Monday, November 23, 2009

Taste Accountants

Here is a response I wrote to someone on Facebook who expressed disdain for fans of the Twilight series. As you can tell from my response, I understand fully where my friend is coming from, but I offer a bit of a different point of view. This touches on subjects I've written on or linked about before, so here you go, blog. 

I used to feel that way about the Harry Potter phenomenon. I still don't have any interest in reading that stuff, and I won't go out of my way to catch one of the movies. Hell, I feel the same way about comic books and science fiction and fantasy. But I realized that I could have all the righteous indignation in the world regarding the tastes of others, and it wouldn't accomplish a thing. (I've also learned to appreciate more of the things I used to find distasteful)

I am saddened by the fact that many of my favorite literary journals probably won't survive the economic fallout of 2008. The future of the printed word is, if we are to believe all the articles and editorials, in jeopardy. I'm saddened when I think of all the cuts in arts education that have happened over the years (Hell, Venezuela has a better music education program than the U.S.--AND it's been shown to reduce violence). And insofar as high box office sales are a sign of the greater cultural wave that is killing the culture I love, yes, it's saddening. I wish I could replace all the Black Eyed Peas on every iPod in the world with Chopin's Preludes, but I would probably be executed without trial for doing so. 

Looking down on people just because they enjoy some book or film series, no matter how trashy, doesn't do anything to change matters. And when you go around thumbing your nose at those people, what are they to do but assume that the things you like are only for snobs? I find that, instead of talking trash, it's better to just promote the things we like, and find good ways to articulate how we enjoy them. That way, we may win over a few converts. What you're doing is preaching to the choir. 

The Dark Knight was trash, in my opinion, except for parts of Heath Ledger's performance and some elements of the cinematography. I thought Son of Rambow was a greater movie, and it was made with a much smaller budget, absolutely no celebrity actors, and it probably just broke even earnings-wise. As long as movies like that can find their audience, and as long as that audience doesn't die out, I'm not going to complain too much about what others find entertaining. 

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