Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

The Upper Middlebrow

with one comment

UPDATE: A Twitter conversation spawned by the article, minus the @_machinic_ quotes that aren’t public that make the stupid thing readable: Twitter v. The Wire v. Climate Change.

The upper middle brow possesses excellence, intelligence, and integrity. It is genuinely good work (as well as being most of what I read or look at myself). The problem is it always lets us off the hook. Like Midcult, it is ultimately designed to flatter its audience, approving our feelings and reinforcing our prejudices. It stays within the bounds of what we already believe, affirms the enlightened opinions we absorb every day in the quality media, the educated bromides we trade on Facebook. It doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know, doesn’t seek to disturb—the definition of a true avant-garde—our fundamental view of ourselves, or society, or the world.

One Response

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  1. Not sure where to fit this into the twitter conversation, but I simply don’t think that brow levels have any particular correlation with political impulse or otherwise. A lot of art at all brow levels, high to low, doesn’t lead to any political impulse; similarly a lot at all levels does. They’re just different issues.

    Stephen Frug

    November 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm


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