The Good Ol’ Days

  (05 July 09)
  by Greg Spearritt

According to art critic/”cultural commentator” Giles Auty, postmodernism has usurped communism as “Christianity's most persistent and relentless recent foe”:


Now postmodernism in all its largely Marxist-inspired guises - political correctness, gender theory, feminism, post-colonialism, determinism, deconstruction, relativism, structuralism, historical revisionism - has become a stealthier and thus even more sinister adversary that flourishes, generally unremarked, in our midst.


It’s a topic Giles has been banging on about for years. Especially in the arts and in education, it seems, an evil plot is unfolding, driven by the Devil’s Left-hand men (and, as even Giles would acknowledge, women).


Giles pines for the days when ‘the truth’ was singular and tradition ruled the roost: a time of “truth, honour, objectivity, altruism, justice and religious faith”.


Like, for instance, when priests were revered by a submissive public and merely shuffled from parish to parish if their proclivities for sex with little boys became inconvenient. A time when homosexuals were justly persecuted, when men altruistically barred women from tertiary education and the professions, and theft was uncommon (unless you counted the theft of country and children from heathen indigenous folk).


Ah, the good old days of traditional Christian authoritarianism. Don’t you miss ‘em?




Because I agree with Giles Auty’s views on post modernism and I overlook his other points of view, and just wish that more people would speak out or ‘bang on’ against post modernism. Perhaps people are worried that they will be thought of as living in the past, or having a closed mind, and they know other art movements were ridiculed at first, then admired, so they suspect post modernism might too be admired in the future.
Although post modernism is not very new now, little has developed since in the art world or in education because there is no way forward from post modernism. Because of the influence of post modernism, art colleges (now universities) no longer teach students drawing skills, colour theory or painting techniques such as glazing . A young person who is ‘good at drawing ‘, is unlikely to develop their talent. I do not enjoy going to galleries which show contemporary art as much as I used to. Post modernist art is mainly about concepts which academics can explain, but few enjoy viewing this art. Public galleries for modern art have turned to novelty and entertainment to attract the general public. In the commercial field, successful galleries draw upon the work of older established artists working in the traditional way in either a representational or abstract style. They ask high prices because there is a limited supply of this work. Indigenous art is more readily available and it is reasonably popular. Some smaller galleries exhibit photography rather than paintings or drawings.
Post modernism in education teaches students to criticise before they have begun to learn, and to look cynically at everything from the past, but fortunately I expect many teachers ignore this teaching trend as much as possible. I expect their students will learn and develop an understanding and enthusiasm for some subjects and will come forward with ideas of their own.

Posted by Helen Mason

The comment from me above starts with Because- leave this out.
Re-reading Greg's quote, I do want 'politically incorrect' attitudes to be promoted, and I can see it seems here that Auty would like this.
I disapprove of the didactic approach of post-modernism and the de-construction techniques that it teaches. Everything can be criticised, including great art, literature and music. If a critical approach is always taken, nothing will be appreciated, and as a result everything will seem worthless and creative talent stifled.

Posted by Helen Mason

Helen,Please check out these two references on modern art, both modernist and postmodernist.

Plus a related essay On Reality as IT IS via this page (scroll down for the essay url)

Plus if you want to find out what modern "education" (beginning in the cradle) is really all about please google This Little Kiddy Went To Market by Sharon Beder.

Posted by Sue

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