A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, art, morality, conventionalism, myth, and society

Art or culture or philosophy must ply its genius today against this most prodigious opponent in all of history-human self-obliviousness, man's deific powers of denial and delusion, the nescience buried in the heart of science. Art must keen its scalpel for one sure incision, it must razor the bladder of an inflationary corpus of hypertrophic beliefs so deftly that the violence is only felt after the fact. Delusion must be lanced like a boil bloated to purple distension: art is not the play of pretty illusions-entertainment is that whoring pastime-but rather righteous and wise disillusion, judicious severing of a malignancy. Art is far from amoral; it is in crusade against lying and trivializing conventional morality and must transcend that snakepit of corruption, certainly; but amoral it is not, in no way is it free to be neutral and objective. Art is either the lancet of a higher truth, a law superior to any of man's pleasant and flattering rhetorical reasonings, or else it has no authority, no right to command anyone's attention. Art traffics with the divine, that is, the hidden or occult, the mythic, which is after all of the very essence of man, the stuff his character and even his life are ultimately woven from. A wise society knows to have contempt for egomaniacal poseurs playing onanistically with art supplies, and a foolish society imagines that "art is whatever artists may do."

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave