Democracy's task in the field of art is to make the world safe for elitism. Not an elitism based on race or money or social position, but on skill and imagination. The embodiment of high ability and intense vision is the only thing that makes art popular. Basically, it's why the Rijksmuseum is full of people and the remedial art-basements of Amsterdam are not. The greatest popular spectacles in America are elitist to the core: football games, baseball games, basketball, professional tennis.
On the other hand, a few hours invested in understanding what one is to see or hear at a performance can yield rewarding results. It can bring insights into why "High Noon" is an outstanding example of cinematography, whereas "Starship Troopers" is a scandalous waste of perfectly good celluloid (and of a pretty good juvenile science-fiction novel). An understanding of what was in Mozart's mind when he wrote "Die Zauberflote" - and why it is better than Marschner's "Der Vampyr" - might begin to dawn.
« Older What if oil was traded in euros? | Bookshare Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments