The Real World


I have maintained a state of non-relevance for most of the year in this column for it is (is) my intention that art shouldn't be made relevant in order for it to be applied to everyday life and there - fore to be socially acceptable and useful. At the same time I have fought for the survival of art and the encouragement of contemporary artists . There are however, things which exist in every day life which affect artists at their work; things which may make it impossible for them to work freely or impossible for them to maintain the hu- manity of all men when those men are perpetrating such atrocities on each other. One of those things was and is the Attica uprising and its consequences. I wasn't really sure about what I was going to write about until I put our cover together with the guardsmen interview, the trials of Lenny Bruce and the proposed departure of one of my friends from this country so that he can maintain a sane mind and continue to be an artist. I did a paper, way back in high school, on Oscar Wilde, a Victorian playwright who was at the head of his craft until he was accused of homo- sexuality. After his trials and conviction a London newspaper, the Echo (May 1895), said, "The best thing for everybody now is to forget all about Oscar Wilde, his perpetual posings, his aesthetical teachings and his theatrical productions. Let him go into si- lence, and be heard no more." Wilde was convicted primarily on the testimonies given by paid actors and male prostitutes and "evidence" found in his novel, The Picture of Dorian Grey. The cross-exami- ner claimed that the book was perverted. Wilde left prison two years later, left England and wrote nothing again except a poem on the execution of a prisoner.

WANT TOS'E audience elimination


Lenny Bruce died of an overdose of drugs. After the obscenity trials in regard to his nightclub act, he was never called on again to perform in the volume that he had been before (see The Trials of Lenny Bruce, page 26). Once again the evidence for condemnation was the man's creation, something he did for adult, paying audiences for entertainment and education. Both Wilde and Bruce said things which apply to the precarious state of the artist in society even today. Wilde: "No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did he would cease to be an artist. 11 Bruce claimed that society was messed up when it came to viewing things as they really are instead of the way they think it shoul be. I think the trouble is that artists do see things as they 1 'really are" and that is why their creations


STR-PilT 23 MARCK 1972

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