Do you want a complex minefield? OK. We have one here in NYC. It involves aesthetics, Animal Rights, cruelty, museums, and artists. It also involves a seismic event which no one has really noticed and considered. We are living in a world where museums themselves are an endangered species, for good and bad reasons.

The other seismic event is that that the doggie in the photo wherever you look is generally miles beyond a scruffy human being of any age in popularity. We are witnessing cross-currents that are deep and portentous for our world. First, let's get the breaking story out.

The Guggenheim Maginot Line

It is not hard to infer what this is about. Artists have every right to speak their mind about anything from vaginas to AI. The fact that the doggie in the photo is a proven winner in the sympathy sweepstakes, is irrelevant. Nausea is not sufficient reason to defy aesthetic standards.

Museums and the art world are yesterday

There is a problem we have almost entirely ignored. It is the future of art. It is the future of aesthetics. It is the recalibration of thinking in a world that is turning into a massive seminar on what life is about.

I firmly believe and have argued for years that art is not the province of the Art World, the celebrated province of auctions and high-level consumption. Art is our vision. It is our acts. It is us.

Oligarchy redux

Museums and the art world are yesterday. So is the oligarchical tendency of things. We can only go one way -- toward a reasonable acknowledgment of reality.

The reality is that it is entirely correct to be concerned about cruelty. But if our concern is merely binary rather than universal, we are merely compounding problems.

We need a world that cares for all of its creatures. Scruffy people are as precious as appealing dogs and cats.

Capitalism runs rampant

Today museums have become too costly for many to visit.

They may do well but their profit needs are inimical to a proper aesthetic.

A proper aesthetic sees that art is what every creature is about. Art is what we say and do. Art is universal. The art world has no standing if it is wed to the commercial and social mores of the past.

The future of art and aesthetics should be a central ingredient of a philosophy which moves from reality to ethics and arrives at aesthetic manifestation as the very aim of living. Truth and beauty, freedom, love and justice are life's universal keywords. It is out of this approach that we can begin to sort out the complexities swirling around the Guggenheim.

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