quote for the day

“There’s a whorish desperation to even the very few halfway-decent writers today. You either write about the same tripe everybody else writes about—Game of Thrones, Hillary Clinton, Silicon Valley, whatever new subculture is offended by its lack of persecution, a sports star, a wealthy rapper, the Tea Party, the new iPhone—or you make a stunt out of not doing that specific thing: Dark Matters: A Gamer Woman’s Journey Through a Year Without Using Light Bulbs In a Very Dark House, etc. The paucity of aesthetic morality throughout global civilization dulls the wits of even the sharpest satirists at The Baffler and The Onion.”

Ken Layne. Yowza.


  1. False dichotomies always make for a fun pontificating framework.

    Usually they’re not really true.

    Usually they do have a grain of truth to them, though.

  2. I feel that the same is going on the the world of fine art. Dave Hickey’s claim that art has abandoned beauty has the ring of truth to it. I went to the Tate modern a few years ago, and it was filled with one boring canvas after another. Here’s yet another blank canvas. Here an oblong of cinder blocks. Jeff Koons’ fish tank with basketballs suspended in it was mildly interesting, at least to the extent that I thought “hmm, how did he get the balls to float in the middle of the tank?”. That lasted about eight seconds.

    Is this a “paucity of aesthetic mortality”? It’s something along those lines. At the very least it’s rude to have visitors trudge through acres of boring canvasses with no discernable content (oh wait, the lack of content IS content).

    This comment on modern art is about the best I’ve seen:


    I think the surplus of books and articles in which the writer goes for a year without _____ is really more a function of the market. It generates clicks, so these things get written.

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