Thursday, May 04, 2006

Appreciation and Confusion

Two items from today's news caught my attention. The first reminded me of one of the West's debts to Islamic culture (yes, Islamic culture), and the second merely confused me. George Mgrdichian died. He was one of the foremost players of the oud. Ouds are lute-like instruments from the Middle East, which are precursors of the modern guitar. In fact the word "lute" is from the French "l'oude," meaning an "oud." We don't think much of Islamic culture these days, only violence, terrorism, and nuclear confrontation. But in the Middle Ages, Islamic society all but saved Western philosophy, and created a vibrant, syncretistic culture unknown to most Americans. For more information on ouds, here is a link.

The second item I offer as evidence of the decay of the West and its artistic culture. This painting by Picasso sold for $95.2 million! What's even sadder is that it does not represent the highest figure paid for a Picasso ($104 million). It beat out Van Gogh and Monet at auction. All I can say is that I have grown un-accustomed to her face. I simply cannot fathom spending $95 dollars on this violation of every aesthetic value I can think of, never mind $95 million. The longer one looks at this skeletal, nightmarish face, the more disturbing it becomes. It is an apt symbol for a culture "circling the drain."


Blogger anman said...

Picrapsso. Teehee. I make an intelligent play on words.

2:43 AM  

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