Thursday, December 15, 2005

A reason for poetry

Artistic and creative types do have more sex, a British survey suggests. (Is it really speaking only of men, as all the examples suggest?)

Promiscuous Picasso, Lord Byron the philanderer, Dylan Thomas the boozy womaniser: these were not simply bonking Bohemians, it seems, but artists doing what their genes told them to do. According to the researchers the greater the artistic endeavour, the larger the sexual appetites. (There are some obvious exceptions to this rule: Julio Iglesias once boasted that he had had sex with 3,000 women, but has never yet sung a decent song.)

Well, of course. This explains why high-school literary magazines survive. It's not the quality of the writing, but the fact that one is a writer. Ditto garage bands and more.

In the political realm, meanwhile, say the authors of Nation of Rebels, art and coolness become a substitute for, y'know, actually knowing something about economics and politics.

Heath and Potter criticize such theorists as Michel Foucault and Theodore Roszak. Under their influence, "Traditional leftist concerns, such as poverty, living standards and access to medical care, came to be seen as 'superficial,'…[compared to] 'the psychic liberation of the oppressed.'" The boring old Left never stood a chance against the new one: "Doing guerilla theater, playing in a band, making avant-garde art, taking drugs and having lots of wild sex certainly beat union organization as a way to spend the weekend."

Both links via Arts and Letters Daily. Tags: , , ,


Blogger Jason said...

I thought "Nation of Rebels" was a thought-provoking read, certainly a book many on the "left" need to look at. I found that the book confirmed many of my own beliefs about the "counter-culture". But then I have never embraced the notion of being a "radical" or that my forays into the arts was a replacement for actual activism and community involvement.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Chas S. Clifton said...


You would agree, then, that giant puppets and street theatre do not produce useful social change?


2:15 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Not only would I agree, but have expressed this controversial belief to my anarchist/indymedia pals.


9:57 AM  
Blogger P-BS-Watcher said...

For some further thoughts on the significance of Heath and Potter's work see What If You Are Wrong?

11:02 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home