Friday, August 27, 2004

Cheeviest

As I ate my breakfast this morning (a hard roll and cup of black coffee), I watched this documentary on the period of Art Nouveau. I used to find some of the art of this period maudlin and tiresome, mainly because I associated too much of it with fairies and hobbits (sorry to all you Tolkien fans). But then I was reminded of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House which always reminded me of a geo spaceship-boat. And the fabulous street posters and fanciful wrought iron features on buildings and metro stops that came from this period. I thought that it would be exciting to have lived at the turn of that century. People could actually challenge the old styles and order, or at least be under the illusion that they were actually rebelling.

Maybe I’m waxing nostalgic for more idealistic era just because I’m so weary of the one I live in. I have to think about all the wonderful things we have or care about now that contribute to our creativity and the development of new art forms.

-file sharing (supposedly)
-ipods
-the internet
-blogs
-electronic and digital art forms
-graffitti (though this has been around for some time)

Maybe I’m just so Miniver Cheevey (from the E. A. Robinson Poem) that I tend to think that things were always simpler, better in the past. The past is always better and safer of course because we’ve seen it, but we forget that progress did make things better. Whenever I have the urge to go back in time I think of things like small-pox, plague, lack of sanitation, a world without roads or telephones and yes, television.

Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
He wept that he was ever born,
And he had reasons.
Miniver loved the days of old
When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
The vision of a warrior bold...


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