The space programme, necessary imperial wars, and the struggle for recognition in the interlocking corporations can provide purpose only for a small minority. Purpose for the majority will be found in the subsidiary ethos of the fun culture. It will meet the demands of those who live in affluence but are removed from any directing of the society.
One is tempted to state that the North American ethos is “the orgasm at home and napalm abroad,” but in the nervous mobile society, people have only so much capacity for orgasm, and the flickering messages of the performing arts will fill the interstices.
They provide the entertainment and release which technological society requires. THe public purpose of art will not be to lead men to the meaning of things, but to titivate, cajole, and shock them into fitting into a world in which the question of meaning is not relevant. The humanities in the universities will become handmaidens in this task.
George Grant, “The University Curriculum”
This Magazine is About Schools, 1967-68