The most limiting aspect of modern culture is the restriction on the expression of harmony. Like adolescents absorbed with the sudden realization that their parent’s aren’t so perfect, the culture scene is convinced that harmony and beauty are lies covering up an ugly world of truths. Over and over again the point of reference for the cultural critic is that at the base, everything is sad, wounded, ugly and mean. Here is one day's worth of quotes from the New York Times:
"The freakish is the ultimate avant-garde, a finger in the eye of the buttoned-up bourgeois vision of ordered life, like a tattoo parlor in the midst of a holistic spa."
From a review of Ripley's Believe it or Not in NYC entitled, "O, Believers, Prepare to Be Amazed!"
By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN
"This rigged group-therapy session, whose facilitator wears a frozen smile and addresses the assembly in the unctuous tones of a grade-school teacher, is the only scene in the movie to hint at the rot under the charade. Nothing is allowed to disturb the fantasy of perfect moms making perfect lives for their perfect children. For an ugly, satisfying moment, the rock is lifted."
In a review of the Nanny Diaries, "The Devil Wears Down Her Nanny"
By STEPHEN HOLDEN
When does the academy of criticism grow up? When is adolescence over? When do the critics begin wandering about as adults? When does the complex realization that the world is both genuinely hard and beautiful arrive and that, ultimately, it is the beautiful that must win or at least be cheered on if life is to make any sense - cheered on not in blindness but in full awareness of everything that sucks about life?