syncratic harmonic sophistication withna claim to an all-encompassing synthesis.n”All together is rock— ” the drummer ofnThe Band, who assumes the role of annideological spokesman, says at one point.nWith the same cognitive accuracy he cannmaintain that a hamburger subsumes allnthe culinary tastes of America.nOne listens to The Band and realizesnthe incoherent chemistry of hard rock.nIt pushes tonal intensification at the pricenof depersonification; in fact, it promulgatesna solipsistic performer, but givesnhim less access to his own individualitynthan the collective improvisation in jazz,nlet alone the jazz instrumental solo. Itnabandons spontaneity and introduces innits stead feverishness and frenzy. It purportsnto be the efficient dispatcher ofnsocial signals, but does not know how tonindividualize their touching texture, thusnturning them into political sloganeering,nspurious and uncogenial. In The LastnWaltz, Bob Dylan and Neil Diamondnsing protest songs against the rich andnpowerful, and songs of solidarity withnthe poor and powerless. However, onenhas a sense that they are self-appointedncommissars of the sensitivities of thendeprived and exploited, that they onlynpretend to be high-strung humanistsnwhile being, in reality, greedy millionaires;nthat there is no true mission innBob Dylan, the dyspeptic cherub-Shylock,nbut an avidity of success and politicalnobduracy. The Band promulgates skepticismnand suffuses the air with franticality;nit sings of coolness and altruism, and onntheir faces there is perspiration and meanness.nIn its heyday, jazz was also all socialnprotest, but the misery of the blues (ManRainey, Ida Cox, Billie Holiday) kept sonclose to the genuine suffering ofnhuman beings that they originated anunique artistic message whose significancenwill never fade. This accounts,nperhaps, for the mere fact that whenevernI hunt for old records in a local SalvationnArmy store, I never can find copies ofneven mass editions of Fletcher Henderson,nJimmy Lunceford, or Bunk Johnson,nbut the boxes are crammed with RollingnStones, Jimmy Hendrix. The Doors,nBlood, Sweat & Tears, Crosby, Stills,nS4inChronicles of CulturenNash & Young, Credence Clearwater,nthe 5th Dimension. What does it mean.’nIt means that people do not keep rocknart as they used to keep Armstrongnand Stokowski.nAdmittedly, all those rock stars havenbelted out their music with tremendousnand impressive energy during the lastnfifteen years. However, the musical, andnany other message, must have been disproportionatelynmeager-to the input ofnvehemence. In spite of its decibels, itnevaporates—while Mozart’s flute andnSatchmo’s humming will stay forever.nIt is a remake of the 1941 movie HerenComes Mr. Jordan, directed by AlexandernHall, written by Sidney Buchman, andnacted by Robert Montgomery and ClaudenRains. As much as the original wasncharming, entertaining and witty.nHeaven Can Wait is charmless, dull andnflat. It drags its socio-intellectual insightsnfrom the upper-class Hollywoodnpopulism for rich media executives, andntries hard to convert newspaper headlinesnabout nuclear industry’s laissezfaireism,nor air-pollution ethics, intonEveryman’s issues.nHowever, it contains a question of thenlargest cultural dimension, one that requiresnvolumes and treatises to pondernthe answer. Why has filmmaking, havingnclimbed to the technical acme of performing,nand formal perfection of picturenand sound, lost the grip on human soulsnthat it held for half-a-century.’ Why didnleaving the movie house once mean livingnfor nights and days with acquired images,npurchased for cents, or dollars; whilenleaving it today means an almost immediatenforgetting of what flickered beforenour eyes minutes ago.’ The victims ofnthis inexplicable disease are the young:nit’s impossible to explain to them whynthe progressivism of Beatty and consortsnleaves them cold, whereas the populismnof Frank Capra and John Ford had thenmagic capacity to move to tears even thenfiercest anti-populists. This magic hasngone, Hollywood of today is no longernthe dream factory—or evil incarnate asnnnit was perceived by the liberal intellectualnof the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s—and with everynyear this evolution proves to be more ofna cultural catastrophe. The new generationnpays $3 for a few insipid jokes andnan everlasting feeling of maudlin emptinessnnow created by the Hollywood directors,nscriptwriters, actors—whom thencritics for the national magazines indulgenin calling “brainy.”nThe humanoids on screen can barelynarticulate speech into cogent sentences.nEmotions expressible by words seem tonthem a distant achievement of a futurencivilization; for the moment they relynupon grimaces and gestures. Accordingnto Grease, the new cinematic musical,nthey represent the teenagers of the midfifties.nChronologically, they thus shouldnbe the parents of the teenagers who thesendays crowd the movie houses to seenGrease. This is not easy to believe. Thenimage must have been flattened eithernby Hollywood professionalism, or by thenLibera! Culture’s concept of the fifties.nExistential and spiritual problems thenanthropoids struggle with are:n— the sexual aggression of one malentargeted at one female;n—one unwanted pregnancy thanks to knfaulty prophylactic; it is approachednby both the authors and heroines withnfemacho—tha.t is with that mixturenof low-brow cockiness and moronicalitynonce called macho which hasnmade dunces out of men through thenages; it is supposed to grace the womennof the seventies, but was scarcely popularnin the fifties.nThe vulgarity and obtuseness withnwhich the scriptwriter and the directorntreat these mental and behavioral rashesnare routine in today’s Hollywood. Evennthe simple arts of allusion, suggestion,nvisual metaphor, or just making thencharacters communicate through actingnand dialogue, for the present filmmakersnseem as useless as they would for meatnpacking or sanitation workers. Thus,nwhat remains interesting is the theatern