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I have been through many New Year's Eves, 61 to be exact, but somehow this one seemed a little different. For the first time I feel solidly within the 21st Century. I did not feel that way after that absurd celebration of the millennium on New Year's Eve 2000, nor even last year. Probably it just took time to sink in. But now I am feeling that the 20th Century is over, completely over.
I am not unhappy about that. In my teens and 20's I read a lot of science fiction and was eager for the "future" to arrive. Now it has. It's just that some characteristics of the 20th Century, good or bad, seem as remote as the 1800's, good or bad. A few days ago I saw Aviator, in which Leonardo DiCaprio plays Howard Hughes. I loved the movie and the character of Hughes as portrayed in it, but a man like him seemed as much of an artifact of the past as a cowboy on a cattle drive to Dodge. We may mourn the passing of both (I do, although it's considered old-fashioned and unhip), but we must look ahead.
I dozed off before midnight last night, and woke up when the San Francisco fireworks went off. I saw a few of the tedious "celebrations" on TV, then tried to get back to sleep, but too many thoughts kept me awake for a while.
Among them, I thought of the art world, that is the world of museums, art schools, galleries, critics, historians. It occurred to me that there no longer is an avant-garde in the art world. That world is solidly anchored in the 20th Century.
But there is creativity, perhaps more than ever, with a new avant-garde. It exists on the Internet, and in the new technology which is changing the world faster and more radically than any 20th Century event, including the Hiroshima bomb. That, among other reasons, is why I started blogging. The 20th Century boundaries between engineering and style, design and art, and art and technology are gone. I was alive during the Fabulous Fifties, the Sixties, and the Summer of Love. But there has never been as exciting a time as now.—JDLblog comments powered by Disqus Comments (View)
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