J.R.R Tolkien (via heathenharnow)
I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it. Some things are too perfect.
And this is totally not a weird impulse.
(Really though…Tolkien was a total Fluttershy…or maybe Fluttersparkle, for the academics.)
“Everyone’s trying to get rich, or bitching that they’re poor. People no longer discuss music, but their financial stability. Furthermore, money is the ultimate arbiter. If someone sells a lot of tickets or a lot of tracks you can’t say a negative thing about them. This coarsens our society. Critical thinking is crucial to a healthy arts scene. Something can be successful and suck. Conversely, it can be obscure and great. If your first question is ‘how do I make money?’, you shouldn’t be in music.”
excerpt from the latest lefsetz letter “top ten issues”
I admit I’m biased, but I sincerely think the downward slope in critical thinking and empathy in our society is directly connected to the denial of the arts as valuable.
Now me and my brother are very different learners, but the difference in our educations has been astounding and disheartening. There are seven years between us, so it’s really noticeable. When I was in school, there was major support for the arts. Summer school offered theatre and painting and creative writing alongside remedial math and grammar, and each class cost about $5 and there was a scholarship program. There were electives on ceramics and advanced music theory and lighting and scenic design in the high school. Now, the summer school program is gone. When students fulfill their Core 40 requirements in the high school, there is nothing for them to take but study halls and weightlifting, or they’re told to do “flex schedule” which means “just show up for the bare minimum of classes because we can’t be bothered to actually educate you”. The theatre program has collapsed and IB art isn’t far behind. Band and choir hang on because they’re involved with the football programming.
Being involved in the arts teaches people everything employers claim they are searching for in an employee: collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, time management skills, communication skills, personal responsibility. Literally everything that a person needs to apply industry specific knowledge effectively in a work environment.
But because those are skills that can’t easily be measured or tested straight away, the vehicles for teaching them are labeled “poor investments”, “unnecessary frills”, “not conducive to the curriculum”.
Talk about shooting yourself in the foot and then wondering where your toes went.