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Who are the culture heroes of today?

When I was a kid, the culture heroes were Hollywood and TV actors, pop musicians, athletes and coaches, historical political and military figures, then I guess you could go down the list of fame and consider authors, artists, scientists and inventors . . . . that’s about it, I think.

Nowadays, we still have actors, athletes, and some historical figures—but it’s my impression that musicians are no longer “rock stars,” as it were. Sure, there are a few famous pop musicians at any given time, along with legacy figures like Bruce etc., but I don’t feel like musicians are culture heroes the way they used to be.

The big replacement is business executives. 40 or 50 years ago, you’d be hard pressed to name more than two or three of these guys. Lee Iacocca, Steve Jobs, . . . . that was about it. Maybe the guy who owned McDonalds, and some people like Colonel Sanders and Crazy Eddie who advertised on TV. Nowadays, though, there’s a whole pantheon of superstar executives, kind of parallel to the pantheon of Hollywood actors or sports stars. Cuddly executives in the Tom Hanks mode, no-nonsense get-the-job-done Tom Brady types, trailblazing Navratilovas, goofballs, heroes, heels, the whole story. We have executives who some people worship and others think are beyond overrated.

Elon Musk = Jim Morrison

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