There's no bigger or more powerful dumbing-down of a people in history than what's happening to today's Americans. The soul, wit and charm of Americans are being sucked out by the all-time biggest vampiric vacuum/vortex that is the Corporate God-worshipping mentality. Creativity and originality are being suppressed in favor of the (at least effectively) soul-less who can best exploit/capitalize. Orwell himself couldn't have come up with this shit. It's 1984 with a used car salesman's grin and church-going.
We need a Renaissance in popular music (and cinema, TV, literature etc.). We need to bring back the artist/"empire" like the days of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin (with their own record labels). Real artists aren't drones who answer to prosaic corporate money-chasers. Let's give real credit where credit is due for a change.
Creators are what make an intelligent species truly intelligent. They/we should be society's most respected people. For example, those who write well, music and/or prose, are, in a sufficiently reality-based and civilized paradigm, the "cream of the crop." Instead of actors on a popular sitcom who make $1,000,000 per episode, how about equitable salary and prestige for those who are able to come up with the material?! What a concept!
Of course the sad and ugly truth is that those who exploit/over-capitalize aren't the types to exactly care about what's right and decent. They're pretty much dead-inside, black hole sucking machines. Too bad they can't see that their over-industrial, overpopulating, secrecy-based political model can't possibly last very much longer. Or they psychopathically/genocidally don't care... They exploit what they can, in large part, to try to fill the emptiness that is the jealousy of those who create.
To get where we need to be will require a lot of spiritual (not to be confused with religious) healing. It requires honesty. It will require transparency in government; not rule by secrecy. It will require good artists, scientists and other healers getting the recognition and influence they/we deserve.
I'm not against utopian socialism; not to be confused with any socialism in the world as we know it. Heck, I'd support free music (downloaded and otherwise) if every-frigging-thing else was free; but no way else. Heaven only knows what it would take to have that kind of economy; if ever...