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Why I hate art

Actually, I don't hate it. I recognize that the creativity, ambition, and determination of people that can only be called 'artists' give me great pleasure and happiness. The people that write the stories, make the movies, play the music, and yes, design the computer games are those that create the vast, complex culture we live in. But they aren't whom most people think of as 'artists'.

'Artists', of course, are those that the CBC fawns over, a self-perpetuating oligarchy of pretentious hacks moving in a crowd, with very little to say. A huge government bureaucracy sustains them, and most of their energy is spent making sure the spigot stays on -- and congratulating themselves for it.

Robert Fulford visited the latest gathering of this crowd in Toronto, for the opening of a very expensive new museum. The situation is worse than I thought:

The performances filling most of the evening were also worked into the religious theme: In between acts, Paul Gross, our host, conducted an argument with a booming voice (Gordon Pinsent's) that claimed to belong to Time. We all realized that Time represented God, who would have come Himself if He hadn't been made illegal.

Time turned out to be just as pushy as the God of Genesis, though less interesting. He said all civilizations die and our time had come. He was "pulling the plug" this very night because we were growing less creative and polluting the earth.

In our defence, Gross offered the show we were watching (rap singers, Celtic dancers, an opera star, native drummers, whatever) as proof of our creativity. Time seemed unimpressed (and nobody would blame him). Besides, that still left Earth-despoiling. What could we say about that?

At this point the producers wheeled out David Suzuki, that national menace, to declare that the world is reforming itself by going green. As an example he cited some young girls who saved some old horses. He mentioned "my friend Al Gore."

Eventually some of us began pawing through the program to learn who conceived this twaddle. It said "Writer: Bernard Rothman." He's a TV guy from Montreal who has spent the last 35 years in Los Angeles, accumulating a modest list of credits (wrote for My Three Sons, produced a George Burns special, etc.).


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