It seems that there is more interest in focusing on the use of pronouns than on the content of the message...which echoes the point.
The point has nothing to do with youth per se, or 'us' versus 'them', though it just happens that the youth is the key element of this demographic.
The point has to do with the means of expression overshadowing that which is being expressed.
If there were a giant stride forward in magical technique, we would find many magicians whose magic consisted of little more than technique for techniques sake. They would be focusing on a means of expression without considering what may or may not be expressed. Likewise, if a magical concept became all pervasive (such as 'themes') we would find ourselves inundated with 'theme' acts, acts that focus more on the use of theme rather than considering if something meaningful or of quality is being produced. (Note this not unique to magic and has occurred in all the arts, however I can speak most competently on that which occurred throughout the history of music. The entire history of music can be seen as the development of and reaction to mannerist periods. This is not from the book "My Magic" as someone so snidely remarked, it is gleaned from texts such as Grout and Barzun.)
The problem with the mannerist period in which we find ourselves in magic today is that the techniques which have been developed are "extra-magical," meaning they have nothing to do with magical techinque/style/content per se. At least with most mannerist periods, after they pass, the artist still has recourse to the techniques developed to apply to their art in a conscientious manner. One could argue that magicians will still have the video techniques, but as we all know, making something look good on video does not make that thing good itself. (And we cannot ignore that the beginning on this mannerism may have roots in one or two clever performers realizing that video techniques could enhance their magical performances if carefully used. Sadly, even this version of videographic mannerism has become so omnipresent, so carelessly used, that we have magic shows that viewers click off because their is nothing else for them to care about, or because it simply looks "fake," to them.)
But even throughout the oscillation between mannerist and revolutionary periods in the arts, we see common principles of sound structure and aesthetic that define what music had staying power - even the music which changed the way we listened forever. It was the artists who had both vision and grounding that spoke to the people and advanced their scene. It seems to me, that the number of those in magic who have taken the time to find their grounding is fewer and fewer.
And with the means of production at everyone's fingertips, the models being set for emulation may result in a more ingrained, longer lasting mannerist period than when the number of models are fewer.(This last sentence is speculation, and something I am both concerned and curious to see play out.)
Brad "going to release 'Our Magic' on DVD for the good of all" Henderson