean, just imagine: You're an 18 year old nobody, who has a webcam and a guitar. You can play, so you start playing covers of other songs. You develop a following on Youtube, and next thing you know, you're getting a 1,000,000 hits every time you post a new video.
Back in the latter half of the 20th century, getting a million eyes on you was difficult as hell if you weren't already in the right place and had already paid your dues. So is it easier to get noticed? Yes.
The downside to this is that you've done all of this work completely uncompensated. Yes, you're noticed, but what are you going to do with that newfound notoriety? If you're talented, you can fashion it into a lucrative career. If not, you'll just be yet another oddity, falling back into obscurity.
Sometimes, people are picked up who have no discernible talent, but they have looks. This has been a staple of modern music for decades. Big time sex appeal has been the focus of rock and roll since Elvis danced about in his blue suede shoes. The thing is, this kind of thinking goes way back, back beyond the music industry, or even the industrial age. Human beings want to see sexy young things, and they want to throw money at them to continue being sexy and young. When that starlet is no longer sexy and/or young, they move on to someone else.
So there is a price to pay in the way we use our technology to produce music and other media, and part of it is that while people can become known much more easily, they can also lose it all just as quickly. Flash in the pan, I believe, will become more common as our technology and time move forward. Now, whether that contributes to our cultural standard, I don't think so, because our cultural standards aren't really much of a standard. We like what we like, and we don't like what we don't like. That's about as uniform as it gets.