Aphorisms on Consumerism and Genius

Aphorisms on Consumerism and Genius

by Joseph Suglia

In consumer culture, genius is reduced to the level of vulgarity.  And vulgarity is elevated to the level of genius.

Everyone gets an award, and everyone is famous, which means that no one is famous.

The real problem is this—everyone is an artist, which means that no one is an artist.  Everything is a work of art, which means that nothing is a work of art.  There is a general lack of aesthetic discrimination, and this can be seen in the rise of the hipster and in the rise of self-publication, unfortunately.  A novel is published every five minutes.

Joseph Suglia

12 thoughts on “Aphorisms on Consumerism and Genius

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  2. Very interesting! I understand your point, Dr. Suglia. Provocative. However…
    If I’m but a genius in my own mind, and it leaves me with a feeling of contentment for having started and finished something meaningful to me, it may or may not be art to anyone but me. I am, nevertheless, an artist. Not necessarily a good one.
    On the other hand, if my books sell, someone is discriminating between my work and millions of others’ even though there ARE millions of others. That’s part talent, part perseverance, and part marketing.
    In fact, not everyone does get an award, at least not for writing. While your premise is a fascinating one, only one writer in ten thousand (ten million?) earns a living at it.
    Poverty is discriminatory. So is success. I would assert that’s just as true for art as it is for business. In my humble opinion.
    For myself, I remain hopeful.
    Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Dr. Suglia.

    Gene Jurrens

  3. I think your estimate of a novel published every 5 minutes is probably way off. More like every 5 seconds I think. Which means that it is marketing rather than artistry which sells them.

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  6. A salient piece and an uncomfortable truth from Dr J. The mass media perpetuates the dangerous myth of the super individual, ‘We are all somehow special, unique – More babies good, less babies bad …’ when in fact, with a burgeoning population currently destined to reach 10 billion in a few years, we are less and less special, and the opportunities and motivations for individuality restricted and increasingly redundant. And with any unorthodox creativity likely to be drowned in the ocean of noise and mediocrity, the direction of travel looks bad. (In the future, it won’t just be domain name that is already taken. They’ll be several other version of you across a crowded planet – all thinking themselves ‘special’.)

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