Friday, June 26, 2015

How Healthy Is Our Culture?

Anthony Esolen asks some simple but thought-provoking questions that we may use as a measuring rod in his essay ‘What Is a Healthy Culture?’.  Here are a few of them:

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How do we adorn our homes and our public places with art that comes from the people and is for the people? What whimsical craftsmanship is to be found on the steps of the post office, or the balustrade at the courthouse, or the eaves of the dry goods store? Do we build what is simple and sweet, or rather what is dull and drab? Do we build what is colorful and bold, or rather what is garish and obnoxious? Do we build what is noble and grand, or rather what is gigantic and inhuman?

What songs do we sing? If our captors asked us to sing the songs of Sion in an alien land, would we know any? How many of us could pick up a guitar or a fiddle nearby and play a love song passed down from ear to hand to ear to hand, from one generation to the next? What music brings together grandparent and grandchild?

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When we get together with all of our neighbors, what do we do? Do we build a house, raise a barn, glean the corn, bale the hay, march in parade, listen to patriotic speeches, play music, compete in games of skill or speed or strength, sing songs, honor the dead, or fall to our knees in prayer? Do we in fact do anything with our neighbors?

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