For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.
One of the mysteries that baffles me, and it really does, is why the most important, imaginative and beautiful additions to our culture and our lives are rather like trying to grow orchids in a swamp. In this country we have constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech, which means any idiot can stand up in public and say the most outrageously stupid things and he has the legal right to do it. Okay, that's fine. But a problem occurs if he seems to speak with the voice of authority, because then people believe him and start saying the same things themselves.
The problem is even more acute in the arts. Books are published. paintings are hung, songs are sung that have no substance to them at all. Most movies are made for teenagers today, as are most TV shows and record albums. There is a glut of things that have no future life at all, and the fact is no one cares. There is also an endless parade of communication gadgets and yet what is actually communicated of any value on any of them?
People have complained for a long time about the lowering of standards and while the complaints have piled up the standards have continued to drop. Many culprits have been accused: environment, education, parental influence, peer pressure, fear of affectation, and any number of other factors. If those are the reasons they should be addressed and given serious cure.
I keep wondering where the eloquence is. Is it being completely drowned out by the noise of the swamp. It certainly does not come from our congress members, the poltical pundits and qazis, the TV preachers, the talk show hosts and stand up comics. Beautiful words, fancy phrases and purple prose do not make eloquence. A simple idea simply stated is worth 20 pages of literary huffing and 20 minutes of speech puffing. But what about a complex idea?
We are now venturing out into the universe for the first time in our history and what we hear is a lot of esoteric computer instruction and a lot of thank yous, all of it important to be sure, but where is the poetry. Is it only in the technology? Are robots the poets of the future? And if so, who are the chefs and gardeners?
That Shakespeare, one of the most eloquent artists of all time, wrote these words way back in the 16th Century shows that this is a very old problem.
I believe in the inherent intelligence of every creature. Human intelligence is of the highest order that we know of. Why don't we use it? What a shame!
You have given me the eyes to wonder. Now please give me the tongue to praise.
DB - The Vagabond
(This is not a contest.)
In your opinion what is the most amazing thing that could happen during this decade? Make it as outrageous as you want but keep it within the realm of what you consider a possibility.
Only 6 responses so far.
Answers will be published the first day of Summer.
DB - The Vagabond