Monday, November 23, 2009

Margin Notes on Culture

Some say that the profound appreciation of beauty is one of the only true good things we ever experience in life and that, fleeting but real, it makes life otherwise bearable. This seems a workable maxim, insofar as who would contest that taste is important to those who say it is important? One should not spend too much time worrying about proper taste, however. This is one of the problems with "seriousness" and its stranglehold upon culture (kulchur?). Lightness, leisure, unstrained, ideally—should anyone doubt that there is a problem when we have to work very hard, harder than anything else, to attain "culture" ... and we bear the visible marks of our hard work, on top of that? Funnily enough is in bad taste to feel more than mild or passing anxiety about "good taste." The anxiety may be a necessary part of the learning process but one must work to neutralize it, rise above it, in order to actually live well, and to appreciate beauty most appropriately. (Now the question arises as to what appreciation of beauty is "most appropriate" ...)

No comments: