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Reply #3: The phenomena of Anti-mimesis, aka; "Life imitating art" known long before television [View All]

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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-17-10 03:32 PM
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3. The phenomena of Anti-mimesis, aka; "Life imitating art" known long before television
combined with the mystical, magical, psychological power of TV; has lead it to become a most powerful tool in the art of brainwashing the people.

I agree with you on all counts but as for the answers; I believe the Internet will play a large part in that endeavor but not without challenge from the power mongers in control of the status quo.

Anti-mimesis is a philosophical position that holds the direct opposite of mimesis. Its most notable proponent is Oscar Wilde, who held in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying that "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life". In the essay, written as a Platonic dialogue, Wilde holds that such anti-mimesis "results not merely from Life's imitative instinct, but from the fact that the self-conscious aim of Life is to find expression, and that Art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realise that energy.".<1><2>


Antimimesis, as set out by Wilde in Decay of Lying is the reverse of the Aristotelian principle of mimesis. Far from art imitating life, as mimesis would hold, Wilde holds that art sets the aesthetic principles by which people perceive life. What is found in life and nature is not what is really there, but is that which artists have taught people to find there, through art. Wilde presents the fogs of London as an example, arguing that although "there may have been fogs for centuries in London", people have only "seen" the "wonderful brown fogs that come creeping down our streets, blurring the gas lamps and turning houses into shadows" because "poets and painters have taught the loveliness of such effects". "They did not exist", asserts Wilde, "till Art had invented them."<1>


George Bernard Shaw agreed with Wilde. In his preface to Three Plays he wrote "I have noticed that when a certain type of feature appears in painting and is admired as beautiful, it presently becomes common in nature; so that the Beatrices and Francescas in the picture galleries of one generation come to life as the parlor-maids and waitresses of the next.". He stated that he created the aristocratic characters in Cashel Byron's Profession as more priggish than real aristocrats because at the time of writing he had yet to discover that "what supposed to be the real world does not exist, and that men and women are made by their own fancies in the image of the imaginary creatures in youthful fictions, only much stupider". Shaw, however, disagreed with Wilde on some points. He considered most attempts by life to imitate art to be reprehensible, in part because the art that people generally chose to imitate was idealistic and romanticized.<4>

As for the last sentence, I view the concepts or messages of "greed is good," "the exceptionalism of America" and "the power of pride" as being a few small but fundamental examples.

Symbols ie: the flag have taken precedence over substance ie: the Constitution, children are taught to pledge allegiance to a colored cloth not the document which all Presidents and Privates swear an oath to uphold and defend.

Thanks for the thread, Go2Peace :thumbsup:
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