Monday, August 11, 2014
Are Liberals Killing Art?
In his recent New Republic article titled “Liberals Are Killing Art: How the Left became obsessed with ideology over beauty,” art critic Jed Perl makes a convoluted argument that liberalism now “find[s] the emotions unleashed by the arts—I mean all of the arts, from poetry to painting to dance—something of an embarrassment.” Embarrassed by emotions, liberals “who support a rational public policy—a social safety net, consistency and efficiency in foreign affairs, steps to
reverse global warming—[are]
reluctant to embrace art’s celebration of unfettered metaphor and
mystery and magic.” Beginning with that quick hop, skip, and rhetorical
leap from global warming to art appreciation, Perl stands up a series of
liberal straw men
to knock down in his overall accusation that liberals see art just as
political (or politicizable) content at the expense of aesthetic
pleasure. In resurrecting an old school argument from more than half a
century ago, Perl asks if liberals are killing art, but ends up making
readers ask if conservative critics are killing art instead. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Are Liberals Killing Art?"