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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    I hope you don't exclusively like the "high-culture" stuff either, because that's just snobbery.
    enneagram 4 you mean?

  2. #22
    Senior Member Rohsiph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    Well said, all around. I've never understood why schools insisted on teaching us about classical music. "Its sophistocated", they once told my brother when he asked the teacher. But how? Its music. It felt like I was getting ripped off not learning about all the different types of music (which is something I now do on my own time as much as possible).
    Western classical schools of music are important insofar as showcasing the development of form--from highly theological, to highly theoretical, to totally fucking chaotic. Examine a composition of Mozart side-by-side with the current top-40s bestseller: notice, among other things, that Mozart composed his piece all at once, and that it has survived for more than a century--if nothing else.

    These things need a concrete definition... either all films are art, or none of them are. Either all music is, or none of it is. Either all paintings... ect. ect. ect. They can't be "more art" or "more culture" than something else. They can be of different quality, but that must be judged on an individual basis, not weather it is an indie film or some other non-mainstream form of "high culture".
    Wait . . . so . . . Art is necessarily subjective, therefore it needs a concrete (objective) definition. Please explain to me how I have misread your logic, as I really hope I'm the one who made a mistake here.

    Also: why must quality be judged on an individual basis? I agree that a work should not be judged based on its production budget, its genre, the social class it generally appeals to--but there are aesthetic paradigms which we can use to judge art objectively (for example, Nietzsche's Apollonian/Dionysian distinction).

    I particularly liked "Now if I can only convince everyone that high culture is only the expression of insecure snobbery." I have felt like that many times when I've heard people (especially those of authority) talk about art and culture.
    I can understand someone feeling this way . . . but have you ever rationally justified those feelings?

    "These "hidden messages" in the so-called higher art films are really little more than advertising." I enjoy "hidden messages" and symbols, but I see them all the time in good "low-culture" movies, too. You can make symbols all you want with pretty much anything, and thats what I like to do to enjoy my movies!
    I agree with this point--a culturally-perceived "low-brow" film can have just as much, if not more, meaningful content than a culturally-perceived "high-brow" film.

    I don't see how a movie like "Transformers" or "Superbad" is any less a work of great art than Shakespeare (who bothers me, by the way). Transformers, as you mentioned, had incredibly well done visual effects, and it was extremely enertaining because of the impeccable mix of the action and humour (giant fighting robots is a sure winning forumula, anyway). Superbad had a very good plot, and very good characters, too, and was hilarious, yet because it had a lot of cock jokes a lot of snobs will probably look down on it. And those cock jokes were smart, too.
    Transformers vs. The Winter's Tale . . . oh boy. Primarily: film and theatre are intrinsically different. A theatre production changes every night; a film remains exactly the same excepting minor technological aspects such as scalability and sound experience.

    Shakespeare's successful plays achieve not just the "extremely entertaining" aspects of Transformers, but also the "very good plot" and "very good characters" of Superbad--simply. I'm wary of defending Shakespeare against your argument too far because, as I already stated, it's unfair to compare film vs theatre. Shakespeare vs. David Mamet would be a better argument, or Transformers vs 8 1/2.

    Basically: taking a completely relative view of anything--especially of art--is fundamentally dangerous. Because everything is necessarily of equal value in such an approach, it becomes nearly impossible (if not actively impossible) to actually determine where one should focus, because there is just too much for one to focus on. If we can agree that some art is better than other art, then we can work on trying to determine what art deserves our attention--and here we can be somewhat relative, namely as to what we are pursuing in our focus. If we only want entertainment, then Michael Bay will do. If we want to experience emotional development, then Michael Bay is probably not a good idea.

    Society, as a singular idea that should strive towards an ideal, wants art that is meaningful and masterful. I would argue against Transformers succeeding in both categories, but could come up with several reasons why Superbad just might meet them.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Somewhat offtopic, but *shrugs*.

    My top 3 zombie-type movies:

    1. 28 days later
    2. Dawn of the Dead (the remake, great Johnny C song in there incidentally)
    3. Resident Evil (Milla, mmmm)
    28 Days Later is up there among my favorite horror movies of all time, right alongside Alien. It might be a testament to its quality and its non-cheesy nature that I didn't even think of it as a zombie movie.

