Bruce Walker brought up a topic I had not thought much about in years. If you have been around for a while, as I have, you may have noticed that the movie industry isn't producing new movies any more. Instead, they are recycling old movie scripts with new actors and much better, more thrilling computer generated special effects. I haven's seen a good, "original" movie in years. But it goes much deeper than that. And that is the story the Bruce Walker is trying to tell in his piece at American Thinker today entitled The Left has Murdered Art.
As a young man, I enjoyed poetry. I especially enjoyed Robert Frost, T.S. Elliot, William Carlos Williams, Wallace Stevens and of course the 19th century poets. But I studied all sorts of poetry and literature at the time. You may think that being an engineer, a carrier of guns, and a poet was just to much for one person, but Williams was a physician in his day job, and Stevens sold insurance. In fact, few poets made their money on poetry. It is a labor of love. It turns out I came by my poetic leanings naturally, as my paternal grandfather published a small volume of poems. But my grandfather was a brick layer by trade. And of course, as you might expect, I love pens and writing because it is these things that make poetry possible.
I published several poems in college. After graduation, I tried publishing in the literary journals and magazines of the day, only to be constantly rejected. My material was not "fresh" or "original." And I have to admit that some of it was indeed crap. Eventually, I just sort of gave up, perusing other things. Later, though, I learned that my problem was not lack of originality, but rather that I had not attended the "right" poetry symposia, the "correct" writing conferences where the resident poet or writer would properly impress upon the struggling young skulls filled with mush the leftist dogma, As a struggling artist yourself, you should empathize with the struggle of the masses against the great oppressor class, don't you know. What poppycock.
If originality and freshness were truly the criteria, no one would publish anything new. The fact is that every thought a man can have has already been thought. There are no new poems, only an endless rehashing of the previous generations poems. Neither Emily Dickenson, nor Elizabeth Browning wrote anything new. As noted in Ecclesiates, there is nothing new under the sun. I sing in the choir at church, and here again, the choir director often picks hymns nobody recognizes because they are used to the older hymns. Our choir director points out that the new writers deserve to be heard. But of course, the new writers do not bring anything new to table. How could they? Do they really deserve to be heard? Not if original and fresh are the criteria.
My mother had a set of three volumes of a book called Master Plots, that showed all the plots ever devised. Every story you read, every movie you see, every television show, has a plot that can be found among the master plots. I have seen Romeo and Juliet countless times, and will probably see it several more before I pass on. Oh, the story line varies, the characters have different names, and there are different twists to the basic plot, but all of these shows are basically Romeo and Juliet, the star crossed lovers, whose love can never be.
Good art speaks directly to our subconscious mind. A good poem or a good song will settle in to our subconscious, and we may not realize what it is saying to us until years later when a thought, a memory, a smell, or something else will trigger it, and all of sudden we will be struck by the poem or song. Good paintings and sculpture can have a similarly haunting effect. But the Left has truly murdered art, giving us Piss Christ while denigrating Maddona and Child. The fact is that good art is being produced only in isolated corners of the world today, gets no funding or respect, and if those in control have anything to say about it, it will remain hidden for all eternity.
Update: On a different note, I see that Mike Vanderboegh has passed away. The world will not see his kind again for at least a generation. I knew him but little, but admired what I saw. May the Creator of the Universe keep him safely in his arms.
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