In order to create a pop band, the whole apparatus of civilization must be up and running and tapping its toe to the beat. Electricity, poetry, mathematics, sound amplification, textiles, arena architecture, efficient mimetic exchange, dramaturgy, industry, marketing, the bureaucratic classes, cultural critics, audiovisual transmission, special effects, music theory, symbology, metaphor, transportation, banking, enough leisure and excess calories to do anything beyond hunt, all of it, everything.

In Catherynne M. Valente’s Space Opera, the author makes an enticing argument for the pop band as the demarcation of an advanced sentient civilization.

Dan Rudmann @drdr