For a defence of the Christian basis of Western culture who better to turn to than a pagan lesbian feminist? Camille Paglia, acerbic cultural commentator and professor of liberal arts at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, is not known for pulling her punches. In Glittering Images, my Book of the Year, she is in good form.
In essays on 29 works of art as varied as Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon and George Lucas’ Revenge of the Sith she makes the point that there has to be something deeper in a work than mere acceptability to an isolated cultural elite. For Paglia the spiritual quest is what defines all great art.
The argument of this slim volume is the important one that the progressive assault on religion has taken its toll on art. “Sneering at religion is juvenile, symptomatic of a stunted imagination. Yet that cynical posture has become de rigueur in the art world—simply another reason for the shallow derivativeness of so much contemporary art, which has no big ideas left.”
Paglai mourns the almost total demise of cultural understanding of Christianity in the West. “If you are an artist and you don’t recognise the name of Moses then the West is dead. It’s over. It has committed suicide.”
Hospitality is urged on Christians, and what better time to practice it than Christmas. Unfortunately hospitality sometimes carries a high price. This Christmas in order to accommodate the wishes of a guest, unfortunately a blood relative, we watched Strictly Come Dancing for the first and last time. As a raucous celebration of irredeemable tawdriness it must be unrivalled.
Hyperbole, cattiness, sneering and audience reactions reminiscent of bear baiting is clearly the favoured viewing of 13 million Britons. The descendants of Shakespeare, Milton, Burns and Dickens have sold their birthright for a mess of sequins. The cultural devastation caused by programmes such as this is incalculable.
CurchAds procured the services of allegedly ‘top designers’ to produce the poster bellow which must surely be the most stomach churning image of the year. What would be the reaction of Camille Paglia?
The only good thing about it is that the designers offered their services free.
The staff of ChurchAds are in agreement with the producers of Strictly Come Dancing that catering to the lowest cultural common denominator pays dividends. 2012 is marked as the year when we cried out for more pagan lesbian feminists.