To The Songs Of Youth (first letter)

Dear Old Friends,
I’ll get right to the point (it might be anyway). Does History repeat itself or does it follow a kind of linear, developmental process (perhaps one that mutates, regresses, or evolves)?   Are you all an illusion?  I mean, is your significance, your resonance in people’s lives, an incidental result of being around during their formative years, that allotted time in adolescence when one is expected to assert an identity, a sense of oneself in relation to the world?  I suspect it’s not a clear-cut thing.  I’d like to believe your value in my life is partially attributable to your own innate qualities or merits.  I suppose this desire is largely driven by a kind of panicked intellectual vanity as I age.
Youth culture after WWII, perhaps as it has spontaneously manifested itself, organically, in localized situations or circumstances, and/or as a creation of the post-war consumer boom and its aftermath, doesn’t seem to be operating in cycles (it’s often struck me as flat lining since the mid 1990s), but I have as little objectivity in perceiving this as I would in responding to the questions I’ve already asked you.  A kid turning fourteen next year may not agree with me at all.  I could play my most cherished Smiths single for him or her and get the same reaction that my grandfather got from me after we listened attentively to his favourite Perry Como album (it was an awkward, alienating experience for both of us).
Some of you who are closest to me are not even of my own generation.  Did I connect with you because I happened to be in the midst of that key developmental stage (so that whatever I heard, regardless of its initial context or origins, stuck with me)?  Was it because previous generations were in control of the means of production and distribution for all forms of music, or do these songs have their own unique, independent qualities which enable a transcendence of our various cultures and selves?
Is there a later, mature form of music awaiting each of us (if we choose to grow up)?  Do we embalm ourselves with an unacknowledged, perpetual nostalgia?  Is your powerful presence throughout our lives the result of first meeting us when our hearts and minds are wide open (before we’ve become bitter and opinionated)?   Does everything we’ve heard since our teens seem dull and derivative because of this, or has popular music actually been suffering through a kind of creative exhaustion over the past 30 years or so?  Have people always asked you these kinds of questions in adulthood, or is this a new development?
I wish I could hear more from you, something other than what I’ve always heard from you.  I know you know that I’ll still love you anyway.
jeremy