Thank you again for all your great responses they've really made me think more on the subject. Somehow Whaaaa and Jeremiah managed to post while I
was writting my last post hence why I didn't mention them in that post, this one should cover everything so far.
I've been thinking over the past few days that perhaps Whaaa and Jeremiah are correct, that maybe I'm being too hard on society as a whole and that
if I looked deep enough I'd find some vibrant "high culture". However, no matter how hard I try I can't really see it, perhaps there are a few
burgeoning movements but I think they get crushed amidst the mountains of drek that's saturated our culture. I've been looking, I'm always
looking, I'm an artist/graphic designer myself and I live in Manhatten, a major hub of western culture if there ever was one. All the art I see is
either some regurgitated style of the past or meaningfull only to the artist. What's worse is that even skilled artisans are turning their talents
to garbage much like this scultpture which is about to debut in Williamsburg. Brittany Spears giving brith:
Granted, examples like this and the meat exhibit may be considered as "art" by a few but I hardly think they have any significance. I find it hard
to believe that naked pop stars and meat furniture are going to have a major impact not only in the art world but in society as a whole. In 50, 100
or even 1,000 years no one will know or care who Brittany Spears is.
Whaaa also mentioned that a great many rich people still contribute greatly to the arts but if the arts they're contributing to never reach the
masses then it's not Western Culture, it's Elitist culture and does about as much good for the advancement of our society as naked pop stars giving
birth. I believe so called "high culture" to be a necessary element of objective thought. Looking at the Mona Lisa we're looking at somthing
hundreds of years old, it puts into perspective the fact that we can't only be concerned with the present that we must always keep the future in
mind. That is why I don't consider things like 50 Cent (even though he's from NYC lol) to be culture, things like that are simply corporate
creations designed to make money and have no lasting impact on our society as a whole.
As I said I've been thinking about it a lot and I think I'm willing to except a few things as Modern Culture if not High Culture based on it's
impact on our society, how much it's done to advance our society, and it's long term impact. This may sound a bit biased but I believe Star Trek,
at least the original series, to be important Modern Western Culture due to the amount of people it influenced. The head of NASA's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory and the creator of the cell phone, just to name a few, both cite Star Trek as their inspiration and that, at least in my deffinition, is a
major factor in labeling somthing as important Culture. Our culture should inspire generations and teach them that they are not bound by the
limitations of their current position in life, it should make them strive to be more, to change the world. Our culture should do more than refelct
the mindlerss apathy and idol worhsip of our times.
As far as art goes I've been able to come up with one major artist that has changed art as a whole and that would be Frank Frazetta. These days the
field of fantasy illustration is completely saturated by any number of imitators but Frank Frazetta has been the most influential. His style of dark
bold blacks mixed with vibrant colors, his master level understanding of anatomy and his ability to stylize the human body has influenced all the
preceding fantasy artists. On top of all that he and his wife are also responsible for many of the artist's copyright acts we have today and the
ability of a commercial artist to keep his original work. On a somewhat lesser level I would also add Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell to the list of
master painters though I believe they are sitll too young to have influenced society as Frazetta has.
I've also been giving a lot of thought as to the cause of our degrading culture and so far I've come up with a few possibilities. I think that, as
has been mentioned, the media has played a major part in the slaying of our culture. Due to the availability of, and speed with which we recieve
information people have lost all patience and have come to demand things on the spot. Even if there were another Da Vinci alive right now he would
never recieve any work if he took 5 years to paint even a masterpeice. This need for instant gratification has devalued every aspect of life and made
it impossible for people to value anything except in a sentimental or monetary sense. People will no longer spend half an hour going over every
brushstroke and detail of a painting in a museum, they'll just stride on through thte gallery and hope their favorite picture is on a trinket in the
gift shop. People are only able to take things at face value.
Our education system is also to blame, placing more value on athletic ability and future earning potential than tha actual education of our children.
Our schools are little more than indoctrination centers where our children learn little of real significance and are taught how to properly be a
corporate drone. Children are unable to place current events in a historical perspective so I suppose we can't expect them to refuse to except meat
sculptures and 50 Cent as culturally significant.
Going hand in hand with the education system is the constant drugging of not only our children but our leaders, all the way up to the president. A
long time ago people were forced to deal with and live with their emotions which in turn caused them to place value and significance on them. These
days there is a drug for every feeling, whether you want to stop one or feel one more often and this cheapens the human experience as a whole. How
can a great masterpeice incite strong emotions in a person when chemicles are constantly surpressing them? I suppose this is why people love the
sweet sterile tranquility of Thomas Kinkaid so much. I for one take no medication except Alleive when I have a headache.
I suppose I should end it here as I should be getting back to work but this discussion is becoming increasinlgy stimulating and I'd like to thank
everyone again for their thoughful replies. I look foward to hearing more about how you all feel about this, please feel free to add to anything
I've said or disagree with it all, just keep it as a discussion and not a debate, I'm sure we all have better things to do than start an argument