Greetings friends of Blog!
For those who have been reading since the beginning (Mom), you know that I started on somewhat of a defined quest to defend art and give voice to some pieces I thought were particularly inspiring to me. Somewhere along the way I shifted to writing fiction. As of this moment, that is where my energy continues to take me.
To defend what I think is good art from the attacking onslaught of contemporary attitudes is happily being undertaken by some of the very people I lamented were not doing it when I wrote my first blog post. Heather Mac Donald and Douglas Murray are famously leading the charge, Jordan Peterson is no longer incapacitated (though his attention is focused, I would say, on subjects peripheral to the world of art), and comedians are doing a good job of smiling in the face of puritanical insanity (i.e. Tim Dillon). While all of them are up and at ‘em, I’m, frankly, pretty bored of hearing my own voice bitch and complain about the state of things in the artistic community. To be sure, it sucks: it’s a resentful, conniving, delusional, hateful, crazy place to be. I’m bored of talking about it. I’ve been having a much more fulfilling experience exploring the depths of my own insanities and insights via short story composition and, most importantly, in the capacity of operatic performance, which I’m happy to say has occupied me for the majority of my time since September 2021.
I would be remiss if I spun this whole blog post in the direction of happy frivolousness. I have an almost apathetic belief that the United States is screwed in some indiscernible way. I’m quite sure this culture is pleased, at the individual level, to have civil enemies who they hate with religious fervor. I’m probably guilty of this, too. It is easily observed that art’s place in this environment is to serve as both a propagandistic machine and a cracked out Star Chamber for the “left” side of the equation. This is an era where the best creators will die being either frowned upon or relegated to obscurity because we aren’t in an environment where beauty is understood beyond the subconscious (though it is desired, as it has always been and will forever be). The bulk of American consciousness, sadly, looks for “the message”; historical truth to be represented perfectly in art (especially if said history supports their agenda); blatant demonstration of contemporary values of “the left”; or to be mind-fucked, by which I mean jumps, thrills, and plot points or character turns written for the purpose of shock. Aesthetics? Daring exploration? Revelatory insight? The careful glimpse into the beauties, tragedies, and complexities of individual human life? How boring! And the academic side of artistic production and evaluation is dead, insular, and uglier than the gross displays. Oh and the mysterious beauty of the masculine and feminine? No, that’s out of date: we are in the era of divine androgyny.
The consumption and celebration of great art is over! It’s done! Deal with it! If we want any of it back, it is going to depend on each individual to fight for it. And that can be in an attempt at creation; an open, curious, and simultaneously critical disposition; an exploration of self and a willingness to see the limitations of self; a curiosity about people; a regular consumption of new creations and the immortal geniuses in our canon; a fundamental axiom that life is complicated and people are even more complicated. At least, this is some of what I’m prescribing myself.
We go forth! I have no idea what the next blog will consist of but it will be of less diaristic content. As always, I recommend Nabokov’s essay “Good Readers and Good Writers” for inspiration and direction (http://moodyap.pbworks.com/f/nbkv.GoodReaders_Writers.pdf).