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"What Is a Culture?" P-12 : NYSED.
As a victim, one can project onto another person, the victimizer or oppressor, any feelings of guilt he might harbor, and in projecting that guilt lift it from his own shoulders.
Forgiveness is one of the chief antidotes to the forensic stigma of guilt, and as such has long been one of the golden words of our culture, with particularly deep roots in the Christian tradition, in which the capacity for forgiveness is seen as a central attribute of the Deity itself.
Media culture and education essay introduction SlideShare
If the avant-garde imitates the processes of art, kitsch, wenow see, imitates its effects. The neatness of this antithesisis more than contrived; it corresponds to and defines the tremendousinterval that separates from each other two such simultaneouscultural phenomena as the avant-garde and kitsch. This interval,too great to be closed by all the infinite gradations of popularized"modernism" and "modernistic" kitsch, correspondsin turn to a social interval, a social interval that has alwaysexisted in formal culture, as elsewhere in civilized society,and whose two termini converge and diverge in fixed relation tothe increasing or decreasing stability of the given society. Therehas always been on one side the minority of the powerful -- andtherefore the cultivated -- and on the other the great mass ofthe exploited and poor -- and therefore the ignorant. Formal culturehas always belonged to the first, while the last have had to contentthemselves with folk or rudimentary culture, or kitsch.
All values are human values, relative values, in art as wellas elsewhere. Yet there does seem to have been more or less ofa general agreement among the cultivated of mankind over the agesas to what is good art and what bad. Taste has varied, but notbeyond certain limits; contemporary connoisseurs agree with theeighteenth-century Japanese that Hokusai was one of the greatestartists of his time; we even agree with the ancient Egyptiansthat Third and Fourth Dynasty art was the most worthy of beingselected as their paragon by those who came after. We may havecome to prefer Giotto to Raphael, but we still do not deny thatRaphael was one of the best painters of his time. There has beenan agreement then, and this agreement rests, I believe, on a fairlyconstant distinction made between those values only to be foundin art and the values which can be found elsewhere. Kitsch, byvirtue of a rationalized technique that draws on science and industry,has erased this distinction in practice.
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It is a platitude that art becomes caviar to the general whenthe reality it imitates no longer corresponds even roughly tothe reality recognized by the general. Even then, however, theresentment the common man may feel is silenced by the awe in whichhe stands of the patrons of this art. Only when he becomes dissatisfiedwith the social order they administer does he begin to criticizetheir culture. Then the plebian finds courage for the first timeto voice his opinions openly. Every man, from the Tammany aldermanto the Austrian house-painter, finds that he is entitled to hisopinion. Most often this resentment toward culture is to be foundwhere the dissatisfaction with society is a reactionary dissatisfactionwhich expresses itself in revivalism and puritanism, and latestof all, in fascism. Here revolvers and torches begin to be mentionedin the same breath as culture. In the name of godliness or theblood's health, in the name of simple ways and solid virtues,the statue-smashing commences.
In the Middle Ages the plastic artist paid lip service at leastto the lowest common denominators of experience. This even remainedtrue to some extent until the seventeenth century. There was availablefor imitation a universally valid conceptual reality, whose orderthe artist could not tamper with. The subject matter of art wasprescribed by those who commissioned works of art, which werenot created, as in bourgeois society, on speculation. Preciselybecause his content was determined in advance, the artist wasfree to concentrate on his medium. He needed not to be philosopher,or visionary, but simply artificer. As long as there was generalagreement as to what were the worthiest subjects for art, theartist was relieved of the necessity to be original and inventivein his "matter" and could devote all his energy to formalproblems. For him the medium became, privately, professionally,the content of his art, even as his medium is today the publiccontent of the abstract painter's art -- with that difference,however, that the medieval artist had to suppress his professionalpreoccupation in public -- had always to suppress and subordinatethe personal and professional in the finished, official work ofart. If, as an ordinary member of the Christian community, hefelt some personal emotion about his subject matter, this onlycontributed to the enrichment of the work's public meaning. Onlywith the Renaissance do the inflections of the personal becomelegitimate, still to be kept, however, within the limits of thesimply and universally recognizable. And only with Rembrandt do"lonely" artists begin to appear, lonely in their art.
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Family Culture And Traditions Essay Example for Free
Where today a political regime establishes an official culturalpolicy, it is for the sake of demagogy. If kitsch is the officialtendency of culture in Germany, Italy and Russia, it is not becausetheir respective governments are controlled by philistines, butbecause kitsch is the culture of the masses in these countries,as it is everywhere else. The encouragement of kitsch is merelyanother of the inexpensive ways in which totalitarian regimesseek to ingratiate themselves with their subjects. Since theseregimes cannot raise the cultural level of the masses -- evenif they wanted to -- by anything short of a surrender to internationalsocialism, they will flatter the masses by bringing all culturedown to their level. It is for this reason that the avant-gardeis outlawed, and not so much because a superior culture is inherentlya more critical culture. (Whether or not the avant-garde couldpossibly flourish under a totalitarian regime is not pertinentto the question at this point.) As a matter of fact, the maintrouble with avant-garde art and literature, from the point ofview of fascists and Stalinists, is not that they are too critical,but that they are too "innocent," that it is too difficultto inject effective propaganda into them, that kitsch is morepliable to this end. Kitsch keeps a dictator in closer contactwith the "soul" of the people. Should the official culturebe one superior to the general mass-level, there would be a dangerof isolation.
American Culture Essay: Customs and Traditions of …
Returning to our Russian peasant for the moment, let us supposethat after he has chosen Repin in preference to Picasso, the state'seducational apparatus comes along and tells him that he is wrong,that he should have chosen Picasso -- and shows him why. It isquite possible for the Soviet state to do this. But things beingas they are in Russia -- and everywhere else -- the peasant soonfinds the necessity of working hard all day for his living andthe rude, uncomfortable circumstances in which he lives do notallow him enough leisure, energy and comfort to train for theenjoyment of Picasso. This needs, after all, a considerable amountof "conditioning." Superior culture is one of the mostartificial of all human creations, and the peasant finds no "natural"urgency within himself that will drive him toward Picasso in spiteof all difficulties. In the end the peasant will go back to kitschwhen he feels like looking at pictures, for he can enjoy kitschwithout effort. The state is helpless in this matter and remainsso as long as the problems of production have not been solvedin a socialist sense. The same holds true, of course, for capitalistcountries and makes all talk of art for the masses there nothingbut demagogy.
Sample English Culture Essay. Free Example Essay …
In a stable society that functions well enough to hold in solutionthe contradictions between its classes, the cultural dichotomybecomes somewhat blurred. The axioms of the few are shared bythe many; the latter believe superstitiously what the former believesoberly. And at such moments in history the masses are able tofeel wonder and admiration for the culture, on no matter how higha plane, of its masters. This applies at least to plastic culture,which is accessible to all.
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