July 2022

Natural Selection

Arthur Danin Adler | Scene4 Magazine | www.scene4.com

Arthur Danin Adler

When I was a lttle-boy human, I lived in a small city that still had horses on the streets with stripes of horse-droppings like the yellow traffic stripe down streets today. They pulled carts for selling goods, for ice delivery in the day when ice-boxes outnumbered electric refrigerators, for picking up junk, for myriad transportation tasks. One sunny day, a junkman stopped in front of our house to haggle for the unwanted stuff my father had cleared out of the cellar.

He was a sour, grumbling old man. After he dropped a heavy weight chained to the horse's bridle and went into the house, I carefully mosied up to the horse for a closer look. He was old and tired and not well cared for (as I realized later when I learned more about horses). He had blinders on so he didn't see me at first. But he heard me tip-toeing, I could tell from the way he moved his ears and lowered his head. As I came around, he slowly turned his head to look at me and then slowly turned away. I guessed he didn't consider me a threat. Reassured, I stepped closer to look at his face. And then I looked into his eye. What I saw was a revelation that took my breath into my head, one of many that awakened me that year. I was seven. What I saw, deep in that large brown eye was... pain and stupor.

That first experience expanded by hundreds more down through years led me to an understanding and commited belief. It is this:

Horses do not like to pull carts.They do not like to race. They do not like to perform. And most of all, they do not like to have a body on their backs. By instinct they are curious but wary of humans and they do not imprint on humans at birth.

One of the more magnificent species on this planet, the Horse has been around as long as humanoids, and all the bullshit about them, horseshit if you will, is the same self-aggrandizing, self-righteous, self-justifiying bull&horseshit spewed by slaveowners in the American South, Native American destroyers in the Wild West,  (and elsewhere) when describing the human animals that they were oppressing, exploiting and torturing in the name of their gods, their cambric brains and their penises.


In the Ancient World, that time before Judeo-Christian morality, the steam engine, and the British Empire, Art was usually not segregated from the days and nights of journeying through life. The vast sum of it was identified with the craft of the 'artisan' who created works out of fear, by threat, for commission and the possibility of sale, often driven by the ignorance inherent to religion. The artist as an impressionistic window into the where and why of life was uncommon and often ignored. Later, Art evolved into a primary activity of decoration, and then, for a brief time, became that impressionistic window, created for its own purpose. Eventually it morphed into the massive merchandising megalomania of today where everything is 'art' and everyone is an 'artist' and the impressionistic window of past, present and future is a disposable slide-show.

There is only one way to examine. experience Art... by wandering through a selected chronology or a static instance of a 'view with a view'. Step into a painting to know the artist without knowing the artist. Plunge into music to know the musicians and composer without knowing the musicians or composer. The prevailing impression can be summed up in the words of a Roman sage:
Timendi Causa Est Nescire/the cause of fear is ignorance .



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Arrthur Danin Adler | Scene4 Magazine | www.scene4.com
Arthur Danin Adler is a playwright, writer and the founding Editor of Scene4. For more of his commentary and articles, check the Archives.



©2022 Arthur Danín Adler
©2022 Publication Scene4 Magazine


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