Looking down on petty usefulness

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died on this day in 1791 at the age of forty-five — allegedly at the hands of friend and fellow composer Antonio Salieri — while composing his final work, the Requiem. . .
Mozart-unfinished-Requiem 
If only everyone could feel the power
Of harmony like you! But no, for then
The world could not exist; no one would want
To spend time taking care of life’s low needs;
All would be given over to free art.
We are but few, we chosen, happy idlers
Who look disdainfully at petty usefulness
And form a priesthood serving only beauty.
Isn’t that so? But now I feel unwell. . . .

    -Mozart, moments before his death, in Aleksandr Pushkin’s play Mozart and Salieri.

6 thoughts on “Looking down on petty usefulness

  1. AvatarMichael Slivka

    This post nicely exposes the elitist mindset of the modern liberal in general, and Not My Tribe in particular. The chosen few, freed from the drudgery of having to work, to produce, in order to earn a living, can spend their days disdaining the “petty usefulness” of the producers, those who make it possible for an industrial society to function….jetting off to “slum” in third world locales. It must be pleasant for Marie and Eric to be able to live off the child support paid by Marie’s ex-husband, the good doctor, as he dutifully pays for those six kids. But the preferred methods of obtaining wealth for the liberal are to inherit it, marry into it, or lobby for favors from the goverment; creating wealth (making money) by producing and selling something useful, never enters into the liberal’s mind. “The priesthood serving only beauty”? I call that petty arrogance, much like the aristocrats disdained trade and commerce in times past. At least Mozart created art, something that has enriched all our lives.

  2. AvatarThe 13th

    Wikipedia definition of “Art”: Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions.

    Mozart did not enrich the lives of anyone who dislikes Mozart. The same can be said of John Lennon, Picasso, anything requiring/allowing personal aesthestics.

    The posterior rear-view of popularity does not define ART as a whole. However it often does denote another kind of a-hole.

    Mozart or Bust. I’ll take the music. Not the digressive personal profiling. Then again, one could always make a living off of Slander charges. Nudge nudge.

  3. AvatarMichael Slivka

    I prefer the Ayn Rand definition of art: “…a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgments……Art is a concretization of metaphysics. Art brings man’s concepts to the perceptual level of his consciousness and allows him to grasp them directly, as if they were percepts.”

    By the way, slander suits only work against those who hold assets that are not exempt under the law. Ever heard of “judgment-proof”? Besides, truth is always an absolute defense to a slander suit.

  4. AvatarThe 13th

    Mr. Slicker,

    Ah… Ayn Rand’s define. Most Divine! … like a John Water’s film. Bravo.

    Yes, I’ve heard of “judgment-proof”. It’s a legal concept – once probably designed in good intent to keep the poor from suffering excessive “punishments” (i.e. flogging a dead horse). Your usage implies it to have evolved into a legal loophole for hiding large amounts of treasure. Hopefully some ambitious IRS agent will be able to distinguish a poor working man’s words from those of a protected “cheat”, but such hopeful reforms have a ways to go, don’t they?

    “Judgment-proof” is also the facet of law that currently gives broad rights of free-speech to the internet. It protects the thoughtful as well as those who spread social disease and malicious arrogance. “Judgment-proof” is a legal term for Houdini’s American chains…. sanctioned jargon… and nothing more. Lead on!

    Actually, Slicker, I don’t advocate law suits. I advocate birds to drop white mounds of joy upon all stuffed suits. Sometimes it’s best to let Justice be served from above.

    As for the potential slander, well, I have not met Marie nor her children in person. I have seen some personal family photos though. In the photos her children reflect a radiance. These are not staged photos – like staged blog words or moreso staged job portfolio photographs like your own. Speaking of which… since when did lawyers deem their personal mugshots as necessary portfolio material? It’s a thin line from Wink to Wank. Did Madonna teach you to “Vogue” too? I suppose so. Or perhaps it’s to build “client trust”? It’s good to know when I need a lawyer I can add “wallet photos” to the fee.

    The reason I ask is that I’m not sure I would trust the professionalism of anyone who deems a forum topic on Mozart as a place to levy opines against the personal choices of Marraige, Divorce, and Parenthood. Furthermore, even though I am not a single-parent I would suspect that most civilized people out there have respect for the tribulations of Parenthood and Motherhood as well as realize the delicate role of free will in Romance, Marraige, Procreation, and Divorce.

    The photos of Marie’s children – they speak without words. They show faces of brilliance, care, inspire, and dedicated love. NO parent is perfect, but if I were the good ex-doctor to which you refer (with such familiar “protective” assumptiuon) – I’d be VERY proud if not relieved to know my kids are loved and raised with dedicated effort. Also I certainly would not want some douche-bag flailing blind words into embryonic areas of parent-child trust. Instead I would wonder if some lawyers have has veered from community service to a broad self-righteous contempt of the general populous coupled with feelings of abusive superiority. Fortunately, “judgement-proof” has NOTHING to do with personal choice of representation, even legal representation.

    So far, in your words, the only qualification as a reader that I can see is, of course, excessive familiarity and personal local contempt. Or perhaps just the idle voice of coffee smug and dough-nut.

    Art, Passion, swagger and penmanship – YES!!! certainly creative humanitarians ARE sexy!!! Yet I do have a degrees of concern when I sense those who write only to rape and bitch slap those who aspire justice and peaceful coexistence.

    “Besides, truth is always an absolute defense to a slander suit.” – Very trite. Probably the most f_cked up thing I’ve read in a long time. Lemmings are more clever.

    The Misogynous-Errogenous for Xenophobic Sales web site is elsewhere. At the very least – find an appropriate topic here in which to file your personal jealousies, such as in Flamers Hall of Dark-Tongue. Toiletries, like Art, have purpose. Alas, Ayn Rand didn’t write many quotes on toiletries, but I suppose she had reason. Dante has a social circle for you, as does John Waters. Eat well.

    En requiem… of “petty useless” Music!…. and before flatulence plays the flute again…

    “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
    – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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