  4. #24
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rohsiph View Post
    Western classical schools of music are important insofar as showcasing the development of form--from highly theological, to highly theoretical, to totally fucking chaotic. Examine a composition of Mozart side-by-side with the current top-40s bestseller: notice, among other things, that Mozart composed his piece all at once, and that it has survived for more than a century--if nothing else.
    I understand that, but why only classical music? why are other forms of music ignored? I'm not saying the top 40 hits should be even mentioned in a music class, I just think a greater variation in style would be worth learning about. Music theory can be tought using any form of music (even those dreaded top 40 hits), but I think its best to use a wide veriety of styles and composers, including classical masters like Mozart, but also including jazz, blues, rock, hip hop, ect.


    Wait . . . so . . . Art is necessarily subjective, therefore it needs a concrete (objective) definition. Please explain to me how I have misread your logic, as I really hope I'm the one who made a mistake here.
    I just don't think one thing of a type of media (i.e. music) can be art while others are not. Art is impossible to define in words, but I think people have an idea for themselves what art is...and you need to decide if you consider things art or not, and stick to it. It just doesn't make sense to me how someone can say Monet is art while Jackson Pullock isn't just because they don't like it. They are both painters, so are they therefor not both artists who made works of art? People seem to confuse those distinctions (it being good vs it being art). Why is Monet art and Pullock not? Why is Beethoven art but not the Sex Pistols? Why is Shakespeare poetry but not the Wu-Tang Clan? (for examples of the art and not art debate). Mozart isn't "more music" than Thelonius Monk, so how could it, or anything else, also be "more art". People can enjoy one more than another, but it doesn't make it more art than something else, and it doesn't make it more music than something else. Both are art, both are music, no matter how good or bad they may be to the one listning. I hope that was an adequate explaination.

    Also: why must quality be judged on an individual basis? I agree that a work should not be judged based on its production budget, its genre, the social class it generally appeals to--but there are aesthetic paradigms which we can use to judge art objectively (for example, Nietzsche's Apollonian/Dionysian distinction).
    First, I havn't read Nietzche, so I'm not sure what you mean by that last part.

    What I've heard a lot of people say when discussing how art should be judged is that it gets compared to other similar things and rated accordingly. I've never done this, I've always naturally evaluated things I saw/heard/read based on how I felt about the works themselves, regardless of other works of art first. This doesn't mean I don't comapre things at all, I'm just saying that I've always found that I come up with thoughts and ratings and then compare later based on how much I liked them.


    I can understand someone feeling this way . . . but have you ever rationally justified those feelings?
    I'm not really sure what you're asking with this, could you please elaborate?

    If you are saying these things are considered "high culture" for a reason, I still don't get it. The idea of "high culture" does sound like snobbery to me. Its people putting the things they like and their tastes above other things. Its very similar to making something "more art" then something else, it just doesn't really make sense to me.

    But I'm not entirely sure what you were asking... so could you please elaborate?



    I agree with this point--a culturally-perceived "low-brow" film can have just as much, if not more, meaningful content than a culturally-perceived "high-brow" film.



    Transformers vs. The Winter's Tale . . . oh boy. Primarily: film and theatre are intrinsically different. A theatre production changes every night; a film remains exactly the same excepting minor technological aspects such as scalability and sound experience.
    I know stage and film are different. The fact they are different is beside the point. Both are art, neither is more art than the other (both in reference to stage and film and in reference to Transformers and Shakespeare). Perhaps one is better/more enjoyable than the other, but it isn't more art, its just a higher quality work of art.

    Shakespeare's successful plays achieve not just the "extremely entertaining" aspects of Transformers, but also the "very good plot" and "very good characters" of Superbad--simply. I'm wary of defending Shakespeare against your argument too far because, as I already stated, it's unfair to compare film vs theatre. Shakespeare vs. David Mamet would be a better argument, or Transformers vs 8 1/2.
    This is the point where people decide what they liek and what they don't like. I personally wasn't totally impressed with all of Shakespeare's plot elements and characters when I read his plays. I was very impressed by some things, and dissapointed in others. You, or anyone else, may have -no, likely- saw it differently and enjoyed it or did not enjoy it for your own reasons/interpretation.

