in the words of Ellen Dissanayake:
If we now abandon the ideology (or religion) of art that temporarily replaced the ideology of religion, is it enough for us to replace both of these – religion & art – with wit, in the form of clever humor, clever amusements, and with-it-ness?
Our abandonment of false truths may indicate our intellectual advancement, but the maladies in our social and personal lives suggest that we are not for the better of it.
I acknowledge the vitality and creativity in popular culture, but I wish these did not have to be at the expense of Great Art. … The ultimate concerns of the human condition are not addressed with even gritty, realistic cop and lawyer shows, popular songs, or homilies for children.
In the absence of traditional religion and its rites, Great Art provides awareness of the most thoughtful and serious response to such inescapable facts of life as love and loss, abandonment and despair, regret and hope, success and failure, and the ineluctable satisfaction and frustrations of living with others.
In the end each of us is ultimately alone in our own unique, desiring, precious, and perishable being. Through the ages Great Art, like religion before it, has been concerned with that fact, and the ramifications of that fact, which will never change.