The cradle will fall. As in, the line from the movie Cradle Will Rock. I really should be working but my wife put on the video and I’d forgotten how much I like that movie. I bought the book about it just now, and a recording of a performance of the theatrical production.

I’d really like to teach a class on this film, like teach all or as much as possible of the historical material required for folk to get all the references. I’ve not read the books, but in poking around a bit I found references to the CIA encouraging abstract expressionism. There’s a scene in the movie along those lines – Rockefeller and friends talk about how it will serve their interests to promote art which is non-representational. Now, the film complicates this by its criticism of Rivera and Orson Welles and by implication the play itself – these form counterpoints to the art the industrialist connoisseurs want to see – but I think there’s a legitimate complaint voiced there. I don’t want to get into politics and aesthetics in general. I think the relationship between the two is always contextual, and I’m skeptical of political claims about various realist and political art works, in terms of political efficacy. Those caveats aside, I think there’s any parallel to be made re: my tipsy complaints about academic marxism in my last post – taking ‘aesthetic’ and ‘philosophical’ interchangeable for the purposes of this post.

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