democratization of the *word* LO21935

Arnold J. Wytenburg (
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 09:43:09 -0400

Replying to LO21929 --

Ray E. Harrell wrote:

> So if I read "zen" correctly, and I wouldn't guarantee that, then the
> world continues down the AGILE virtual path towards flexible movie company
> formulas where artists never explain their work but depend upon the
> audience "knowing" what they mean (or are about) as a kind of cosmic
> laziness. This frees everyone to be sloppy and to decry any type of
> censorship, including quality.
> If one knew the actual artistic history of America then one would realize
> that the current condition of art as a business in this country is nil.
> That even the plains state of Iowa went from 1,300 opera houses in 1900 to
> one regional part-time business whose sales only pays for less than 60% of
> its expenses at present. From the people, art moved to the "elite" and
> lost its necessity to develop its audience and make a profit. Free-dumb.


As one who invests a great deal of energy in the arts on many fronts, I
can't help but comment on the dramatically increasing intellectual
'laziness' that characterizes our post-modern condition approach to
creativity and the quality of the outcomes of that process.

There is an excellent book on this particular subject that is well worth
reading: In Defense of Elitism by William A. Henry (1994). Please don't
let the title throw you into a moral tizzy--this writer puts forward a
cogent and highly informative argument that any systems dynamicist will
appreciate even if you find his thesis challenging.

Also germane to the issue and equally as well informed and well prepared
is: Dumbing Down: Essays on the Strip Mining of American Culture edited
by Katherine Washburn (1996)

Cheers,  Arnold ________________________

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Dumbing Down : Essays on the Strip Mining of American Culture by Katharine Washburn (Editor), John F. Thornton, John Simon


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