[-empyre-] Modernism Redux
Is modernism our classicism.
The question is really an art and style question from a euro-
centric point of view. When does the classic period end, with the
fall of Rome?
"Influential theories and theorists include:
* Edward Gibbon essentially placed the blame on Christianity,
saying Christianity sapped the will of Roman "civic duty" (that is,
military service); and made the populace less interested in the
worldly here and now and more willing to wait for the rewards of
* Henri Pirenne published the "Pirenne Thesis" in the 1920s
which has remains influential to this day. It holds that the Empire
continued, in some form, up until the time of the Arab conquests in
the 7th century.
* Historians of Late Antiquity, such as Peter Brown, have
turned away from the idea that the Roman Empire "fell". They see a
"transformation" occurring over centuries, with the roots of
Medieval culture contained in Roman culture. This is a gradual
process with no clear break.
Theories tend to reflect the eras in which they are developed.
Gibbon's criticism of Christianity reflects the values of the
Enlightenment; his ideas on the decline in martial vigour were a
warning to the growing British Empire. In the 19th century
socialist and anti-socialist theorists tended to blame decadence
and other political problems. More recently, environmental concerns
have become popular, with deforestation and soil erosion proposed
as major factors, and epidemics such as malaria also cited. Ideas
about transformation with no distinct fall owe much to postmodern
thought, which rejects periodization concepts (see metanarrative).
What is not new are attempts to diagnose Rome's particular
problems, with Juvenal in the early 2nd century, at the height of
Roman power, criticizing the peoples' obsession with "bread and
circuses" and rulers seeking only to gratify these obsessions."
One could say that antiquity survived in the form of Constantinople
and the Eastern Roman empire until the Turks finally overan it in
Music is an interesting art form because it tends to evolve more
quickly than other cultural forms. Musical styles and tastes change
rapidly as well. In the range of music being listened to there's
perhaps 500 years that the modern ear has patience with.
There's some confusion as to when the Rennaissance started in
Europe. The notion is that "classical" forms of science, art,
philosophy, architectecture etc.. were rediscovered or re-
introduced to Europe. Some say the Renaissance began in the 1300's.
The Arabs claim that their colony in Spain, Al-Andalus started the
Rennaisance in Europe by transmitting the knowledge the Arabs got
from antiquity. The height of Al-Andulus was 912-961 c.e.
I received a catalog in the mail. It looked like a slim monograph
of an artist's work. The cover is a photograph of a women in a
black above the knee cocktail dress looking into a swimming pool in
the back of her Richard Neutra 1957 modernist home. At fist I
thought it was a photographers monograph. Some neo-punk redo of
1960's American suburban fantasy. the upper left hand corner title
says," distinctly modern." The lower right corner says, "Americana
Manhassett. 1956 - celebrating 50 years - 2006. Manhasset is a
shopping maul in Long Island, New York.
Inside are fashion shots of women and men in stunningly beautiful
clothes in front of modernist buildings. It's a nostalgia for the
1960's American technological Utopia.
Recently the U.A.E tried to take over the operations of the ports
in the US. The Global one percent that actually owns the world
didn't see anything odd about this. CNN began to do a series of
reports on Dubai which is called, "The Las Vegas" of the Middle
East. Dubai is so wealthy from oil money that they have built
islands in the shape of palm trees in their harbor to create homes
and condominiums. They are building the tallest building in the
world in downtown Dubai which is experiencing a huge building boom.
The actual forces of the modern world, the "Libertie, Equalitie,
Franternitie," of the French and American Revolutions are in a
battle with Neo-Midieval forces of multinational globalism.
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