Have We Lost The Striving For Getting Better?

“Simply put, the arts of museum, concert hall, opera house, theater and library have smaller audiences than they once did because growing older no longer means growing up.” Once, we had a drive to “imrpove ourselves” and one of the ways we did this was through the arts. “Whatever it was that prompted such aspiration is absent today. “Bettering yourself” is now primarily understood in terms of money and power. People routinely change the work they do when it denies them comfort or fun, so the idea that anything higher could be gained from leisure-as-work is alien. Staying young no longer only means being idealistic and adventurous or looking like you’re under 30. It can mean a kind of arrested development.”