Quote of the day
From the ever eloquent CVH:
When politics, right, left or centrist, starts to permeate art of any form, it’s time to read, listen or look at something else. It’s hard enough (as numerous discussions on this blog indicate) to encourage good art in a narcissistic, culturally-entrenched, economically-challenged genre of music like southern gospel. Subverting art in such a blatant manner reveals the utter lack of understanding on the part of the writers and performers of what art is meant to be and do.
Read the whole thing. I’m not sure I’m convinced by the suggestion here that good art should or has to be apolitical. Apolitical art is like objective journalism. It’s just not possible. Subtle art (and fair reporting)? Absolutely. But all artistic expressions have a set of politics deeply embedded in them whether the artist “intends” it or not, and that’s as it should be. It’s part of what good art does, it seems to me - provoke thought and feeling (including the political, broadly considered) without predetermining conclusions.
What I do entirely agree with is CVH’s point about blatantly saturating songs with heavyhanded political declarations. It’s a sure sign of artistically impoverished vision when performers start turning their music into the sound track for a political rally. This is what always bugged me about the Steeles (though they’re the only example that springs most readily to mind and not the only offenders, by any means … the Pfiefers, often the Inspirations … there are others). You could tell they wanted to be hailed as ideological heroes for “daring” to say from the stage what a clear majority of their fans probably already thought and felt anyway. But that’s not politically courageous. It’s just self-serving buffoonery, the last resort of the artistically desperate.Email this Post