Nathan (vovat) wrote,

  • Music:

The Good, the Bad, and the Subjective

For my semi-philosophical discussion of the unspecified time period, I'd like to address the question as to whether there's any such thing as objectively good art. I have to say that I don't think there is, but I also don't think it's totally just an issue of each person's own taste. I make a distinction between "I can see why some people like this, but I'm not among them" and "ye gods, this is BAD." And there are plenty of things I like, but don't think are exactly High Art. But I think all of these things are also subjective. There is, however, the caveat that there are certain things audiences (at least in our own culture) have come to expect. When watching a movie or reading a novel, we expect a coherent plot and identifiable characters. With a song, we expect a melody. Looking at a painting, we expect to know what it is. That's not to say that there isn't good art that doesn't fit these expectations, but I think it tends to be more controversial. There also seem to be some people who tend to like things simply because they DON'T fit expectations, dismissing the masses who don't like them as philistines who just don't understand. Putting aside the fact that the Philistines appear to have been the most advanced culture in the region at the time of the Davidic kings, there have been times when I've been one of these elitist sorts, but others where I think, "No, the masses are right. This DOES suck." I do think there's a bit of popular prejudice against anything that you have to think about, but maybe that's just my subjective opinion. I also might posit that there are certain things that are generally viewed as bad because they're offensive, but with all the popular movies out that are blatantly sexist or otherwise prejudiced, perhaps this isn't even the case. And sometimes offensiveness can be used in an artist's favor, but this requires the person to KNOW that it's something offensive. I think part of the problem with, say, the "Hey, aren't fat people funny?" stuff that Hollywood is churning out nowadays is that the creators don't even acknowledge that they're being offensive.

Along with this, there seems to be a conception among some people that popular entertainment is bad. This comes from different segments of the population--I don't think the kids who only want to listen to indie music are the same as the stuffed-shirt academics who dismiss popular literature--but it strikes me as basically the same kind of prejudice. Yes, a lot of what's popular is (or at least appears to be) really crappy, and I have no clue what its appeal is. But that's probably even more true for most unpopular stuff. I can't really buy the distinction between what's viewed as High and Popular Art, anyway. After all, most Classics gained that status because they're popular, or at least were at one point, right?

And speaking of popular things that suck, I'm glad that my wife has no intention of dragging me to the Sex and the City movie, as she hates it more than I do. I'm not sure why anyone would drag someone else to a movie they don't want to see anyway. Sure, I've gone with people to see films I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise, but nothing I was dead set against seeing, you know? I think a lot of people still have the idea that they can't go to the movies alone, even though a dark room where you have to be quiet is hardly an ideal place for social interaction. I really don't much like going to concerts alone, but that's not to say I haven't done so several times.

And here's the survey that rockinlibrarian did, to which I alluded in my last post. I always tell myself I probably shouldn't do any more of these, but then I always come across questions I actually want to answer. The unfortunate thing is that they're always packaged with questions that I've already answered a bunch of times, or ones to which I can't think of decent answers. Oh, well.

1] Have you ever showered with someone?
I don't think so. I used to take baths with family members when I was a kid, but I can't recall ever doing that with showers.

2] Do you still talk to the person you fell hardest for?
Yes, every day.

3] Strawberry Milkshake or Banana Pancakes?
I'm probably one of very few people who would generally go with the banana pancakes, although it depends on my mood.

4] Last movie you saw in theaters, with who?
Prince Caspian, with bethje

5] Burger King or Wendy's?
Overall, I'd say Wendy's, but I think Burger King has the better chicken sandwich. It used to be the other way 'round, but then BK introduced the Tendercrisp, and I don't think Wendy's chicken breast fillet is as good as it used to be anyway.

6] What time is it?
1:29 PM. I was born at 1:29 PM, actually. Isn't that interesting?

7] Where are you right now?
At work

8] What are you doing right now?
Responding to this survey, but after I answer another few questions, I'm going to look at some other stuff on the Internets.

9] Would you rather go to Tokyo or Paris?
Probably Tokyo, although I think footage of urban Japan makes it look incredibly hectic. I wouldn't mind going to Paris, but France actually isn't that high up on the list of European countries I'd like to visit.

10] Are you listening to music right now?
No, but the last song I listened to was "Ambulance," the first song on Blur's Think Tank. I've only listened to that album once before, and I found it totally unmemorable. I'm trying another listen to see if I think differently this time.

