Volume 10, Issue 9, page 10

may be one way for one poem, painting, or song,
and entirely different for the next.

But the important point is that each of
these "artistic creations" must be explained
in words. But if you believe you are going to
comprehend this art when it is translated into
English words, you are not aware of the subtleties of it. Fbr you cannot comprehend the
English language explanations of it if you understand only English-English -- you must have a
thorn background in the Language of Appreciation, which utilizes variants of both language
and logic. NOT can you rely on what you have
previously thought w e r e t h e components of
logic, as this sort of art utilizes new nuances of logic, which can be understood only
by those who have spent many years in intense
study (or invention) of it. Thus: anyone can
be an artist, but only a genius can comprehend
Art. This is the gist of the so-called Modernist approach to painting, prosody, and music.
It is the final triumph of criticism over creativity, as predicted by Oscar Wilde some time

In lieu of criticizing those who purport to
create the Modern Aestheticism -- the bogus professors holding chairs in the academies under
false certificates; the highly-lauded poseurs
who presume to be "artists" on the strength of
prizes won at art centers operated by charwomen
who struck oil on an inherited farm, tax-dodging merchants, and similar-minded "people" --
instead of being trapped into arguing with
these professional confidence men, we should
turn our attention instead to those who sorely
need help: those who have been swindled into
believing these confidence men are actually
artists, poets, or composers. The Assyrian
traders have a traditional aphorism which says
that you can talk anyone into anything as long
as you can hold his attention and keep his
mouth shut. This is the status of youth in
college. They are trapped. They present to the
professori an open ear and a flexible mind. It
is required that they comprehend, or pretend
to, what is being said about the Modern Aestheticism, and if they do not respond favorably they are heavily penalized for it. They
are by law required to parrot what these slick
confidence men in the colleges order them to
parrot. They are required to listen to an ass
braying in pidgeon-English, and they are required by law to repeat each nuance and subtlety of the ass's message, and if they do not
they are declared incompetent and sent off to
a psychiatrist for help, whereupon the psychiatrist adds to the burden of the innocent
victim of this plot. ,
If it were simply a matter of presenting
this twaddle to the public and letting it stand
or fall on merit, we would not have to assume
the ridiculous posture of reminding the world
that three orange peels on a black background
is in no wise Art. But young people have for
some decades now been forced to attend classrooms, and in the classroom a miscellaneous
collection of time-wasters have been pounding
nonsense into their heads, and forcing them to
accept it or else. This goes beyond anything
ever yet conceived by the Chinese as human
torture. It is a successful induction of insanity into the human mind. Anyone who believes
that a solid black rectangle is "Art" is simply
nuts. Anyone who thinks that Poetry is merely
a random arrangement of miscellaneous and unrelated words on a piece of paper is nuts.
Anyone who thinks they can hear something in a
George Antheil symphony is nuts. There is no
other way of saying it so clearly.

Some time ago I seriously proposed to various state governments that they solve most of
their problems simply by taking the signs that
say "College" and putting them on the insane
asylums, and putting the asylum signs on the
college campuses. Since, I have talked to a
number of former students, who having been
duly rendered insane were committed to the
asylums, and they tell me it was a relief, because they could learn more in the latter institution. In the asylum, when a "nut" puts a
random and unrelated scheme of words on apiece
of paper, and calls it "poetry", everyone
knows he is nuts. If they do it on the campuses, it is called "poetry". The nut-houses are
full of people who imagine themselves artists,
and who splotch paint on the bathroom walls,
the floors, the bedsheets, and whatnot. On a
college campus, if you are particularly frenetic and excited about the manner in which
you wield the brush, you may win a prize.

About 95 percent of the American public
knows that this counterfeiting in the Arts is
dangerous, and I have been asked many times
what can be done about it, what my suggestions
for returning sanity in the Arts might be. The
first thought that occurs to me, perhaps impractical, is to behead the professori involved
in this conspiracy against sanity. Certainly I
am not fool enough to believe that a person of
my meager linguistic talents is going to be
able to talk the professori out of their
racket. After all, they are able to talk hundreds of thousands of innocent youth into believing a whole system of what-ain't-so, and
they are professionals in the field of merchandising hot air. They get paid for doing and
saying what the schizophrenics in the mental
wards are locked up for, which indicates they
have some skill in linguistic hypnosis. Thousands upon thousands of people are drawing paychecks as "teachers", "instructors", and "professors" without having to know anything about
their subjects, and when you make such a
stringent requirement as expecting an instructor of literature to know something about literature and be able to write in English-English, you are tampering with the economic system. Keep this sort of campaign up and soon
the sleeping public will. be expecting mechanics
to repair automobiles satisfactorily, minis- n
ters to understand the doctrines they profess,
radio announcers to be able to pronounce such
simple words as "new" correctly, and in short,
you will be causing a revolution.

It is axiomatic that the quickest way to
pain the economy of the United States is to
raise the cultural level. H. L. Mencken once ;told me in a private correspondence that he >
had laid hands on a secret plan by a major a
radio network, when radio was popular, to
launch a campaign to educate chimps to basic
English so they could be sold toothpaste. He
said the toothpaste company, a subsidiary of
the network, projected a 30 percent sales increase based on the number of chimps then alive.

If we are going to have to work to make our
fellowmen understand that a black rectangle is
not comparable to the works of Whistler; if W
we are going to have to go to press to argue W
folks out of their belief that the siren-like 04
noises, snorts, and caterwauling of "atonal"
and "polyphonic" composers is not comparable a
to Mozart; if we must labor to point out the W
differences between the poetry of Tennyson and PO
the junk of Gertrude Stein -- if we are this far a
submerged in insanity and ignorance, what
chance have we at all? I believe that when any w
human being is so bereft of sanity that he ,g
will look at a painting by Rembrandt, and E..,
then one by a chimp, and call both of them
"Art", he is beyond help in this world. He is
beyond the range of psychiatric aid, he is beyond anything that metaphysics, religion, medicine, or fresh air and sunlight can do for him. 10