The Buzz of Endless Talk Revealing Nothing

In his latest Quadrant piece, our critical doctor shares his thoughts on graffiti, tattoos, noisy restaurants, and the lack of creativity in modern hotel room designs.

Few things reveal a man more than his aesthetic judgments, which is why so much art and architectural criticism, at least of contemporary art and architecture, fails to make any. A whole vocabulary is employed to avoid them: they are as much to be avoided as rude remarks at a garden party. Which of the desiderata of truth, beauty and goodness remains standing after the postmodernist assault?

One thought on “The Buzz of Endless Talk Revealing Nothing

  1. Hugh Mungus

    Every time I see graffiti, I’m reminded of walking my father’s dog when he was in the hospital. Every tree, shrub, and bush we passed inevitably prompted the dog to lift his leg and urinate, even if it was only a few drops because his bladder was almost empty. I understand that he was “marking his territory”: telling all the other creatures in the area that he was in the neighbourhood. A defender of graffiti once made exactly that claim about graffiti: it let some (presumably lonely) soul tell the world it was there. Perhaps there is something to that but given that human beings are responsible for graffiti, I can’t help but wish they’d restrict their efforts to their own property and leave it off public property or the private property of others. While a dog is going to continue to urinate on trees and bushes as a result of instinct, I’d like to think humans could be persuaded to keep their etchings from property that isn’t theirs. Am I being unreasonable?


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