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Culture Forum

Culture Forum

  1. Standard member Seitse
    Doug Stanhope
    27 Feb '08 12:09
    SEITSE SEAL OF APPROVAL
  2. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    27 Feb '08 12:11
    I completely agree on an intellectual level, as I can't think of a way of objectifying the supposed superiority or absence of it. However, this puzzles me, in the sense that it seems to me that the practical consequences of both might not be the same.

    Cultural events/works that can provoke people into thinking about an issue can have a stronger impact on society than, say, bingo. They can be evidently be used as a force for change (for better or worse) and therefore it seems to me that they should be at a different level.

    Note that, from my first sentence, I'm absolutely against the labeling any type or work as inherently superior. Particularly by supposed critics. Yet, again, there are many instances where "artistic culture" has been a positive force for the improvement of society while I can't think of any case where bingo did.

    So there must be a difference. Identifying it clearly is the difficulty.
  3. Standard member Seitse
    Doug Stanhope
    27 Feb '08 12:19 / 1 edit
    It may be impossible, actually.

    There are 2 ways (both not fortunate, sadly) by which the
    masses label something as 'superior'.

    (1) By accepting the labelling from a source seen as qualified or even
    superior in itself.

    (2) By obscurity, i.e. the more cryptic the more 'superior'.

    The first one is, unfortunately, a feature of religion -as obscure as it
    sounds; while the other one is pure confusion.
  4. 27 Feb '08 12:21
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    I don't believe it is. If anything Bingo is better because it reflects the public preference.

    I just happen to prefer opera, and that doesn't make me any better than anybody else, it's just my preference. I find bingo boring, and I love the sound and spectacle of opera.

    There are advantages in preferring opera though - you can get a parking space closer to the venue!
  5. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    27 Feb '08 13:09
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    I'm not saying that at all.

    [IMPERATIVE] Read Shakespeare, listen to Mozart, learn Latin, look at Turner, and so on.[/IMPERATIE}
    First, from my post it should be clear that if labeling is impossible, then culture can never be dictated.

    Why is the work of Italian Renaissance artists considered innately better than the work of colonial American female quilt-makers?
    See above. I'm also against this.

    Are you saying that something can only be described as cultural if it reaches a mass audience i.e. all of society?
    Why would my ideas imply this? Some (most?) societal changes start with a leading minority that manage to influence or convince the majority.

    how can classical music be described as high culture when it is constantly outsold, and out-listened to by pop music?
    Pop music can certainly have an impact on society. I'd say (without proof here) that it probably has had more so than classical music. I'm not identifying the two types with the classical definition/concept of high culture. This comes from the impossibility of labeling that I described above.
  6. 27 Feb '08 17:09 / 4 edits
    Here are some things to consider:

    1) Depth of subject. Some subjects are innately more complex than others. For example, chess is a deeper subject than checkers.

    2) Depth of understanding of a subject. Some demonstrate a deeper understanding of a given subject. Also, the deeper one's understanding, the greater the appreciation one can have for such a demonstration. For example, you can look at a game played by two Grandmasters vs. a game played by two patzers. In the Grandmaster game the level of play demonstrates a depth of understanding the won't be found in the game played by two patzers. The greater the depth of understanding you have for chess, the greater the appreciation you can have for the differences between the level of play of the two games.

    "Art" is a demonstration of an extremely deep level of understanding of a subject. The deeper the subject and the deeper the demonstration of understanding of the subject, the more superior the work of art. The deeper the understanding that you have, the greater the appreciation you can have for the work of art.

    I think I'm going to start a thread on this topic. Go to "What is art" if you want to explore this in detail.
  7. Standard member rbmorris
    Vampyroteuthis
    27 Feb '08 17:58
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    I reluctantly agree on some level. He is right, if you take the term literally, although he does emphasize the impact of societal influences on the components of language. In other words, "culture" is whatever we define it to be. You're right, just about anything that occupies large portions of our time could literally be considered "culture". Bingo could be culture, but you'd have to choose the right font.

    Personally, I think culture represents the best and most influential things that we, as a society, in this day and age have to offer. It's difficult to tell what today's "culture" is. Time will tell.
  8. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    28 Feb '08 11:07
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    That's exactly what I was saying. There are ways of attacking elitism without defending that there are no differences.
  9. 29 Apr '08 17:49
    Bingo and opera?

