Essay Page 3
But when that becomes, "oh, you artists are out of touch," I see an unjustified shift in target. That shift, so closely coupled with a dismissal of scholarly language that precludes argument, becomes a distrust of scholarship and social critics in and of themselves. It becomes an anti-intellectualism boasting of itself, not to mention using that boast to choke serious creative or critical inquiry. In the guise of rebelling against authority, it becomes a cheap excuse for an authoritarian agenda. Are there more writers than readers? Judging by the number of blogs and comments on blogs, it's hard to count, but I would hesitate to call that in and of itself a shame on writers rather than on readers.

It's become pretty obvious that in my lifetime conservatism has allied itself with anti-intellectualism. I can only speculate about the reasons. A distrust of thought? A fear that conservative ideas wouldn't hold up

to serious thought? A manipulative and pretended populism, like much of the culture wars and the old Southern strategy, to gain votes for an economic elite?

The article is absolutely right to subject to criticism the insider complacency of poor writers and the programs that nurture them. To do so only to celebrate a broader complacency, however, is disgusting.

John H.

Reply from Danyll Wills:

Master of Fine Arts? I had never heard of this.

Who wrote this article? Did I miss the name somewhere? Great stuff, though. I agree completely. Then again, I also think the worst thing to happen to businesses in the world