Cultural Implode

Cultcha collapsing continually 

-It’s the end of western arts and nothing can stop the decline. After reaching a post – Warholian apex with the Damien Hirst billion dollar money machine, a decline has set in, or erupted as quick as the mortgage meltdown. Museums have lost funding or were accused of squandering their endowments. We ain’t talkin’ breasts, we’re talking money earmarked for art used for other frivolous things, like vainglorious projects and over-hyped touring exhibits and architectural excess, a massive bundle of madness made of solid gold and diamonds. Money has lost its value, become even more of an abstract, ushering in a post-accountability era where printed paper means nothing; where paying 42 mil for a townhouse doesn’t seem out of place; where a quadrillionaire from India could build a billion dollar skyscraper just to house his family; where charity heads invest poorly with “advisors” who spend like drunken sailors.
Now comes the news Fields Pianos on Pico Boulevard is shutting its doors after fifty plus years of service to the arts. As the exclusive Southland dealer for Steinway, the collection was superb, and they were known for loaning out their peerless pianos for performances on a regular basis. Once, I recalled seeing a recital featuring Daniel Lessner, friend and composer, that thrilled the throng and stoked a buzz for days and days. This bedrock foundation of the arts, an institution that cultivates newcomers and veterans alike, will be sadly missed and never duplicated. It’s closing is indicative of the malaise taking over our country. The economy is in decline, and the first to go is budgeting for the arts. Conservatives have been screaming for the head of PBS for years, and sadly, they may soon have it if cutbacks continue apace. Tragedy. Our cultural output will soon exist as three minute clips on youtube, with no sense of depth or history to reflect on or absorb. 

ADHDAmerica cannot spend its precious moments learning to play music, play piano, read music, read novels and biographies. It’s finished. What have we left? Near instantaneous gratification, wave after wave, with no real highlights and no peaks, just a deadening sameness in sound and sight and scent and touch and voice, a loop tape of life that means nothing and addresses no one. Nostalgia comes to the fore, as those of us who now know what is missing search desperately for a sweet remnant of our past. Soon, too, those will fade, and the picture will be blank, save for the static and snow on the screens of our lives. 


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