Source – nationalpost.com
– “…There is a vicious element in our culture, which, unable to add matter of worth to the world, and lacking even the ambition to do so, vents its sorry envy and anger at high culture via the cant of progressive ideology and identity politics to denigrate and dismiss the finest works of the creative human mind. It’s mud or the stars, folks. And they’re cheering for the mud”
SM:...Evolution, Devolution or Revolution…
When ‘Progressives’ Who Can’t Create Stoop to Denigrate – By Rex Murphy
YouTube and its various avatars preserve and transmit performances current and past. We may hear W.B. Yeats in Celtic singsong reciting The Lake Isle of Innisfree (1930) or young Vladimir Horowitz taking the paint off Carnegie Hall and arresting the hearts of aspiring pianists (1920s), or leap to this present day to be astonished by the magisterial pianist Grigory Sokolov
In a cliché, there is so much out there
In ancient times (which in the computer era I put at about 40 years ago), a young person wanting a taste of classical music might catch five minutes of José Iturbi (Ritual Fire Dance, anyone?) on The Ed Sullivan Show, or luckier still, a young Glenn Gould on CBC igniting fresh fire over the endless genius of J.S. Bach. These were glimpses of the best and beautiful.
Contrast today, a young person almost anywhere in the world, with some adult to lightly point the way, could find his or her way to the high moments in the repertoire of Western classical music — scores and performance. All of it waits in the iPhone or on the desktop computer.
Naturally, such abundant sunshine precedes or hides a thunderstorm. Sadly with all that is great and beautiful at our ears and fingertips, there is also a huge accompanying cloud of nonsense and determined ignorance. Such bounty, such access to the best that our troubled kind has brought into the life of the world, does not go, in this anti-enlightenment period, without complaint, muttering and most determinedly, political grievance. In every small mind a lot of rain must fall.
As a pit of nonsense, the website Vox is without peer; there none darker or deeper. Very recently, as is alas only too predictable in a time when some hunt for grievance and disharmony as swine search for truffles, Vox unloaded a “column” that attempted to alert the social justice world to the damage, the injury, the insult that Beethoven’s 5th Symphony — the most concentrated, powerful and stirring composition in the classical canon — has done to the world.
It’s mud or the stars, folks. And they’re cheering for the mud
There is a vicious element in our culture, which, unable to add matter of worth to the world, and lacking even the ambition to do so, vents its sorry envy and anger at high culture via the cant of progressive ideology and identity politics to denigrate and dismiss the finest works of the creative human mind.
It’s mud or the stars, folks. And they’re cheering for the mud.
Show them the Pietà and they will complain Christ is “foregrounded.” The Sistine Chapel and they would smear witless graffiti over it. They narrow all to personal politics. They squeeze the world into their cloistered ideological preconceptions. And should art not speak to their preoccupations, or mirror their tiny fascinations, why then it’s racist or colonialist or phobic or marginalizing. It is always something other than what it really is.
Politics is not everything. In fact, politics is hardly anything. You may force politics on everything, but no one in their real heart agrees. The left wants to shrink life to its own obsessions. It wants to constrict human experience and human response to set slogans and narrow obsessions. It cannot listen to great music because its ears only hear what it seeks. It doesn’t seek pure music. It wants grad studies politics.
It is a marvellously degrading facility this, to bring the world of art and literature and music down to the level of the daily protest march and niche grievance. A kind of anti-genius is at play. Politics of the current cultural kind squeezes the glory and the beauty out of things. It shrivels experience and narrows the understanding.
I sometimes think that if we were to seek some sort of ransom for all the cruelties and mischiefs humans have done, something to place on the opposite scale, it might have to be the fruits of the creative and inquiring human mind — in sum, great art and brilliant science — the wonders of our kind. They might not make a full balance, but they would surely come near. Ignorantly maligning them is a blight on our time.