Items of Interest, Culture Love Edition
"I think I know how to end the culture wars at a stroke."
Theodore Dalrymple, Oh, the Humanities! “A friend of mine kindly sent me the brochure of a conference of art historians that has just been held at University College, London, which claims to be one of the best academic departments of art history in the world. This claim naturally put me in mind of a line from a poem of Gerard Manley Hopkins: No worst, there is none.”, Why Do We Ignore the Arts? “Is America producing now—or is it even capable of producing— art and artists that will endure? Can anyone think of any work produced in the last two decades, dramatically, visually, musically, that might bring a stranger to tears centuries down the road, as I was by the work of a 15th century Florentine sculptor?”
Don Baton, Ewelldämmerung. “If one theme runs through this book, it would be lack of self-awareness. The award-winning line on that score must be Ewell’s response to an editorial request that he revise and resubmit a paper he wanted to publish: ‘I certainly hope that [Music Theory Online’s] actions were, at least in part, racially motivated because, if they weren’t, that just means I wrote a crappy manifesto that didn’t deserve to be published.’ Indeed it would.”, To Praise Cultural Appropriation, Not to Bury It. “Tolstoy is mine! Shakespeare is mine! As a man of the West, I am an inheritor of all of its traditions and great figures, just as surely as I’m an inheritor of the traditions and great figures particular to African American history.”
James Lindsay, Intersectionality Is American Maoism. “Marcuse, like many of the Western Marxists of the 1960s (cf. Paulo Freire), greatly admired what Mao was doing so much more successfully than either the disaster of Stalin or the flailing of his Soviet successor, Nikita Khrushchev. In the riots of 1968 and 1969, largely inspired by Marcuse, the people chanted the three M’s for a reason: ‘Marx, Mao, Marcuse! Marx, Mao, Marcuse!’ The source for what we call Intersectionality today is largely attributable to Mao Zedong. It is Cultural Maoism.”
Cosmo Landesman, Make love, not culture war. “I think I know how to end the culture wars at a stroke. My solution can be summed up in a simple slogan: make love, not culture war. Or, to put it another way — poke the woke.”
Darragh McManus, Picasso and the arrogance of the new censors. “Obviously, there are a million valid arguments against this kind of pompous shite-hawkery. That we should separate the art from the artist. The importance of freedom of expression. That there’s no such thing as cultural appropriation. You know the list. But scanning this stuff over the weekend, another, far more fundamental thought occurred to me: who the hell are these people, to dictate to me what art I can and cannot look at?”
On now: Jenna Ransom: Soul Party at Interloc, through June 11.
Opening soon: The New Math: Geometric Plasticism, Ideal Visions, and the Reductive Impulse (including Kim Uchiyama, above) at New York Artists Equity starting May 11.
Opening soon: Kikuo Saito and Friends: New York City Downtown and Beyond, 1970s and 1980s at KinoSaito starting May 13.
Opening soon: Salon Zürcher, 28th Edition (including Petey Brown, above) at Zürcher Gallery, May 15-17.
I have a limited number of Tlon invitations if you’d like to get on Urbit.
I have been asked (not personally) by the Substack platform to invite you to try Notes, which is like Twitter but without the attached hellscape.
This is a conversation with the brilliant Heather Mac Donald, whose book When Race Trumps Merit: How the Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty, and Threatens Lives came out in April.
Lindsay is not taggable but his blog is. Behold,.
Regarding Duncan's article, there's plenty of work from the last 20 years that can more or less bring me to tears now, only not in the way Duncan means.
I hate to break it to Cosmo, but if he can stomach a hardcore woke person as a significant other, I'm afraid he's fooling himself, and I certainly don't find him especially reliable.