New Criticals

Thinking about ancient Greece and Rome, there’s a tendency to look askance at what we know of Oracles and Augurs. We’re taught mostly of their fraud aspect and not as much about the use to be found in seeking insight from a rationale that lies outside the norm, the value in relying on chance. This kind of thing could be compared to the modern palm-reader, who has been lampooned in similar fashion — thinking of the many goofy film-and-TV versions, for one — but the Tarot is seeing a rise in popularity today. The artful Tarot pack is having another heyday. The Tarot, like poetry, dance, visual art, is an activity alternative to rigid expectations and routines, to conventional modes of gathering and using information — little data over big data. What these activities produce can’t really be negated as being “untruths.” Connections are made and used that are specifically outside the materialism that is connected to the capitalist superstructure (which is set upon the backs of the lowest classes, the most vulnerable populations on the planet). The question of art needing to be “useful” in times of social strife may be moot, because the creative act is apparently as radical as monkeying with the mechanics of some destructive dynamo or other. It empowers human beings and makes connections between us that might otherwise never have occurred.