It seems obvious, looking back, that the artists of Weimar Germany and Leninist Russia lived in a much more attenuated landscape of media than ours, and their reward was that they could still believe, in good faith and without bombast, that art could morally influence the world. Today, the idea has largely been dismissed, as it must in a mass media society where art’s principal social role is to be investment capital, or, in the simplest way, bullion. We still have political art, but we have no effective political art. An artist must be famous to be heard, but as he acquires fame, so his work accumulates ‘value’ and becomes, ipso-facto, harmless. As far as today’s politics is concerned, most art aspires to the condition of Muzak. It provides the background hum for power.
We always imagine some future self that won’t ever get pissed off — that’ll always go to bed on time, always brush our teeth, always enjoy mind-blowing sex with our spouse on Tuesday night. And yet, Stephen Hawking begs to differ: "We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star."
The rushing relief was like the first drag of a cigarette. Btw, if you don't smoke too much, the final drag off a cigarette is a powerful nerve tonic. Highly recommended. I've smoked five or six cigarettes my entire life, and each one was fucking awesome. I seriously hope I don't get cancer.