Wednesday, 9 April 2008

This is interesting...



The Age of American Unreason is Susan Jacoby's critique of modern culture. Listen to her reading, which took place in February of 2008, at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.

Could this (her premise) be a contributing factor to the indiscriminate rise in popularity of mid century modern? The reason for the proliferation and the justification of counterfeit goods? The lack of discernment? Why elitism is the new bogeyman?

4 comments:

The Peak of Chic said...

I've been meaning to pick up a copy of it. Did you read the NYT article about the book and what inspired her to write it? I think it's sad and depressing.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

PoC - I just happened upon the book quite by chance. I am looking forward to reading it. It is depressing, but if we are aware of it we can change it.

Evil Style Queen said...

What a fascinating topic! I really ought to visit your blog more often.

I don't think that the phenomenon Jacoby describes is an American thing only. It's part of the crisis of the West and as bad at our side of the Atlantic, although the symptoms may vary.

I'd rather call it "infantilisation" (if there is such a word). It expresses itself not just in irrational thought. Not every aspect in human existence can be tackled by reason. It is the refusal to accept responsibility and to blame everybody else for one's own misfortune and -deeds (reasons for self-exculpation are always very "rational", so is victimology), to reject any form of traditional authority that has made us (in the West) great while we bow to foppish and even dangerous new ones. Make an experience, preferably one that made you a "victim", and write about it, however ill qualified you are for it. Nobody will know the difference anyway and it will make us all feel better.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

"Traced to a society that has for too long aimed its mind at low objects..." Present company excepted, of course. And that's why I love sites like this one.