Monday, September 05, 2016

September 5, 2016--Dreams and Wishes of Previous Labor Days

A good friend, Lynne Roth, sent me this riff on my blog about art history and cultural comodification. With her approval, I send it on to you. There's a lot here to enjoy and think about.

Dreams and Wishes of Previous Labor Days

Greetings and good wishes for a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.

Labor Day used to be celebrated by attending picnics hosted by a variety of unions where politicians shook hands, gave speeches and distributed campaign paraphernalia. My father was an electrical contractor here in Northwest Indiana but this was common throughout America when we had more industries and you could see, smell and hear the fruits of the laborers.  Sometimes we skipped the picnics, piled into the car and drove 25 miles west to Chicago and visited the Museum of Natural History or Science and Industry or the Chicago Art Institute. After we viewed various exhibits we then traipsed over to Grant Park and had our picnic and did some people watching.

Your blog today [about art history] painfully points out how times have changed.  Youth demands  to be entertained differently but it must be "huge" no matter the price. I like your written and visual comparisons. The prices fine art and antiques fetch have been driven higher by greed and the desire to flaunt consumption.  (My choice, if wealth or space were not challenged, would be one or two pieces from "Lure of the Forest" by Emilie Brzezinski.)

My maternal grandmother taught me "If wishes were horses beggars would ride."

So, rather than risk being shot to death in Chicago or at a local union picnic while other attendees debate national or local politics I will try to avoid the crowds and visit a museum or two via my tablet or laptop.  The apps available will take me to a variety of museums in different cities and countries. However nothing substitutes the joy experienced when viewing the real thing for the first time while on a sojourn through the major cities of Europe, America and Far East. Those trips were the fruits of my labors and exceeded my wildest dreams. 

While mulling over your blog I thought of the loss our world will experience when students are not provided art history in their curriculum. Most of my exotic travels are arm chair via CSPAN, PBS or a book. 

My goal this weekend is to take a break from all media delivering messages of terrorists' attacks, weather catastrophes, Trump's pirouetting, Clinton's deceiving webs, and pundits' predictions. I join [your] wish on Tuesday that we could go to the polls now, vote, and end the madness.

So off I go to sit under the trees, read a book and if I am lucky, catch a cat nap and maybe dream of the good old days.

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