Wagner and Cultural Revolution

“Wagner was as committed as ever to the overthrow of existing conditions. However, the scope of his rebellion had changed. His desire for change now went deeper than the political process in terms of its end and beyond the political process, beyond even revolutionary politics, in terms of the means to bring that revolutionary change …

High Standards Lead to Relativism

“Even so, most people still tend [to] think of the popular arts as ‘lowbrow’ entertainment and not something to be thought about or evaluated as art. This has disastrous consequences for the cultivation of Christian discernment . . .Undermining the status of popular art has not led to education of the audience to heighten appreciation; …

Magazined

“We adults look around, for example, and observe that while brain surgeons and Nobel laureates probably have their good points, surely glossy-magazine editors are the most impressive people in America. Every month, in the front of their magazines, many of them have to write those six-hundred word columns with titles like ‘From the Editor’s Desk’ …

The Tombs of the Prophets

“Every rock anthem, every fashion statement, every protest gesture, every novel about rebellious youth—starting with The Catcher in the Rye and On the Road—carried the same cultural message: It’s better to be a nonconformist than a conformist, a creative individualist than a member of a group, a rebel than a traditionalist, a daring adventurer than …

The Bedlam of the Elites

“There is no one single elite in America. Hence, there is no definable establishment to be oppressed by and to rebel against. Everybody can be an aristocrat within his own Olympus. You can be an X Games celebrity and appear on ESPN2, or an atonal jazz demigod and be celebrated in obscure music magazines. You …