Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Appreciating the Past

I picked this piece to illustrate my point as it is filled with french knots, lovely time consuming, meditative french knots, which can only be done the old fashioned way, one french knot at a time.

We are in an exciting time of technological breakthroughs and we are able to listen to music on our phones, see art on our computers, read books on our Kindles and reach out and touch people through YouTube.  But yet I can’t help thinking that we have lost something very important with all these technological breakthroughs.  We’ve lost the simplicity of watching Elvis Presley on Ed Sullivan from the waist up, we’ve lost the feeling of going to a museum and seeing a real Picasso, and we’ve lost the ability to value the real thing.

Our schools are getting rid of art programs left and right, books and book stores have moved on to the more digital age and  I would imagine the school trips to the Metropolitan Opera are now a thing of the past too.  It seems perfectly all right in this society to banish art and banish books and music if it doesn’t fit into the all too narrow marketplace. We have lost centuries of culture and inspiration while at the same time extoling the nothingness of the Kardashian sisters.  They may be interesting to gawk at but cultural icons, hardly.  But that is what we as a society have done.  We’ve taken beautiful art and words written by wordsmiths and replaced them with fluffy, prettiness.  Gone are the days of Masterpiece Theater and The Twilight Zone, even if they were not your cup of tea, they were interesting and well thought out.  Now we have Kim and her ex-basketball playing boyfriend/husband hitting each other (playfully or not) on TV.  What happened?
How did Mozart get replaced by Justin Bieber anyway?  Justin Bieber has a lovely singing voice and at least we can say that about him but he is simply not interesting enough to have an entire magazine devoted to him.  There may even be more than one magazine devoted to his wonderfulness.  Meanwhile the beautiful, enduring music of Mozart has been enjoyed for centuries, do you think we’ll be able to say that about Bieber?  God Bless Him I hope he does cobble out a career that will be remembered by something more than Baby, Baby, Baby.
Millions of artists are being ripped off daily because they are brave enough to put their visual artwork out on the internet in hopes of being discovered and people in other countries are taking their intellectual properties and knocking it off to sell in discount stores all over the world.  We are still out here trying to make a difference, trying to remain inspired and be inspiring, but it gets harder every day when all one has to do is look at the newspaper and see garbage masquerading as news.  There is a dumbing down that is only possible when you lose the value of an actual Picasso and embrace the generic nature of our society today where it is more normal to look at a Michelangelo on the computer than to visit a museum and see one first hand.
This post came from the early morning listen to beautiful music by Mozart in hopes of staying in bed for another hour or two.  It didn’t work but did remind me that sometimes technology can keep us firmly rooted in both today and yesterday and that it doesn’t have to be a never-ending journey in mediocrity.  Please support the arts and music and literature in school.  Keep the libraries, bookstores, and record shops open.  Go see an uplifting inspirational film in a movie theater and go see a Picasso in person in a museum.   Even if the only way we see a Picasso is on the computer at least Picasso will be around in a couple of centuries, Kim Kardashian won’t. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

MTMcClanahan said...

"The simplicity of watching Elvis from the waist up", you say so much with so few words!

I agree with you but can technology ever take the place of art created by hand? In fact, now that I think about it, it may make it even more the valuble.

Don't even get me started on the television--I thihnk the great invention of it's time is on it's way out anyway--these are just the signs.