I stumbled upon this really good article by a grad student about how different cultures view art. I especially like what the writer says about Americans.
I am also perturbed by the paragraph in which the writer points out that the people who don’t look at fine art — or who don’t read, or who don’t enjoy films where there are no aliens or shit being blown up — are really proud of the fact. They do more than shun the arts, but make themselves out to be superior for doing so. That’s a sad statement and, if you ask me, one of the contributing factors to the dumbing down of America.