11] Who else is in the room with you?
A co-worker

12] In the winter, would you rather wear a jacket or hoodie?
I'd rather wear a coat. This survey must have been created by someone with a warmer winter than the ones in my area.

13] Do you wish you were somewhere else right now?
I wish I was in Tijuana,, I think I've already done that joke in response to this question. So I'll give a serious answer, and say that there are a lot of places I'd rather be, but back home is one of the most significant ones.

14] How long can you go without your mobile phone?
That's a hard question. I really don't call that many people, but I like having it just in case. There's also the matter of whether I would have access to another phone if I didn't have the cellular phone, and what kind of long-distance plan it would have.

15] Ever kissed a dark haired, dark eyed person?
Maybe when I was really little, but not that I can remember. My wife has blue eyes, as do all of the members of my immediate family.

16] Who last called you babe/baby?
I'm not sure anyone ever has.

17] Where did you last sleep other than your house?
The bus. But if you're talking about a night's sleep, then the All-Star Music Resort at Walt Disney World.

18] What's the worst way to say I love you?
Followed by the word "but."

19] If an ex said they hated you, you'd say?
I don't have any exes, but I have to think I'd probably ask why.

20] Would you curse in front of your parents?
I have before, but I try not to.

21] What is your current annoyance?
The heat and humidity come to mind, but the fact that I can't find full-time work is the main recurring one.

22] Do you like drama?
If you're talking about the play and movie variety, then sometimes, but it's not my favorite genre. I don't like the everyday "let's make this situation needlessly complicated" variety of drama much at all, although it can be amusing if it doesn't involve me.

23] How many pills do you take a day?
Usually a multivitamin and a B-complex vitamin. Recently, I've also been taking allergy pills. So that's three, but it'll probably be down to two pretty soon.

24] What was the last item you bought?
Bus tickets

25] Are you afraid of roller coasters?
No, but I am afraid of the lax safety standards at some amusement parks.

26] What would you do if your best friend told you they were moving?
Hopefully I'd be able to move with her.

27] Apple Bottom Jeans or Hollister gift card?
I don't know what Apple Bottom Jeans are. Do they have anything to do with the Apple Dumpling Gang? I hardly ever wear jeans anyway, though. I don't know much about Hollister other than that the one in a nearby mall looks like a restaurant from the outside. I think they might only get business because people go in there to eat, and then when they realize what it really is, they decide they might as well buy some clothes. I've seen some Hollister shirts, and they basically just look like the same pre-faded crap that, a few years ago, would have said "Abercrombie & Fitch" instead. So I guess my answer is neither one.

28] What is your school mascot?
Okay, let's see. The Cougar in elementary school, the Lancer in junior high, the Whippet in high school, and the Dragon in graduate school. I already discussed my undergraduate college team and mascot in my last post.

29] At what age do you want to be married?
I think 30 sounds good. {g}

30] Where is your mom right now?
I don't know. I haven't been following her schedule that closely since moving out of her house.

31] What are you supposed to be doing right now?
Why? Are you insinuating that I'm NOT doing what I'm supposed to be doing?

32] Are you slowly drifting away from someone close?
Not so much now, but I have in the past.

33] When was the last time you felt unbearably guilty?
I can't remember. I feel sort of guilty pretty much all the time, though.

34] When was the last time you held someone's hand?
It was probably at some time when I was walking with Beth. Maybe in Wildwood? I don't know.

35] Did you actually think you'd get through this survey without coming across any missing numbers?
Well, I was hoping, but I apparently have no such luck. Come on, survey makers and takers, learn to count!

36] Who was the last person you talked to on aim?
I think it was Jared Davis, actually.

37] Have you ever kissed anyone who's name started with a G?

38] Can you play guitar hero?
I've never tried. I hear Rock Band (which I've also never played) is better anyway, though.

39] Do you prefer warm or cold weather?
Warm. Wouldn't it be a more difficult choice if it were between HOT and cold weather? I'd probably still say hot, though. I don't like either one, but at least a fan is cheaper than turning the heat up.

40] What do you currently hear right now?
Typing on keyboards

41] What does your last text say?
It was probably spam. The only person who really ever sends me text messages is Dorothea, and she hasn't in some time.

42] Do you text message often?
No, not at all. I only do if I'm replying to someone else. If I want to communicate via text, that's what the Internet is for.

43] Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?

44] Where is your second home?
One-sixtieth of the way to my minute home.

45] What is the nearest book to you called?
The Interpretation of Dreams, by Sigmund Freud
Tags: art, philosophy, surveys

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