To Marian and Andras...
As I anticipated, the "doing" part of expressive life is jumping out as the dominant component of the idea. Expressive life divides into "voice" and "heritage." These two halves are basically in conflict, or at least in a continual negotiated conversation. "Heritage" is the grounding, historical piece, encompassing shared values, historical practices, a sense of community, family, faith, and so on. Creativity of the past is a container for heritage, and our democracy needs access to it, even if, say, what we're talking about are historical blues recordings that are simultaneously heritage and corporate asset. "Voice," on the other hand, is more about autonomy, a sense of personal distinction, achievement, and independence. My folklorist friends are especially fond of heritage, because it provides continuity and strengthens community ties. On the other hand, global-perspecitive intellectuals like Anthony Appiah see heritage as an anchor that drags down individuals who want to achieve on a world stage; globalizers like "voice." To me, the two need to be in balance within individuals, communities, and even nations.
Andras feels we should just reclaim, reinvent, or redefine our existing terms. Good idea, but it's hard for me to see how that toothpaste will go back in the tube. Also, I think we need to make things like media regulation and intellectual property law part of our policy conversation, and it's really hard to see how we can rework "art" and "culture" to be a container for an expanded policy realm that mainstream actors with corporations, government, and foundations will understand.
Attention to the rights of groups and individuals within a cultural frame has frequently been a conversation stopper. "Is my tribe getting the appropriate share of money, attention, etc." is certainly a question that can be considered at some point...I'm just not certain it's the first thing.
Adrian Ellis; Alan Brown; Andras Szanto; Andrew Taylor; Bau Graves; Douglas McLennan; Ellen Lovell; Bill Ivey, William James; James Early; Jim Smith; Lewis Hyde; Marian Godfrey; Martha Bayles; Nihar Patel; Russell Taylor; Sam Jones; Steven Tepper
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