Schaeffer lays out the degradation of thought, culture, and life in general by showing how western culture crossed a line: "the line of despair" into which many "great" modern thinkers and artists gave up on finding a coherent worldview to explain life, and came up with some of the most nonsensical, outlandish, and profane ways to explain life and the world.
This is all kind of vague until you consider the philosophy of Nietzche or Sartre, and there you see it exactly. Profound men of genius who spend their intellect coming up with philosophies of "nothingness," and popularizing the idea (which nobody could ever possibly support) that "God is Dead." (Go into the Barnes & Noble Philosophy section and you'll find a book by Jean Paul-Sartre that is around 600 pages entitled "Being andNothingness." How do you spend 600 pages talking about "nothing"?)
Anyway, Schaeffer was writing about what passes as "art" today, and then talked about Marcel Duchamp. And now, I'm quoting the book
- His last work, which no one knew existed, came to light at his death. it is now in the Duchamp collection in the Philadelphia Musem of Art. One must look through a small peephole in an old Spanish door to see it. And it is indeed both pornographic and totally absurd. Why is this placed in the staid Philadelphia Museum of Art by the staid directors? Because it is "Art," and so the message is passed on to the population!