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11/15/2019

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Justin E. H. Smith

I'm not convinced that whatever it was that once made serious engagement with high and low art has 'collapsed'; I'm not convinced that what it in fact was were 'bourgeois values'; I suspect that 'spiritual values' are not only not coextensive with bourgeois values, but antithetical to them (though I'm familiar with the literature that would lead one to speak of the spiritual dimensions of bourgeois life); and I believe, finally, that even if we suppose for the sake of argument that the worth-endowing system in question has collapsed, it is still an eminently worthy thing to preserve the memory of it and seek to transmit it into the future, like latter-day Isidores of Seville, in the hope that this might help it flourish again when humanity gets through to the other end of this dawning dark age.

So there's a lot we disagree about in the only part of this post that seems to be engaging with anything that concerns me.

And once again, I do not dislike 'low-brow' entertainments. But I do despise the opium of superhero movies, the cynical corporations that are dealing it, and especially the new idiotic culture of 'fandom' as it has developed in the social-media era around things like Marvel Comics and Star Wars, most of all when we find purported progressive intellectuals participating in it. This new culture is stunted and subcritical, and the way it engages with mass entertainment shares nothing with the project of, say, Cavell on the golden age of Hollywood.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.

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