Homes Tuesday April 22, 1952

It was Gilbert Seldes who wrote in the early twentieth century of the importance of the Lively Arts, those immediately affecting cinematic gyroscopes and portraits of the popular imaginary. The lively arts, he mused, are constitutive of life itself, spurring its spontaneous propagation while the Great Arts lay in hallowed & cobwebbed tombs of eternal abstraction, hoping to prod the passing intellect of inkhorns.

The Bogus Arts, Seldes explained, are those which merit no scrutiny nor a passing muster. They are the stuff of middle-brow taste, effecting corruption on the youths and passing off cheap tricks for subtle meanings.

The Bogus Arts of Seldes' time are recapitulated in the early twenty-first century as the commercial advertisement; the pop song; and the realish programs on the televis that offer sad sounds of weeping minstrels, buoyant adderall-filled boys, and cathartic mistakes in the guise of inebriated decision-making.

These arts fulfill a role, to be sure, not unlike the narrative cinema of DW Griffiths who Seldes so despised. They assume the posture of othertypes of lively arts but without their immediacy (they are prone to syndication) or their emotional assuagement.

What of the horrid bodymarks of beachy teens? The misplaced sextual devotions? The boisterous pursuits of misogynist comics? Lively, nay. Bogus to the end.

And what a splendid term it is for hackneyed durgesses seeking solace.

-H.E. Homes