As/Is







1.31.2015


Temperance


The inversions which inhere in Modern and post-modern art include the triumph of nonsense over sense (for no real reason, and to no good end), and the triumph of anti-art and artists over those expressive of profound, subtle thought and emotion. The fallacy was engendered that a sense of beauty is regressive and/or outdated— and that nonsense is worthy of exegesis— and high art served as a front or cover for destructive games and illicit interests. These illicit interests clearly dictated (scripted) that what was produced in high art genres had to be, more or less, a joke— Pop, MOMA, Language Poetry, Concept Art, Neo-Expressionism, Flarf, Abstract Expressionism— all had as their theoretical basis the fixed idea that the only way to make high art modern was to trivialize it from the inside out, and this is what they proceeded to do. The travesty element of this— that all these movements fixated on absurd anti-art enough to make it feasible for the likes of the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen to be elevated above them artistically— making it also that high art figureheads tended to favor pop culture products over their own endeavors— inverts the order of a well-run, harmonious society— and inversion games involving the higher disciplines (including science and philosophy) are some of the most ferocious games perpetuated in our West.

The mainstream media are “in the pocket,” so to speak, supporting these inverted structures— not only absurdist anti-art and popular culture over the higher disciplines, but professional athletes and athletics, which serve no useful purpose in society other than to fixate the populace on frivolous goals and addictions to ephemeral pleasures against the usage of either their brains or their emotions. Indeed, the media in 2015 are as complete a joke-fest as possible— casting up Tinker Toy idols no longer palatable to the public during the Recession, ignoring the advances made to public consciousness by the Internet. Now, I do not wish to turn this into an overzealous jeremiad— but I must bring us round again to, however painful it may be for some audiences to hear, the sense of high art and higher artistic levels of beauty in a society, and the value of this sense as a political force. Americans, after Philly Free School/Neo-Romanticism, have to decide whether they want to be an educated populace or not— whether a wide audience might subsist for myself and Abby, who are willing to shed the skin of the twentieth century and break down boundaries towards the definition of a new America. When a country gets serious culturally, its political dynamics change: it stands newly part of a global elite, with a reason to continue longer as a unified nation and an enhanced sense of pride in substantial accomplishment— America in the Teens stands at this crossroads, with the sense of the possibility of inversions righting themselves.