It is not only the "younger" generation who can't even bend over to tie their shoes much less tell you who wrote "Rhapsody in Blue." A couple of days ago I spoke on the phone with a family member whose deceased relative was one of the major movers and shakers of the U.S. music industry (when there was still music) for many years. Alas, not only did I sense no familial concept of the person's importance, but was told that there were no papers or archives remaining. "We've just all moved so many times," she said. "I have a nice photo of him, though."
I'm still reeling from the sadness of it all. We are simply NOT---unlike most of the rest of the so-called civilized world---a nation of cultural conservators. Nelson who? Vic who? The Four what? Ella who? Ira who? Probably the "average" French truck driver can tell you who Jean Cocteau is, even if he/she has never directly encountered his works.
This morning on TV I saw a football player employ the phrase "raceful comments." Is it just me or shouldn't the reporter have informed the brain-dead jock that there was no such word as "raceful" and allowed him to do a second take?