--And because of its lack of rigour, its intellectual laxness, rock artists can hold both sets of values simultaneously, without feeling any sense of contradiction.
....as well they should! As a painter for 30 years I've always resented the Timeline. Post-Modernism's conceit is that it is not just post-Modern but post-historical is just that: nonsense. The same game is engaged. Science (logical exegesis) forces intellectuals out of the business of "eternals", the domain of art. Art schools are full of self-loathing linguists, politically-inclined psychotherapists, but few artists. "Craft" is considered an anachronism. The hand-eye connection is an anachronism? Something has to break here. The body has been kicked out except as a concept.
How about "Post-Science"? Science (logic, space-time) is a religion, and it's not adequate. Industrialization, its product, is showing the first few signs of the end of its "empire" in those who now resist the obviation of technologies: the revival of emulsion-based film making, organic farming, etc. "Retromania" is at least partly a resistance to a morbid acceleration: the cancer of endlessly updated tools. Seriously: If all the technological tools we had now were all we would have for the next 100 years, would that be some disaster? Would civilization stagnate and rot? Accelerating "Progress" of the sort we've witnessed from the '50's to now has become cancerous, out-of-control metastacy displacing all else.
--Did my generational cohort pin all its hopes for changes on music, in a fatal displacement, a terrible evasion? Music became indexed in an intense libidinal way with all those impulses and desires for progress, the Future, upheaval, revolution...
Well I think consumerism displaced that through co-option....but I don't think it died. This smarter end of this generation of kids instinctively feel that.
I truly feel that the "Sixties" (1962-1973, or something like that) was a dry-run. It was not "successful". It was the first iteration of a wave, the next wave to come--I think inevitable--given the dire economic situation world-wide currently being dangerously delayed by banks (Etc.) I believe that the Occupy movement was global information-infrastructure-building---which could be egaged in a flash, given the right spark (the intolerable action). Most past revolutions have taken about 10 years to bloom from seed-days, but with info acceleration I'm sure that timeline is shortened. My 20-something friends are wildly informed and self-deprogrammed (aware of propaganda forms), so much more than I in my 20's.
Eno said something in an interview (on a Crepuscule compilation you prob. have) about innovation being approx. 90% existing content, those elements which you do NOT want to discard as you move forward....could not Retromania be an instinctive stock-taking of that which we do not want to leave behind in this race to the future? A kind of prudent fear? Or rather, resentment? And not just by older folks?