Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Section 3 Friday Matt

As I read Jameson's peace on aesthetics and Marxism, I began to think back on a class I took last semester pertaining to Japanese ritual and the art. The Japanese hold their aesthetics to a high ordeal. A few examples include mono no aware (meaning an empathy towards things), mujo (impermanence), yugen (mysterious), etc. Their culture interests me in many ways, one being they hold one of the largest capital societies in the world while still maintaining their traditions, morales and ideals. While reading Jameson's essay I came across the quote, "The emergence of this kind of space will probably not involve problems of figuration so acute as those we will confront in the later stages of capitalism, since here, for the moment we witness that familiar process long generally associated with the Enlightenment, namely, the desacralization of the world, the decoding and secularization of the older forms of the sacred or transcendent, the slow colonization of use value by exchange value..." (Pg. 349)

Now, why is it that Western culture has compromised its aesthetics, its values and morales? Jameson feels that we gave those things up in return for "the truth" otherwise known as harsh reality and economics. Did we leave behind our beliefs and religion for a new, scientific Utopia? Or have we just become so enthralled with our magnificence in terms of creating new technologies and media that we have forgotten our roots? How is it that Western culture has left behind its aesthetics? Are we better off, or are we missing something that could possibly be the key to unlocking our true potential?

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