Sunday, April 25, 2010

note taking comments elsewhere. Nothing new but it adds to something in the previous post (though written before it)
All communication involves corruption. but there are two basic kinds of corruption and one is more noble than the other. The first revolves around friendships based on common interests and ideas. Friends support each other because they agree, and that agreement is active and engaged. The second is based on friendship alone the ideas are secondary. You support the ideas because they’re held by your friends. That agreement is disengaged and passive.
What’s the difference between ideas and prejudices? That one will always involves judgment, which is why my suggestion for a timeline not of influences but simple facts.*

But as an old girlfriend of mine told me (and she’s always being courted by top tier programs) all collegiality in her field is quid pro quo and that’s not a good sign.

The more people are interested in status the less they’re interested either in people as such or in the work of observation. And in a culture of technical mastery, which is a form of rationalism, observation is slighted, and you end up with the academic ghetto of scholasticism: a discussion that describes only itself.
At any given time people will find things to like and talk about, and critics in minor periods will use the same words of praise as those in major ones. Rachmaninoff and Schoenberg were both once praised like Mozart, though their opposition to one another is only as varieties of the same decadence. Art objects now are no more than objets d'art, while the heart of the culture, the home of our most important representations of ourselves, is in narrative, and the important visual culture is film, or 'filmic'. Public discussion of art as such as of 'philosophy' hinges largely on gossip, but fights still rage. As I commented to a friend about the burgeoning scene on the lower east side: "it's not art, it's retail."

* In an earlier discussion of timelines for intellectual kinship in anthropology. I suggested keeping to who taught whom not influence, thus fostering debate rather than merely instigating it.

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