    Basically: taking a completely relative view of anything--especially of art--is fundamentally dangerous. Because everything is necessarily of equal value in such an approach, it becomes nearly impossible (if not actively impossible) to actually determine where one should focus, because there is just too much for one to focus on. If we can agree that some art is better than other art, then we can work on trying to determine what art deserves our attention--and here we can be somewhat relative, namely as to what we are pursuing in our focus. If we only want entertainment, then Michael Bay will do. If we want to experience emotional development, then Michael Bay is probably not a good idea.{/QUOTE]Some art is better than other art, but no art is more art than other art. Its kind of like quantity vs quality. In art and all the different forms of art, I do not believe there is any variation from work to work in the quanitity of art (as in, as I've said many times, all art is equally art and equally artistic). However, there is variation from work to work in quality (as in, one song is better than another, or one painting is better than another). Quality can be compared, quanitity can not.

    {QUOTE]Society, as a singular idea that should strive towards an ideal, wants art that is meaningful and masterful. I would argue against Transformers succeeding in both categories, but could come up with several reasons why Superbad just might meet them.
    Ideally, greta works of art are both meaningful and masterful. A high quality peice of art is both, a bad peice of art may have little of both, and a decent/good work of art may be only moderately strong in both or may excell in one but be weak in another. I'm sure theres more to it than that, but I'd rather just sit back and enjoy it at this point rather than go into obscure/irrelevant points.

    This has been a fun discussion though

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schizm View Post
    enneagram 4 you mean?
    More like CP 6s who mistype as 4s, because "high culture" is just us-against-you politics.

    And emotional development is the same goddamn thing as entertainment, it's just a fancier term with more syllables. It's the same thing as the difference between vengeance and justice -- believe it or not, they're the same, as well. Entertainment is the experience of the emotional "oohs" and "aahs" after which we feel rejuvenated. Yep, that sounds like emotional development to me.

    Hidden messages are just product placement -- the subtle brainwashing attempts to get its audience to be a certain way. Some do it for profit, others do it because they're full of themselves.

    Just because a theatrical performance changes every night does not make it any more sophisticated. To me, it's a step back in the Stone Age, it isn't development. Movies and video games, on the other hand, are -- they are more or less the gateway to the future.

    The only reason art becomes art is because the person who created it is dead. I suspect that modern box-office smashes will be remembered long after the filmmakers who made them are dead.

    EDIT: And good plot and good characters are also subjective. That said, the very subjectivity of art means that it should have no place in academia, which is supposed to ground itself in logic (but more often than not, has a distinct humanistic liberal bias).

  6. #26
    Senior Member Rohsiph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    I understand that, but why only classical music? why are other forms of music ignored? I'm not saying the top 40 hits should be even mentioned in a music class, I just think a greater variation in style would be worth learning about. Music theory can be tought using any form of music (even those dreaded top 40 hits), but I think its best to use a wide veriety of styles and composers, including classical masters like Mozart, but also including jazz, blues, rock, hip hop, ect.
    Aha--actually, I would agree with this. I was fortunate: my high school offered a music theory class that actually discussed modern music/world music after getting through the history of western music. The western history is an important foundation, but there is indeed a lot to be learned from modern forms & forms from other regions as well.

    I just don't think one thing of a type of media (i.e. music) can be art while others are not. Art is impossible to define in words, but I think people have an idea for themselves what art is...and you need to decide if you consider things art or not, and stick to it. It just doesn't make sense to me how someone can say Monet is art while Jackson Pullock isn't just because they don't like it. They are both painters, so are they therefor not both artists who made works of art? People seem to confuse those distinctions (it being good vs it being art). Why is Monet art and Pullock not? Why is Beethoven art but not the Sex Pistols? Why is Shakespeare poetry but not the Wu-Tang Clan? (for examples of the art and not art debate). Mozart isn't "more music" than Thelonius Monk, so how could it, or anything else, also be "more art". People can enjoy one more than another, but it doesn't make it more art than something else, and it doesn't make it more music than something else. Both are art, both are music, no matter how good or bad they may be to the one listning. I hope that was an adequate explaination.
    This helps.

    First, I havn't read Nietzche, so I'm not sure what you mean by that last part.
    It's a paradigm distinction: Apollonian art is primarily rooted along the lines of the qualities of the Greek god Apollo (most importantly here, he is the god of law and of dreams), whereas Dionysian art follows the Greek god Dionysus (god of the "frenzy"--of importantly vivid sensory experiences). It goes deeper than this, but as a general explanation I hope this works.

