It happens here. Bova is a fabulous science fiction writer, but anyone who quotes Bread as an example of good music or says of the youngsters that “The last time they heard Ravel, I imagine, is when they saw Bo Derek in ’10,’” when that particular film is 27 years old, knows current teen and 20something culture tangentially at best, probably as some small, obnoxious slice of it is being thumped out at him at a red light from a car filled with morons.
More to the point, he also makes the imprecise comparison of comparing songs like “Stardust” and “Fly Me to the Moon,” which were (and are) popular music for adults, with whatever hip-hop-ish atrocities he imagines the kids are listening to today. That’s pretty unfair to both eras; “My Humps” can be compared to “Stardust” about as precisely as Ohio Express’ “Yummy Yummy Yummy” can be compared to Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” to give an example of a song from a currently recording artist plying his wares to an adult market.
What I suspect Ben Bova needs is for someone to take his hand and walk him down the adult contemporary aisle, where his shock and terror about “bitches” and “hos” will be soothed by the mellow tunage and smart lyrical stylings of the aforementioned Sting, as well as Sarah McLachlan, kd lang, Coldplay, Daniel Powter, Norah Jones and so on. Then someone might also slip him Paul Anka’s Rock Swings just for fun. All this might convince him the end times are not here, musically speaking. He just needs to stop polling the morons at the stop lights as to what’s worthwhile in music today.