Re: so I'm confused

Dick Higgins (
Thu, 19 Jun 1997 18:04:17 -0500

>last time I checked nobody was presenting Kenny G,

If you mean Kenny GOLDSMITH, he is great.

>Barry Manilow

Didn't he study with Henry Cowell (as I did too)?


Money money money.

>There has always been schlock and there
>always will. The conceptual and verbal "tools" for dealing with schlock
>have been around for a long time and in my opinion they still work
>fairly well, despite the many ways in which pop and high culture have
>invaded each other's turf over the last 50 years or so.

True enough. I can't listen to popsie dopsie music without doing a quick
estimate of the cost of their equipment.

>Ever since I
>started living a relatively TV-free life (we only get 2 channels out
>here in Western Mass, and one of them's PBS)

Lucky you, up in the Berkshires (where the per-acre price usually tops ten
grand). May you be there as long as you want to be there. But don't lose
sight of the fact that for most of us this would not be an option.

>Well, just take comfort in the fact that:
>a) they're not out shooting at each other (or you) with automatic

That is coming, now that the Baptists are boycotting Mickey Mouse and Helms
has finally just about gutted the NEA.
>b) rancid-salami-like as the material may be, at least the John Tesh
>fans are contributing to the survival of the idea of "going to a
>concert." Anything that helps prevent the total extinction of
>"concertgoing" skills is better than nothing.

Is Phil Glass any better?

>We're all elitist on this mailing list. If you can read and write, you
>are ipso facto a member of an elite. Besides we're talking about some
>pretty arcane stuff here - "post-serialism" and "the post-1945 European
>schools" is greek to me, overeducated as I am (OK, so I went to art
>school not music school). but the point is that these topics are only
>going to be of interest to a very small number of people, and I'm sure
>that was just as true in the glory days of public arts funding.
>(whenever that was)

The United States of Scumerica never had decent arts funding, you know.
When we were better educated, back in the fifties, it didn't make much
difference, but now it does. If we ever stop patting ourselves on the back
we just might notice some of the things that need to be done. But the media
wouldn't allow that, right? We have brains but neither honesty nor
imagination nor a decent information base that is open to all comers.

>The effort to educate the great unsophisticated masses is bound to be
>full of frustrations. I don't have any great solution up my sleeve, by
>the way, so don't think I'm advising you to give it up, if that's what
>you want to do.

Read Matthew Arnold on this point-OVER A HUNDRED YEARS AGO!

>But I also suspect that even the most rudimentary "music
>and art appreciation" program in elementary schools does more good
>overall than any amount of high-profile Big Project Funding.


Curious about what I do? You can view some paintings at the Left Hand Books
site, <> (these are for sale) and other
things at the Ubuweb one, Ubuweb- <>
(these aren't) among others. My next book that is coming out will be:
MODERNISM SINCE POSTMODERNISM (San Diego: San Diego State University Press,
June 1997). You can get it through Amazon Books, <>.