[00:08.24]Many things make people think artists are weird.
[00:11.77]But the weirdest may be this:
[00:14.29]artists' only job is to explore emotions,
[00:18.00]and yet they choose to focus on the ones that feel bad.
[00:22.62]This wasn't always so.
[00:24.64]The earliest forms of art,
[00:25.90]like painting and music,
[00:28.18]are those best suited for expressing joy.
[00:31.92]But somewhere from the 19th century onward,
[00:35.44]more artists began seeing happiness as meaningless,
[00:39.69]phony or, worst of all, boring,
[00:42.79]as we went from Wordsworth's daffodils to
[00:45.44]Baudelaire's flowers of evil.
[00:48.45]You could argue that art became more skeptical of happiness
[00:52.18]because modern times have seen so much misery.
[00:56.21]But it's not as if earlier times didn't know perpetual war,
[01:00.56]disaster and the massacre of innocents.
[01:03.68]The reason, in fact, may be just the opposite:
[01:07.02]there is too much damn happiness in the world today.
[01:11.15]After all, what is the one modern form of expression
[01:14.88]almost completely dedicated to depicting happiness?
[01:20.32]The rise of anti-happy art almost exactly tracks
[01:23.65]the emergence of mass media,
[01:25.88]and with it, a commercial culture in which happiness
[01:28.72]is not just an ideal but an ideology.
[01:33.06]People in earlier eras were surrounded by reminders of misery.
[01:37.48]They worked until exhausted,
[01:39.70]lived with few protections and died young.
[01:43.54]In the West, before mass communication and literacy,
[01:47.18]the most powerful mass medium was the church,
[01:50.50]which reminded worshippers that their souls were in danger
[01:54.03]and that they would someday be meat for worms.
[01:58.17]Given all this,
[01:59.44]they did not exactly need their art to be a bummer too.
[02:03.77]Today the messages the average Westerner
[02:06.79]is surrounded with are not religious but commercial,
[02:10.33]and forever happy.
[02:12.71]Fast-food eaters, news anchors, text messengers,
[02:16.06]all smiling, smiling, smiling.
[02:19.40]Our magazines feature beaming celebrities
[02:21.80]and happy families in perfect homes.
[02:25.41]And since these messages have an agenda
[02:28.04]--to lure us to open our wallets
[02:30.46]--they make the very idea of happiness seem unreliable.
[02:34.89]"Celebrate!" commanded the ads for
[02:37.28]the arthritis drug Celebrex,
[02:39.75]before we found out it could increase the risk of heart attacks.
[02:44.49]But what we forget
[02:46.12]--what our economy depends on us forgetting
[02:48.72]--is that happiness is more than pleasure without pain.
[02:53.08]The things that bring the greatest joy
[02:55.40]carry the greatest potential for loss and disappointment.
[02:59.43]Today, surrounded by promises of easy happiness,
[03:03.53]we need art to tell us, as religion once did, Memento mori:
[03:08.60]remember that you will die,
[03:10.100]that everything ends,
[03:12.79]and that happiness comes not in denying this
[03:15.90]but in living with it.
[03:18.44]It's a message even more bitter than a clove cigarette,
[03:22.20]yet, somehow, a breath of fresh air.内容来自 听力课堂网：http://www.tingclass.net/show-8686-251463-1.html