Friday, October 17, 2014

Myopic Elitism

According to a post on the ArtsBeat blog of The New York Times, the next TED conference will be a one-day gathering to ponder the question: "What is the best Broadway can be?" This seems like a vivid example of our inability to look into the past beyond a distance of 24 hours. Here we have one institution that used to be a ritual celebration allowing corporate elites to rub shoulders with "the best and the brightest" hand-picked by Richard Wurman deciding to ponder another institution, which, over the course of about a century, has deteriorated from a major form of popular entertainment to an evening (or matinee) spectacle that only the elite can afford. The good news is that dramatic creativity has plenty of outlets in far more modest settings across this country; but, in that world of market-based thinking that I bemoaned yesterday, creativity is no longer of interest to those in power unless it can be converted into economic value.

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