ALL CULTURE begins with commemoration of the past and honor rendered to the dead. The oldest literary monuments in the Western tradition, the Iliad and the Odyssey, seemed to their original audience to be historical accounts, in suitably decorative form, of events they believed should not be forgotten by those who would be born long after all who fought at Troy were dead. Probably, the cave paintings at Lascaux, six times older than the Trojan War, were meant to commemorate a particularly memorable hunt, a kind of memory of whose victims has outlived by 17 millennia anyone's memory of the hunters. Such irony--by which I mean the tendency of meaning to change with context--is routine. Shelley's Ozymandias, whose "shatter'd visage" and "vast and trunkless legs of stone" were all that remained of those works upon which that hero had once invited the mighty to look and despair, is rather the rule than the exception for those in the commemorative trade, given a long-enough perspective.
A two and a half hour film is not the best medium for metaphysical exploration. Fortunately, not all directors are Terrence Malick.
New breakthroughs in tastelessness in the world of glass ceilings.
As our esteemed editor has pointed out, "the condition of our political discourse" today is worse than "rancorous" or "toxic" -- it's nonexistent.
From comics to 3-D, pretty much everything is trash now.
Why would a lovely, revelatory talent like Joyce DiDonato bad-mouth Fox News?
How casually our age compares Bach and Beethoven to Lady Gaga.
Not that anyone is shocked anymore, but the transgressive crowd which aims to shock gets upset if someone is actually shocked by their productions.
Dagwood Bumstead is a much better symbol of American manhood than any of his successors.
What passes for artistic work these days.