Paul Parish: I concede. On the other hand, quality-time-with-your-own-mind fits too conveniently into niche marketing
[Paul is responding to a whole chain of posts that started out with thoughts on Balanchine's ballets "Liebeslieder Walzer" and "Serenade," but has now taken on all of Western Civilization. (This should probably be the cue to stop...)]
I concede everything Marc says. And I don't want to go back to national Christianity any more than I'd go back to astrology. There IS a nostalgia for it which I feel personally, but my personal feelings aren't the point -- it's the popular culture that's lost its bearings.
I think the big mistake was when we agreed to stop seeing ourselves as citizens and came to accept the idea that we're consumers.
Niche-making seems to be the acceptable outlet, approved by the capitalists, for those who want "quality-time-with-my-own-mind." It's pervasive, for sure, but just another disintegrating factor for the culture, another atomising force that valorizes individual pursuits, "whatever," mostly because that's the easiest way to get money out of a lonely person -- you've got to identify the person with the money and then identify his tastes, and then you're in.
As for Orwell: in his defense, he noticed that the strength of Christianity was not the punishment it threatened wrong-doers with but the hope of being reunited with people who'd died that you'd loved. The more friends you've lost, the more you'll feel the appeal of this.
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Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
innovations and impediments in not-for-profit arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Joe Horowitz on music
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary