The answer to that question has to lie, somehow, in whatever explains
the popular success of Rodney Marvin ('Rod') McKuen.
Rod McKuen died a year ago, and did you know he sold 100 million records? No kidding. Rod McKuen sold 100 million records.
(He also sold 60 million books. But hey...) Here is a man who was universally dismissed, from day one of his earthly success, as being a "kitschy" Philistine and arch-sentimentalist. No critic had a word of praise for him. Ever, ever, ever. And that's been true right up to the present day.
And let the People say: He sold a hundred million records.
Here is a writer who when you actually take time to listen to his songs
wrote from a fetal position of complete understanding,.. of me and you.
Now let the People say: He sold a hundred million records.
Here is a man who, like Rudyard Kipling -- if it weren't for T.S. Eliot and George Orwell --
would have no friends in "high places" (at least after he died).
People loved his work. Critics hated it.
Therefore let the People say: He sold a hundred million records.
So listen up, guys:
If you want to be popular, then say what you think, say it deep, say it real, and speak it... from the earthed position of the earliest human child.