Returning to our Russian peasant for the moment, let us supposethat after he has chosen Repin in preference to Picasso, the state'seducational apparatus comes along and tells him that he is wrong,that he should have chosen Picasso -- and shows him why. It isquite possible for the Soviet state to do this. But things beingas they are in Russia -- and everywhere else -- the peasant soonfinds the necessity of working hard all day for his living andthe rude, uncomfortable circumstances in which he lives do notallow him enough leisure, energy and comfort to train for theenjoyment of Picasso. This needs, after all, a considerable amountof "conditioning." Superior culture is one of the mostartificial of all human creations, and the peasant finds no "natural"urgency within himself that will drive him toward Picasso in spiteof all difficulties. In the end the peasant will go back to kitschwhen he feels like looking at pictures, for he can enjoy kitschwithout effort. The state is helpless in this matter and remainsso as long as the problems of production have not been solvedin a socialist sense. The same holds true, of course, for capitalistcountries and makes all talk of art for the masses there nothingbut demagogy.
It is a platitude that art becomes caviar to the general whenthe reality it imitates no longer corresponds even roughly tothe reality recognized by the general. Even then, however, theresentment the common man may feel is silenced by the awe in whichhe stands of the patrons of this art. Only when he becomes dissatisfiedwith the social order they administer does he begin to criticizetheir culture. Then the plebian finds courage for the first timeto voice his opinions openly. Every man, from the Tammany aldermanto the Austrian house-painter, finds that he is entitled to hisopinion. Most often this resentment toward culture is to be foundwhere the dissatisfaction with society is a reactionary dissatisfactionwhich expresses itself in revivalism and puritanism, and latestof all, in fascism. Here revolvers and torches begin to be mentionedin the same breath as culture. In the name of godliness or theblood's health, in the name of simple ways and solid virtues,the statue-smashing commences.
Common American Values Family
Innovation Over time, Mickey Mouse has evolved into an American icon representing, the American Dream, family, imagination, and childhood.
In my essay, “Dialects in American Literature,” I will compare and contrast three writers who used dialect in their writings and explain the difference between effective and ineffective use of dialect.
[tags: American Culture Essays]
Ever since the age of television dawned on American culture, situation comedies have tried to portray the typical American family in an attempt to reach as many viewers as possible.
[tags: American Culture Essays]
True, the first settlers of bohemia -- which was then identicalwith the avant-garde -- turned out soon to be demonstrativelyuninterested in politics. Nevertheless, without the circulationof revolutionary ideas in the air about them, they would neverhave been able to isolate their concept of the "bourgeois"in order to define what they were not. Nor, without the moralaid of revolutionary political attitudes would they have had thecourage to assert themselves as aggressively as they did againstthe prevailing standards of society. Courage indeed was neededfor this, because the avant-garde's emigration from bourgeoissociety to bohemia meant also an emigration from the markets ofcapitalism, upon which artists and writers had been thrown bythe falling away of aristocratic patronage. (Ostensibly, at least,it meant this -- meant starving in a garret -- although, as wewill be shown later, the avant-garde remained attached to bourgeoissociety precisely because it needed its money.)
[tags: American History Historical Essays]
Someday in the future, when I’m looking back at today, McDonald’s will still be there.” Since our future only holds visions of more and more fast-food restaurants springing up across the horizon, we need to learn where the best food is being served outside our own kitchen....