American mythologies, up to and (sometimes) including the present moment, about the higher arts, have tended to emphasize, as a narrative hinge, how frosty, cold, antiquated and (for the majority) soulless they are compared to other standardized American pursuits: sports, Hollywood, popular music. I would like to invert back into place, via a strong emotional and intellectual conviction, that it is high art in which inheres a soul, soulfulness, and true human warmth and gravitas. What, in a person or thing, is a soul? To me, a soul is something unique and individual inhering in a person or entity, which makes it distinct from everything else: an irreplaceable essence. By this standard, the vast majority of popular culture products (let alone enfranchised athletics) are profoundly soulless— they have nothing unique or distinct about them to distinguish them from everything else, and are easily replaced with more products of the same ilk. One suspects, very heavily, owing to any kind of historical research, that humanity has not changed its stripes too much from century to century— that, for example, in other centuries there were popular songs around not that different from Bruce Springsteen and Beatles songs. As is the case with these tunes, there was nothing in them particularly distinct or original (soulful) enough to make them last— just as (you can bet) there will be future equivalents for the likes of the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen— popular culture will create the same kinds of characters with the same kinds of in-built mythologies because the goal will always be to sell cheaply and easily. And, it is important to add, bastardized forms of high art (MOMA, Pop, etc) will continue to be developed in degenerative societies to promote the same destructive games and illicit interests. Popular art and bastardized high art will always, in fact, be stunted by corrupt imperatives and intentions, and sold in the same completely bad faith.
The Star, as it were, for advanced high art, is that it is truly unique (irreplaceable), created by gifted individuals who are expressing developed souls and soulfulness in oeuvres which in turn develop their own souls, created in the good faith of complete integrity and cohesiveness. The good faith quotient being upped, high art created under the right star carries with it permanent political and social relevance: a positive pivot-point for an entire society, and a permanent hinge for that society to develop emotionally and intellectually towards the greatest possible soulfulness. Rank-and-file responses to major high art consonance must necessarily be variable— some can accept this definition of “soul” and “soulfulness,” some cannot. The key distinction (or soul) made from traditional versions of soul (“every one has a soul”) to my own is that, where high art is concerned, not only profound emotions but profound thoughts (and profound thoughts especially about emotions) are necessarily to define the “souled” individual (work or person) among the many. I would also like to argue that the United States in 2015, which has allowed PFS and our oeuvre (created from Philadelphia) to proliferate among a wide populace quickly and efficiently, is not completely degenerative at all. I hold some hope that there are population sectors bored to death with the mediocrity of Hollywood, sports, and media culture in general, and that our large numbers from within America online are a testament to more than passing curiosity with high art and the vistas it has to open for thought, feeling, and the pursuit of soul. I also have some faith that what we have incised into the Teens is the sense that for Hollywood and the rest, conquest of a naïve public from within the States can never be accomplished easily again; and that the Star of our success will pave the way for others of our ilk here, who will turn the United States into a first-rate nation at last.