Volume 10, Issue 9, page 9

An Attack on Modern Education
In the Field of Aesthetics
HE FASCINATING thing about so-called
Modern Art and Modern Poetry and
Modern Music is that there are sizable hunks of humanity who think
they see something in the mess.

Chief victims of this hoax are the
younger folk, especially those who have
had the "benefit " of a college education.
Recently I had a long discussion with several college students who sought to explain to me why three orange peels pasted
on a black piece of paper was "Art". We
concluded that I could not comprehend
this "Art" due to my lack of education.

Similarly, if my brain, when more
elastic than it is now, had been adjusted
by one of those curious specimens today
haunting college classrooms wearing badges
of "Professors", I would not say to you
W that 20 words arranged geometrically on a
i piece of paper is not poetry. Nor would I
declare, with the abrupt simplicity that
I write this, that the miscellaneous
sound produced by a polyphonic or atonal
"composer" is not music. In short, I have
too much sense to believe there is anything in this modern junk, and too little
education to comprehend whatever it is
that the illuminati think they see in it.

You must realize that this New Art is
essentially verbal, whether it is a painting, a symphony, or a poem. It cannot
stand alone, but requires many pages of
explanation and a handful of elongated
terms to justify its existence. Contrawise, you need no such education to comprehend and appreciate a Schubert song, a
Rembrandt painting, or a poem by Thomas
More. Whereas the Modern Art is most difficult to "appreciate", it is so simple
to create that the higher apes can do it.
The Art that most of us who boast of oldfashioned sanity can comprehend, requires
a genius to produce. The people who can
create Art of the modern type outnumber
those who can appreciate it. This is a reversal of the traditional position of the
artist to the society. Under this scheme,
society at large becomes the "artists ",
capable of creating Art Unlimited, and
the true elite, the savants, the illuminati, are those few persons who can comprehend the Art after it has been created.
To substantiate this argument, let me declare that there is not among us one individual -- be he moron, idiot, genius, handicapped, or fully illiterate, who cannot
paint a "picture " comparable to those now
winning prizes at the exhibitions. Anyone
who can learn to draw quarter notes, half
notes, and whole notes on manuscript can
compose a symphony that will sound every
bit as_professiohal as the works of contemporary "composers". Students in the
second grade can write "poems " equal to,
if not surpassing, those presently winning
prizes at poetry contests held by the
tax-supported colleges and universities.

This is the truly democratic approach to
Art. There are no rules, no standards, no observable patterns. Each "artistic creation" is
to be viewed according to its awn laws, which
ED. NOTE -- Jack Felts
is director of Pan Press
at Tahlequah, Okla., and
his wife, Beth Kramer
Felts, is a nationally