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October 24, 2002

Free Reads -- Righties and Pleasure again

Friedrich --

Brian Micklethwait at, here, has been following our gabfest about righties and pleasure, and has now entered the fray. If I understand him correctly (these Brits! So educated and articulate!), he's presenting the notion that while lefties tend to move from personal preferences to entire worldviews -- ie., they want to dominate with their tastes -- righties see taste and pleasure taking place under the auspices of more substantial activities, such as politics, economics and business.

Sample passage:

If you are a lefty, you believe in actively shaping the details of the big wide world out there. You and your friends are going to plan it, shape it, sculpt it, collectively and democratically if you are being nice about it. Therefore your opinions about everything, including art, are a public issue. If you prefer abstract impressionism to neo-realism, then you have a positive duty to say so, because when you have finally become the Benevolent Despot of Everything of Behalf of Everyone, your opinion is going to make a big difference to all those favoured or thwarted artists and art fans out there. Ditto your opinions about history, geography, biology, nuclear physics, literary criticism, sport, car design or car abolition.



posted by Michael at October 24, 2002


"because when you have finally become the Benevolent Despot of Everything of Behalf of Everyone, your opinion is going to make a big difference to all those favoured or thwarted artists and art fans out there"

Doesn't everyone think this way? Who doesn't want to be in the spotlght for at least a few moments because of something they've done or something they know? The only reason more righties don't do it is because they just don't care as much about art. A conservative friend of mine is so pleased that he knows something about Chagall, but that is the extent of his knowledge of art history and he will keep it that way. But, he knows lots of things about politics and philosophy, so in that arena he is a "Benevolent Despot".

So what's the dif?

Posted by: Alexandra on October 25, 2002 11:33 AM

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