Culture Blogger Seeks MBA for Good Times and LTR.

So now that I’ve discovered flyover i’m starting to get addicted. my original vision for Culturebot was to have this site be a portal/aggregator for a series of regional blogs (like the Gothamist family of blogs) but I’ve never been able to get the funding to make it happen. If any out of work MBAs with connections to VCs wanna meet with me, I’ve got a helluva business plan just looking for capital. It starts with the Culturebot web presence and builds out from there. Seriously. Even though the economy is in the crapper, this would be low-cost to implement and hugely scalable. Build it now for cheap and be in position when things get better. Seriously.

but anyway – i like the  flyover blog b/c it talks about arts in the flyover regions which most of the arts/culture establishment only hears from every so often. but with the increased costs of culture production in major metropolitan regions i think its important to increase regional presence in the national (and international) dialogue around the arts. in this day and age provincialism vs. cosmopolitanism should be moot.  we are all reassessing the limitations of place and physical presence in the creation of arts and culture – we should be having these discussions more often and more comprehensively.

So – on that note there are two posts on flyover I wanted to comment on. The first is called The Partisan Imagination: Does Being An Artist Make You Liberal? I have posted about that on Cbot numerous times – we hear that question a lot. I used to argue the point with colleagues frequently. But with the 100th Anniversary of Futurism rapidly approaching I think its time to really examine this. (Which is what RoseLee Goldberg will be doing in PERFORMA09 next fall!). But very briefly I will point out that Futurism, Modernist Nationalism and Fascism were deeply interconnected. 

Since the beginning of the 20th century, Italian nationalist movements, from the national radicalism of “La Voce” to futurist nationalism and fascism, fostered one of the strongest waves of European right-wing radicalism. The confrontation between nationalism and modernity is one of the main keys to understanding to the permutations of Italian radical nationalism from modernist avant-gardes up to the fascist regime.

I found the above quote in the precis of a book called “The Struggle for Modernity” and there’s an interesting article in the Harvard Crimson that analyzes the role of the arts at the “flaming motor” of Fascism and Nazism. Ezra Pound, Ayn Rand, Richard Wagner, Knut Hamsun, Leni Riefenstahl…. there are countless examples throughout history of deeply conservative, right wing and reactionary artists. Just because there don’t appear to be so many these days doesn’t mean that there isn’t precedent. Or that, by definition, artists must be liberal.

Its a good discussion – one that should be held on a more public stage and in a more meaningful way then just “empathy” or “democrat vs. republican”. At the end of the day the most salient point is that the arts mean something. it is not frivolity or luxury, the arts are how we express our visions of the world, they are kind of like a collective process of “creative visualization” (a shallow idea, i know, but apt) where we represent ourselves to ourselves and imagine what the world might become. 

The other post I wanted to comment on is called “Obama, Millenials and the ideals of Web 2.0“. Part of me is thrilled to see this discussion happening in the press outside of a big city. The little green monster of envy in me is shouting out because I have written so extensively about this and I’m just vain enough to feel that I, Culturebot, should be a talking head about this stuff in the MSM. Say it with me now, “Book Deal! Book Deal! Book Deal!” Maybe some creative visualization will manifest it for me. Oh and I’ve revised the essay referenced above but I need to revise it again – and tweak it for a more general audience. I know – I should really be publishing finished content on the blog … but there should be enough raw material in the five years of doing this to merit a small advance and an editor! Dude. The stories I could tell of a life in the downtown arts world! Sex! Drugs! Feuds! Debauchery! Jealousy! Genius! Its good stuff, people.

And now for something completely different… I saw an advert for the movie Underworld, Rise of the Lycans. I saw the first one and all of these movies baffle me. The kids, the millennials, they can access this stuff, but me, its just an incomprehensible clutter of images and loud noises. Not being a gamer I don’t understand video game logic and I either can’t follow the convoluted plot twists or there is a whole bunch of backstory that I’m not privy to.  I point this out because it freaks me out – I am actually old enough to “not get it”, to have almost no access point into this particular form of entertainment. I like werewolves and vampires, I like sci-fi and monster stuff, I like trashy movies and its not that I can’t enjoy the movies in some kind of A.D.D. way but I’m not going to suggest that I can make heads or tails out of what I’m watching.

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