virus: Arts & Science

Ken Pantheists (
Sun, 28 Apr 1996 20:32:06 +0000

Reed Konsler wrote:

> I respectfully disagree. ;) It is the artists' responsibility to pressure the
> culture to funnel more resorces to them as a group. If, as a scientist, I am
> competeing for limited government resources I will do so to my fullest. This
> is the point of natural selection. By competing in this way the best art and
> the best science is produced...on average. If you can't convince the rest of
> society what you are doing is valuable then by definition it isn't.
> That's democracy.
> Or, in other words: "... uh... Wait a minute."

I respect your respectful disagreement ;)

But I feel I must point out a couple of things.

First of all Yes! it is absolutely the responsibility of artist to get their own. And
stupid useless art should become extinct.


There are very pwoerful systems that change the field of power.

1) We are told with increasing frequency that stupid, useless art is art that does not
sell a commercial product or lifestyle.

2) To counter this Arts Councils (In Canada it's called The Canada Council) set up boards
that consider funding art that is only 'out there' or 'cutting edge'. I will remember to
my dying day the comment an exasperated visual artist friend made, "I just want to make
good art. I don't want to have to piss on it or eat it."

3) You, Reed, sound somewhat initiated into the world of art and seem to posess a keen
vocabulary for critical thought. Those who have not been so initiated are faced with a)
educational systems that cut art programs and b) <specific example> that beer commercial
where a girl can't go out to party because she has her final art project to do. So her
friends come over with a few cases, drink beer and splatter paint on a huge canvas. And
her dottery old professor gives hers an "A+".

The short form of this is the language is the key. Like other languages it can get plowed
over by other systems. This has nothing to do with the real value of the language. Look
at the language of the Roman Empire and all of the useful memes that were plowed under
with it. (The Dark Age that followed) It took western civilization a couple of feild
trips into Arabia to retrieve that lost knowledge.

I don't want to sound like I'm whining--- (well, I am whining actually) :)

The final modifying statement I would like to make is this. You (I am assuming) are
American. Now, PLEASE don't take this personally. I LOVE the states. I Love most of
American culture. I do NOT believe in the ugly american.

The reason I make the distinctionis this: I have pitched ideas for tv shows here in
Canada and south of (our) border. Americans are extremely receptive and open to new
ideas. They believe strongly in free market and democracy. In my specific transactions I
always found them saying. "Sure, why not? Hey there's a chance that a million dollar
script could cross my desk TODAY, if not TOMORROW!"

Canada is very different. Canadians are friendly but reserved. We have ONE Broadcasting
Corporation. The attitude up here is "Why should we make anything when we could just buy
american shows?" What they do make is CANADIAN CONTENT. I have been told, as a born-in-
Canada-Canadian, that my ideas are not Canadian enough. (go figure)

So Yes! Canadians should just pull harder.

But there are some damn powerful memes out there being driven by an electronic medium
that lends (perhaps) more weight to them than they deserve.

The short version of the short version is this: My personal philosophy is that the
ability to change our environment to enrich our lives- physically and meta-physically- is
a key component to our survival as a species. But in order to do this effectively we must
know the language. To recognize the infomercials for what they are.

Hmm. Just read over all of this- and I really DO sound whiny don't I?

Well. What can I say. I'm unemployed.

Maybe my whole attitude will change when I get some money.


The 8th dwarf- whiny.