Many things make people think artists are weird and the weirdest may be this: artists' only job is to explore emotions, and yet they choose to focus on the ones that feel bad.
This wasn't always so. The earliest forms of art, like painting and music, are those best suited for expressing joy. But somewhere in the 19th century, more artists began seeing happiness as insipid, phony or, worst of all, boring as we went from Wordsworth's daffodils to Baudelaire's flowers of evil.
You could argue that art became more skeptical of happiness because modern times have seen such misery. But it's not as if earlier times didn't know perpetual war, disaster and the massacre of innocents. The reason, in fact, may be just the opposite: there is too much damn happiness in the world today.
After all, what is the one modern form of expression almost completely dedicated to depicting happiness? Advertising. The rise of anti-happy art almost exactly tracks the emergence of mass media, and with it, a commercial culture in which happiness is not just an ideal but an ideology.
People in earlier eras were surrounded by reminders of misery. They worked until exhausted, lived with few protections and died young. In the West, before mass communication and literacy, the most powerful mass medium was the church, which reminded worshippers that their souls were in peril and that they would someday be meat for worms. Given all this, they did not exactly need their art to be a bummer too.
Today the messages your average Westerner is bombarded with are not religious but commercial, and forever happy .Fast-food eaters, news anchors, text messengers, all smiling, smiling. Our magazines feature beaming celebrities and happy families in perfect homes. And since these messages have an agenda--to lure us to open our wallets to make the very idea of happiness seem unreliable. "Celebrate!" commanded the ads for the arthritis drug Celebrex, before we found out it could increase the risk of heart attacks.
What we forget--what our economy depends on is forgetting--is that happiness is more than pleasure without pain. The things that bring the greatest joy carry the greatest potential for loss and disappointment. Today, surrounded by promises of easy happiness, we need someone to tell us as religion once did, Memento mori: remember that you will die, that everything ends, and that happiness comes not in denying this but in living with it. It's a message even more bitter than a clove cigarette, yet, somehow, a breath of fresh air.
36.By citing the example of poets Wordsworth and Baudelaire, the author intends to show that
A. Poetry is not as expressive of joy as painting or music.
B. Art grow out of both positive and negative feeling.
C. Poets today are less skeptical of happiness.
D. Artist have changed their focus of interest.
37. The word “bummer” (Line 5. paragraph 5) most probably means something
A. religious B. unpleasant C. entertaining D. commercial
38.In the author’s opinion, advertising
A. emerges in the wake of the anti-happy part.
B. is a cause of disappointment for the general peer
C. replace the church as a major source of information
D. creates an illusion of happiness rather than happiness itself.
39.We can learn from the last paragraph that the author believes
A .Happiness more often than not ends in sadness.
B. The anti-happy art is distasteful by refreshing.
C. Misery should be enjoyed rather than denied.
D .The anti-happy art flourishes when economy booms
40.Which of the following is true of the text?
A Religion once functioned as a reminder of misery.
B Art provides a balance between expectation and reality.
C People feel disappointed at the realities of morality.
D mass media are inclined to cover disasters and deaths.