    What I've heard a lot of people say when discussing how art should be judged is that it gets compared to other similar things and rated accordingly. I've never done this, I've always naturally evaluated things I saw/heard/read based on how I felt about the works themselves, regardless of other works of art first. This doesn't mean I don't comapre things at all, I'm just saying that I've always found that I come up with thoughts and ratings and then compare later based on how much I liked them.
    I think I agree that such comparative analysis can often (if not always) jeopardize honest/natural experience of art.

    I'm not really sure what you're asking with this, could you please elaborate?

    If you are saying these things are considered "high culture" for a reason, I still don't get it. The idea of "high culture" does sound like snobbery to me. Its people putting the things they like and their tastes above other things. Its very similar to making something "more art" then something else, it just doesn't really make sense to me.

    But I'm not entirely sure what you were asking... so could you please elaborate?
    Actually, that was it mostly . . . differentiated a little bit: I don't see it as "people putting the things they like and their tastes above other things," but instead people attempting to justify arguments based on the aesthetic qualities of a single work.

    One who simply forces his/her opinions without good reason is doing something I would say is wrong.

    I know stage and film are different. The fact they are different is beside the point. Both are art, neither is more art than the other (both in reference to stage and film and in reference to Transformers and Shakespeare). Perhaps one is better/more enjoyable than the other, but it isn't more art, its just a higher quality work of art.
    But isn't the part I italicized the important part? Insofar as, the higher quality work is more likely to be meaningful/profound than is the lower quality work. Neither is more or less art, but one is certainly more important.

    This is the point where people decide what they liek and what they don't like. I personally wasn't totally impressed with all of Shakespeare's plot elements and characters when I read his plays. I was very impressed by some things, and dissapointed in others. You, or anyone else, may have -no, likely- saw it differently and enjoyed it or did not enjoy it for your own reasons/interpretation.
    I don't want to deny you your opinion, but I would want an explanation if you would go so far as to claim that Shakespeare's works "fail"--I spent a semester studying 6 of his plays in a 400-level undergrad course last spring, and have several pages of notes about how those particular plays succeed on multiple levels.

    If you simply are not entertained by Shakespeare, then I don't mean to challenge you--but I do mean to challenge you if you would deny the importance of Shakespeare's art in English theatre, as well as in western society in general. Your reaction--to be entertained, to be moved, to have your thoughts provoked--is individual . . . and you are very much entitled to it. I don't think you mean to deny Shakespeare's art as being pretty important on a wider scale, but I worry about those who would . . .

    Ideally, greta works of art are both meaningful and masterful. A high quality peice of art is both, a bad peice of art may have little of both, and a decent/good work of art may be only moderately strong in both or may excell in one but be weak in another. I'm sure theres more to it than that, but I'd rather just sit back and enjoy it at this point rather than go into obscure/irrelevant points.
    I can appreciate that--I think our main disagreements are probably based in different knowledge-bases concerning aesthetic philosophy. You've clarified a lot of the problems I initially took issue with--I appreciate this. I am somewhat embarrassed that I seem unable to offer more detailed responses at the moment, but . . . well, I think I need to get some sleep I'll try to respond in more depth tomorrow if there is anything more from my perspective that you would like me to clarify.

    This has been a fun discussion though
    Indeed

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    I just don't think one thing of a type of media (i.e. music) can be art while others are not. Art is impossible to define in words, but I think people have an idea for themselves what art is...and you need to decide if you consider things art or not, and stick to it. It just doesn't make sense to me how someone can say Monet is art while Jackson Pullock isn't just because they don't like it. They are both painters, so are they therefor not both artists who made works of art? People seem to confuse those distinctions (it being good vs it being art). Why is Monet art and Pullock not? Why is Beethoven art but not the Sex Pistols? Why is Shakespeare poetry but not the Wu-Tang Clan? (for examples of the art and not art debate). Mozart isn't "more music" than Thelonius Monk, so how could it, or anything else, also be "more art". People can enjoy one more than another, but it doesn't make it more art than something else, and it doesn't make it more music than something else. Both are art, both are music, no matter how good or bad they may be to the one listning. I hope that was an adequate explaination.
    I'm glad someone else said this. It's always been a pet peeve of mine that people use the word "art" as a measure of quality instead of as a means of expression. For instance, "He raises grilling a steak to an art." Well, grilling a steak is either art or it isn't, regardless of how good or bad the steak is. There is great art, good art and bad art. If you use painting, writing, music, filmmaking, etc. to express yourself, it's art. Doesn't mean it's any good.

