Chronological snobbery

“Primitive,” “medieval,” “native,” even “naïve,” the work of people long ago could never be “modern,” “up to date,” or “sophisticated.” * Crude female figures standing with grotesque eyes and noses painted in bold diamonds and triangles— am I describing Tanzanian carvings or Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon? * Tell me whose culture had a superior economic system— today’s Californians living either on a farm or in the city, or the Ohlone of the Bay Area before 1900, who worked only three or four hours a day to earn their living?