Friday, May 29, 2015

Flash, Fashion, Elevation

Cultures are numerous, but share elements and essential forms.

Cultural elements tend to relate to values; essential forms, to permanence and transience.  Last week's news held the attention, then vanished.  Such things as the Brandenburg concertos remain constant. In more visceral terms, so does a recording like "Mississippi Queen", by the rock group Mountain, or a film like Bullitt.

Directed by tradition, strive for originality of expression. Directed by media, passively consume and vicariously engage.  The former reflects individuality, potency, progress; the latter, collective, or herd mentality.  In terms of cultural significance, expressions of both style and substance yield the lasting meanings.