The primary vector of cultural education in the 21st century is mass media. People are happy when they are able to do the things that the TV says will make them happy. They are joyed when they acquire a gadget that the ads say will make them cooler. They feel more confident when their bodies and clothes approximate the celebrities. They talk about the most prominent news on news channels. They form their life goals from what they see on the screen.
The movies and books of this age tell you to "follow your dream" (which dream is incepted in you by the mass media), "fulfill your potential" (which is to not have a manager, mostly), "not live a boring life" (which is to romance like the celebrities, and to be a tourist), "be cool and true to yourself" (which is to disregard how your words and acts affect others), "think positive" (which is to suppress feelings of guilt and depression), "pamper yourself" (which is to spend money on spas and hotels), "not take shit from anybody" (except from the malls), to "find love" (which is to find a lover, not a beloved), ...
This is the generation of people who think they are living for themselves when their brains are no longer their own.
When I talk to urbanites these days, I get the sinking feeling that I am talking to a conduit, rather than to an original thinker.
Someone who is putting in long hours to achieve unexamined goals, someone whose content of thought is media-driven, someone who spends more time on facebook and staring at his cellphone than in live interaction, someone who lives on soundbites rather than on considered knowledge, someone whose idea of relationships is formed by studying soap operas...
And if most of the literate hep are hooked on to the superficial (whether the idiot-box, or youtube or the wisdom-for-the-ADD-crowd aka TED lectures), to harp about philosophy and realpolitik and Jacques Ellul in these circumstances is to be an insufferable bore.
This is no country for old men.