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art vs not art

What follows may sound like a strange claim. Generation after generation, there has been widespread applause for cultural patricide in the West - the denigration of earlier art works and art styles. My claim: That may have made us extra vulnerable to accepting, even applauding, the murder-suicide of the West.

Please listen.

I'm writing because I just had a realization about the repeated Western (non-physical) killing of the fathers, generation after generation - and about how dangerous this almost certainly is for the West.

Here are some memories from art history. The Impressionists were rejected by the public which appreciated the art of the previous generation of artists. The Impressionists correctly rejected that earlier art, and eventually conquered, triumphed. The Expressionists were likewise rejected, and likewise eventually conquered, triumphed. The abstract artists were again likewise rejected, and likewise again conquered, triumphed.

It goes on. Artists discovered Japanese prints and later African art works, and used elements. Now this is widely rejected, condemned, as cultural appropriation.

And here is my memory from a theatre class. All previous theatre was rejected as no longer fitting for the present. All that was considered current was Living Theatre (self-named as such), which in my experience meant walking around like a zombie, no expression on my face.

A friend at about the same time desired to be an illustrator. Illustration was dead, he was informed by his college art program. He quit. He was admitted by the only American art school still teaching illustration, which is quite a difficult skill.

A couple of years ago, I went to a major exhibition at a major Canadian museum by a major present-day artist. The art work: huge canvases, perhaps 15 feet by 15 feet (5 meters by 5 meters), in 2 shades of yellow ochre. A flat background in one shade. A stripe or circle or bull's eye in the other shade.

This means that the art establishment applauds this artist, art students are taught to applaud this artist, the government funds exhibits of this artist.

I'm not against this artist. I am against the common denigration of previous art. And I'm against the pushing of the current art by government and education as well as a major chunk of the art establishment.

Further and much more important: I consider cultural patricide (the widespread denigration of earlier art works) as dangerous to our society, our culture, the West.


Because it encourages the acceptance of the murder-suicide of the West - the murder of the past as having no value, the denigration of a complex and evolving heritage.

The West doesn't have the widely accepted rights and freedoms because the Magna Carta was destroyed and supplanted, but because the Magna Carta was seen to be missing some rights and freedoms - like for women. So it has been modified - not trashed - repeatedly.

Here is John Robson, PhD, with Celebrating the Magna Carta Legacy:

Modifying, improving - that's very different from destroying, demolishing, and installing, for instance, a Communist Utopian Fantasy (totalitarian dictatorial disasters with millions murdered, time after time) or an Islamic Caliphate (no Western human rights, no freedom of speech, no freedom of religion, no equal rights for women and men).

magna carta vs alternatives
But in the West we're "educated" (brain-washed, brain-wrecked) to be for the destroy strategy, instead of to be very wary of it.

There's so much to value. It's time to celebrate, for instance, the Magna Carta legacy.


PS. Another thought. In Freud's Oedipus Complex, the son falls in love with the mother, WANTS to kill the father, but learns that, to avoid castration, he must find a woman of his own. Very different from the son successfully destroying the father and taking over the culture.

PPS. For many more self-portraits by Rembrandt - over 3 decades of self-portraits, from late twenties to 63, here is a link:

For lots more, come explore

posted July 28, 2019

Western culture: generations of patricide.
A small step: from cultural patricide
to silence in the face of
the murder of the West.

Death by Utopian Fantasies!



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