Saturday, January 14, 2012

They Had Real Heroes Then

On listening to an piano concerto by Franz Liszt, I was reminded that he and his friend Frederic Chopin were once the idols of Paris. In the early 19th century, they were lionized in salons as well as concert halls, most likely in cafés. Women adored and pursued them. Their talent and creativity placed them among the great and worthy of the era.

Today, the objects of pursuit are over-paid athletes, limited-talent film stars, and no-talent rock musicians, the majority of whom soon fade from public consciousness. Mere entertainers have replaced creative painters, composers and performers in popular esteem.

A composer makes more money writing a jingle for a commercial than for a symphony, an artist for a corporate logo, or an actor for a product endorsement. Too often must creativity demean itself in order to survive.

The general populace is always in search of heroes. Is today's crowd searching in all the wrong places? Have we failed to produce men and women worthy of great praise? Or has our education system failed to develop in us appreciation for things that matter?

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