Art Is More Than Just A First Name


My oldest genetic hostage, the future manager of some world series bound baseball team, mentioned a couple days back, he “will be attending a wind concert at the U of M…”. This prompted a discussion in his comment section about culture, and “being or becoming cultured”. I got to thinking about same…which prompted the following…
Don’t confuse having some sense of culture (or even to some degree “being cultured”) as the same thing as being a snob (snobbishness for the sake of snobbishness, pretentious is perhaps closer to the truth for those poor folks). If you are not
“into” the opera, so what? That is not as much a lack of culture as it is a choice in ones personal tastes.
Cultured is more an appreciation for the beauty and genuinely decent things your civilization (culture) has given to mankind at large. Nothing more, nothing less.
Even sports, when taken as the contest(s) of physical ability be it against man, object, or both…can and do produce a visual choreography which transcends the sweat,muscles, blood, and guts, when placed into the hands of a skilled wordsmith, does indeed become every bit high art as any portrait done by Picasso, Gauguin, or Da Vinci, Michelangelo’s David. The Sistine Chapel, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, Twain’s Huckelberry Finn, Poe’s Annabel Lee, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, are all not only a part of our collective culture, but some of the finest works our civilization has produced. The list is almost endless.
Some would argue there are other examples which, in their minds, deserve to be mentioned at ones very first breath, whenever such discussions/lists take place. To those folks I would reply with one of two statements. You are a snob (in the foulest sense of that word). Or you are expressing your freedom of choice to select and believe what you will, as everyone has personal favorites in all facets of the arts. (The last is assuming they are reacting because “their favorite” was not given above, and not out of any shocked/offended state of mind brought about because some lesser being give examples for culture and dared to omit the “obvious to the most simple minded” choices of _____ or ____.)
And as long as we have leapt into the “culture wars” as it were. To those who would, and do promote, in all forms of media…the lowest common denominator as “art” or something to hold out as representative of our culture (and be extension, our civilization). You are charlatans and hucksters of the highest order. To those who in their positions as educators, critics, and promoters of same, I condemn you here and now. Your fostering of what amounts to nothing more then garbage of the soul…the excrement of the human condition and human nature, is beneath the contempt of any who have any “real” love of their culture or civilization. Finally, to those who would willingly purchase or hold up as examples of (high) art….said trash…you are at the very least fools. More in likely, the actions of all parties involved, are part of the cancer (or part of the catalyst for said cancer) seeking to send the culture of western man, and all which is good about our civilization, screaming toward the dustbin of history.

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