Mainstream American culture has produced some fine examples of music, writing and other art over the two centuries plus of its existence, but has clearly drifted since the end of World War II into an increasingly banal and uninspired mass culture. Many say this has been intentional, to help suppress the spread of dissent and free thinking so often found in creative circles. The American mainstream today – and for many decades – rewards superficial sexuality and insipid messages with great fame and fortune, while the multitudes of creative individuals and ideas languish in the shadows. The internet is changing this to some extent, but more is needed to unleash the seemingly hidden brilliance of millions of minds – songwriters, writers of fiction and poetry, essayists, painters. But this revolution of artistic freedom must of necessity include realms not typically thought of as art – gardening, natural medicines, mechanics – human life itself. We are all at heart creative beings – creativity and free will are the hallmarks of being a human. We cannot allow the tyrants and powers that be diminish human freedom any further by limiting artistic expression, free thinking and dissemination of ideas, or to suppress direct challenges to their power that come via politically inspired art and creative human enterprise. The inspiration fueled by art in all of its diversity, creates the joy and truthful self understanding that underlies a successful revolution.
artwork and photographs by Anselm Spring