I was reading an interesting blog by Jane Friedman today, on whether shutting out negative and combative media is good for you. I’ve been considering doing the same, in the light of all the hypocritical, racist and anti-feminist language in the health care debate, and it made me think of Byrne.
She was quite selective in what and whom she listened to for entertainment and information (never missed PBS but hardly watched anything else) but surrounded herself with people who discussed all viewpoints. Where she was utterly unegalitarian was art. To get Byrne Miller’s attention, art had to be serious. No “loving hands at home” attempts at any art form – dance, music, painting, literature – made the grade.
I tend to agree with her but I wonder if disregarding community-level art creates an audience shortage for the greats? Do we need to experience “making art” ourselves at some level to appreciate and support the fine arts? Is the danger only when we congratulate ourselves too much for effort, without serious critique?