A Tough Beat

by Jay Nordlinger

Anthony Daniels, who also writes under the name Theodore Dalrymple, has for years told us about Britain’s underclass. He observed it up close as a prison psychiatrist. One of the things he often ran into, in broader society, was disbelief: Lords and ladies and so on would simply not believe that what Daniels was describing took place.

Which brings me to Roger Kimball, and his column yesterday: It is about the art world and its depravities. Roger has been on this beat a long time. His 2004 book, Art’s Prospect, is sickening. Almost impossible to read. I don’t mean it’s a bad book. On the contrary, it’s a superb book. But what he tells us about what the art world has become is revolting.

“Art is what you can get away with,” said Andy Warhol (a comment that Roger Kimball has frequent occasion to quote). What they are getting away with now is not to be believed — and yet, it’s real.

I admire Roger for continuing to look into the art world. He’s like a cop on a beat in a terrible, murderous neighborhood, but he rises to walk it, time after time.