Cart-Drawn Horses

by Leonard Pierce

Some time ago, a friend of mine was discussing the painful direction criticism has taken in the internet age.  He suggested, in a bit of phrasing that has struck me as extremely perceptive ever since, that part of the problem is that people no longer approach art with any sense of humility.  Although the democratization of culture and the tumbling down of the walls that arbitrarily separated ‘high’ culture from ‘low’ has largely been a good thing, it has also birthed a generation so enamored of their own opinions, and so distrustful of having something pulled over on them, that they seem incapable of experiencing culture as something transcendent, something capable of instilling in them unfamiliar feelings, something that requires them to learn something new or experience something confusing or strange.

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