Saturday, April 11, 2009

Kurt Andersen vs. Art Center


THE writer, public radio host (of the eclectic culture show "studio 360") and SPY magazine co-founder kurt andersen has been at pasadena's art center college of design over the last few months. his title -- this gives him the appropriate degree of embarrassment -- is "visionary in residence." (art center is a very cool design school, in a stunning hillside/modernist setting, that has experienced some turmoil recently.)

HERE is my piece on andersen and his time in socal in sunday's LAT. i found him about as i expected -- smart, cool, somewhat midwestern. in high school and early college i was a spy fanatic so was a kick to meet one of the guys behind it.

also really enjoyed his piece "the end of excess: is this crisis good for america?" this is a long, thoughtful and somewhat speculative cover story of the kind american magazines almost never run: it makes absolutely clear that we can no longer dismiss time magazine, where it appeared, as mere middlebrow fluff. (as the whole culture has sunk, middlebrow has become increasingly valuable.)

his piece takes as its premise that the '80s -- with its worship of unregulated capitalism, material pleasures, celebrity and so on -- never ended, until last fall. he asks, what was that long weekend about and what comes next?

Photo credit: kurtandersen.com

4 comments:

Milton said...

I've Googled it a ton of times and can't find the source. (A lesson: don't drink and read.) But there's a quote I savor: "When luxury becomes necessity, evil follows."

Scott Timberg said...

weirdly, the story >doesnt< come up with a google (i think this must come from a times ed using "anderson" as a keyword.)

but why not click on my "HERE"? dont they have hyperlinks in connecticut?

(that quote is quite nice and an excellent demonstration of the protestant/yankee sensibility.)

Milton said...

or Buddhist sensibility ... or Plains Indian sensibility ... or Mennonite sensibility ...

Scott Timberg said...

indeed... many cultures have that austere worldview in common... i imagine a soviet-era russian as well, where any comfort was seen as "decadent westernism" or something...