  8. #28
    *ears perk up* wolfmaiden14's Avatar
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    (I've read through a good bit of this thread and really enjoyed the discussion! However, I don't feel I have too much more to add to that, so I'll stick to the OP question.)

    Here's how I see it:

    Artists are generally the types to step outside of society and notice its flaws, maybe to completely scorn it. This makes them more inclined to wish it would collapse, or possibly even believe it will(whoooo end-time theorists!). Thus, they are bigger fan of zombie movies, or really any post-apocalyptic type theme.

    I consider myself an artist, and personally I just like zombie movies because I think it's funny to watch someone's head get blown off . (only on screen, though. )

    best so-awful-it's-good zombie flicks: the Evil Dead movies. Especially when they realized the scare factor was failing and turned it into comedy in Army of Darkness.
    Forming characters! Whose? Our own or others? Both. And in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence. - Elihu Burritt

    Member of the Maverick's Biker Club - Now crashing through walls instead of just..walking into them.

  9. #29
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rohsiph View Post
    It's a paradigm distinction: Apollonian art is primarily rooted along the lines of the qualities of the Greek god Apollo (most importantly here, he is the god of law and of dreams), whereas Dionysian art follows the Greek god Dionysus (god of the "frenzy"--of importantly vivid sensory experiences). It goes deeper than this, but as a general explanation I hope this works.
    Ok, I think I see what you are saying. One is art that stimulates the imagination and thoughts, the other is art that stimulates purely the senses in a powerful way?


    But isn't the part I italicized the important part? Insofar as, the higher quality work is more likely to be meaningful/profound than is the lower quality work. Neither is more or less art, but one is certainly more important.
    The higher quality work could be higher quality because it is more profound or meaningful. However, I don't think quality depends strictly on meaning, because there are lots of things that are enjoyable even if they are totally meaningless. But, having the meaning and having good meaning does make soemthing higher quality, I think. Importance is something I see as different altogether. Importance seems to me to be more about influence, how it shifted and changed the works that followed. Generally though, the meaningful things are also the most important as well.



    I don't want to deny you your opinion, but I would want an explanation if you would go so far as to claim that Shakespeare's works "fail"--I spent a semester studying 6 of his plays in a 400-level undergrad course last spring, and have several pages of notes about how those particular plays succeed on multiple levels.

    If you simply are not entertained by Shakespeare, then I don't mean to challenge you--but I do mean to challenge you if you would deny the importance of Shakespeare's art in English theatre, as well as in western society in general. Your reaction--to be entertained, to be moved, to have your thoughts provoked--is individual . . . and you are very much entitled to it. I don't think you mean to deny Shakespeare's art as being pretty important on a wider scale, but I worry about those who would . . .
    I don't deny his importance, no, cause that would be quite silly. His influence and importance in literature is simply undeniable, even if my individual opinion of his works that I have read sometimes leave me wondering if his talents are perhaps exagerated to some extent.


    I can appreciate that--I think our main disagreements are probably based in different knowledge-bases concerning aesthetic philosophy. You've clarified a lot of the problems I initially took issue with--I appreciate this. I am somewhat embarrassed that I seem unable to offer more detailed responses at the moment, but . . . well, I think I need to get some sleep I'll try to respond in more depth tomorrow if there is anything more from my perspective that you would like me to clarify.
    No, I think thats about it, thanks!

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfmaiden14;68515
    best so-awful-it's-good zombie flicks: the [I
    Evil Dead[/I] movies. Especially when they realized the scare factor was failing and turned it into comedy in Army of Darkness.
    I LOVE those movies. It's very interesting to me that ridiculous not-at-all-scary "horror" movies continue to be made after the Evil Dead movies, which are pitch-perfect parodies that point out everything ridiculous about the genre.

    "Gimme some sugar, baby!"

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