It was all so innocent once, when the world was still a work of art, before theory waged war with tradition, rejecting history, hefting irony atop the totem of ideals, transgressing the shrines of memory.
Now all the beauties once conceived lay stranded in the garish color of that cold light, circumstantial wrecks on a shallow sea of culture.
The individual drifts, suffering an artless version of reality with all the genius stripped away, and life is a strange symmetry of deviation, pushed to extremes by ancestral brutes unchained.
Better instincts are confounded.
All the media titillate with peepshow and vulgarity, parading caricatures of America and engineering an idle generation so derisive and disrespectful it is pleased to insult even itself; mediocrity is compelled on tides of sweet elision and exaggerated fact; an invasive commercialism seduces blithe consumers to bankruptcy, by and by; and a splendid erection is the people’s Golden Calf.
And as this utter democracy unfolds around it, the country holds it breath; nothing heroic survives the attack on excellence; the sublime yields to the superabundant; and freedom wilts in the wind of its own excess.