Is Culture Doomed, Or Are We Just Snobs?

“That deafening seismic discord at the end of 2003 – a low moan followed by a ripping noise and then a heavy crash – was the sound of Western civilization falling apart, its alabaster pillars splitting like Popsicle sticks, its flagstone terraces shredding like saltines in water. Then again, maybe not. If you believe that culture – music, literature, film, the visual and performing arts – is a rarefied realm to which only the work of an exalted few should be admitted, then doom is imminent. If, however, you believe that culture is a wide-open arena that can accommodate a variety of approaches and levels of complexity, then you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about.”