The culture destroyers

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The culture destroyers

From Susan Fowler

Published before 2005


I am new to this forum, but have been watching ARC for over a year.

We who love art have loved it from the start. I was the little girl who said with great conviction, “When I grow up I want to be an artist!” To make art is a most compelling, vital, and absorbing work. I am moved and filled with passionate energy to see what has been done by others before me. Like the drive to make my own art, my love of others’ work comes from deep. But it is not enough to be blessed with such feelings if the society you come up in has sold your birthright.

It is a most cruel trick to nullify the promise in our children by our dropping the thread that connects us to the past. What has happened to western art, music, and literature in just one hundred years shows how fragile our hold was. I think it was Tim who said that he could see himself as a maker of cave art if he had lived thousands of years ago. That was near the beginning of our western cultural product and there have been examples of that spirit in every epoch since. What now? We have the raw material in ourselves and our children to continue to produce great artists, composers, and writers, but we have allowed art to become a cheap commodity, an odd, individual pursuit, torn from its moorings. Imagine how it would be if every person had to discover, on his own, how to make fire, or metal, or electricity. What if the charlatans of each generation could sell to the highest bidder the right to knowledge and keep all invention as proprietary secrets. The culture destroyers have no bounds. I am grateful to have ARC as a reminder how close we have come to losing the whole thing.

Susan Fowler