Fall Waxing Harvest Moon
An idea keeps nudging its way forward and I want to get just a bit of it on paper, or in print, or bytes.
The Future of Liberal Thought. Is equivalent to the struggle over the last century and especially since WWII to define what art is. That is, a shaking of the foundation, eliminating beauty and traditional forms like painting and sculpture, at least as they had been perceived, to run out in the desert of unknowing. Saving art by killing it. If you meet the artist on the road, kill him.
The paintings that capture this notion for me are those of Mark Rothko. Compare this piece to the Mannerist, Baroque and Neo-Classical works. Is it of the same tradition? Does it have the same aim, the same desire? What of the artist? What was he thinking? Or, was he thinking at all?
Just so. Consider. The Holocaust. The Armenian genocide. WWI. WWII. Korea. Vietnam. The Great Depression. Mass starvation, drought, despair. The cold war. The rise and fall of the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Quantum mechanics. Relativity. Godel. Wittgenstein. The decoding of the human genome. The discovery of planets in other solar systems. Manned flight to the moon. Men and women shuttling regularly between earth and the heavens.
The death of God.
Well. How do we approach the questions of meaning, the questions often called religious questions? How do we approach them in light of scientific, cultural, political and economic changes? Are these changes so momentous that they demand a break with our religious past, a break similar (the same?) in kind to the radical artistic movements of the 20th century? I think so.
Anyhow, this is where I’m headed. More. Later.