    I can only assume that those arguing that there is no such thing as good and bad cultural would agree that a game of chess is just as rewarding and demanding as playing bingo?

    http://www.slate.com/id/2189318/

    For those of you who find long words difficult allow me to quote the last question:

    9. Well, I like poetry that is amusing, that maybe makes me chuckle a little. I'd rather read something reassuring and light than something complicated or gloomy. Is that bad? Does that mean I am a jerk?

    Yes.
  10. 29 Apr '08 19:27
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    Originally posted by catfoodtim
    Why is Michaelangelo's David better than The Angel Of the North?

    Better? In what way? If you made a list of the qualities that both pieces had and the work required to produce each and then rated them would that suffice? I'm not sure. For me it's simply because the level of talent required to compose and craft the first single-handedly without the aid of machines far exceeds that required to draw and source the manufacture of the second. Personally I find the Angel of the North is a bit crap, and that's got nothing to do with me being a southerner, just that it's a rusty eye-sore. I'm not big on David either, but at least it's not a gigantic, scrap wicker man.

    Why is Opera better than Bingo?

    Because bingo is the @rse-end of entertainment, it has absolutely no content. In real terms it's sitting down and ticking off a piece of paper as someone calls out some numbers. I can get temping work doing that and get paid a regular wage. You may not like opera, but you have to concede it's a long way above bingo in the culture stakes.

    You may have guessed by now (and I know that you're not surprised) that I am totally against the view held by Williams. There's culture and there's Culture. The first is what there is, the second is what shines through the cess-pit.

    And before Palynka drops his two cents in, yes, I know, I'm an elitist sheep. So bleet it!
  11. Standard member Natsia
    Lippy Brat
    29 Apr '08 20:36
    I think the point here, Starrman, is that culture is subjective and therefor defined by its people.
    Those who look on the Angel of the North as a thing of beauty and can admire the architectural and engineering (if any) that went into its construction does not mean that the David is any less an artistic and highly skilled work in view of those who appreciate it for the same reasons.

    Social class, what appeals to some might not appeal to others but cannot in all fairness be disregarded purely because those one the opposite side of the spectrum consider it to be trite.
    Point in case: Rodeos. (Why?)
  12. 29 Apr '08 21:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Natsia
    I think the point here, Starrman, is that culture is subjective and therefor defined by its people.
    Those who look on the Angel of the North as a thing of beauty and can admire the architectural and engineering (if any) that went into its construction does not mean that the David is any less an artistic and highly skilled work in view of those who appreciate ...[text shortened]... e one the opposite side of the spectrum consider it to be trite.
    Point in case: Rodeos. (Why?)
    If that's the case then there's no point in aesthetic considerations, and yet they're fundamentally important to what we do everyday. Trends become so because a larger percentage of the population find pleasure in them. Why? If it was subjective alone wouldn't we'd be surprised at the notion of trends? Wouldn't we find the notion of some things, which majorities find displeasing, to be more popular in society? If all we can say about aesthetic judgements is that they're subjective then, in my opinion, we're being sloppy.
  13. Standard member Natsia
    Lippy Brat
    29 Apr '08 21:46
    Originally posted by Starrman
    If that's the case then there's no point in aesthetic considerations, and yet they're fundamentally important to what we do everyday. Trends become so because a larger percentage of the population find pleasure in them. Why? If it was subjective alone wouldn't we'd be surprised at the notion of trends? Wouldn't we find the notion of some things, which m ...[text shortened]... aesthetic judgements is that they're subjective then, in my opinion, we're being sloppy.
    What is left for anyone to rebel or rally against?
    What is left that has any true shock value?
    How many truly original ideals are out there which have not been silenced or perverted by the influential and rich?

    In a global society where we have information at our disposal 24/7 the masses are still being trained to be stupid and complacent. Culture as we know it has been born of boredom, cheap thrills and entertainment with immediate "benefits" or payoffs.
    Pathetic as it is, it is.
  14. Standard member Nemesio
    Ursulakantor
    29 Apr '08 22:29 / 1 edit
    The post that was quoted here has been removed
    All this post-modernist crap -- where nothing is better than anything else, where any crap stain
    is a piece of art, where refusing to render judgement is considered a virtue -- is just an effort to
    make the mediocre feel like they're not. In this world, everyone is a genius, everyone is an
    artist, everyone has something meaningful to say.

    Well, I hate to tell you this, but 50% of all people are below average. That's just how it is. And,
    sure, it's hard for a person to come to terms with the notion that they're sub-par, but that's just
    life. And people don't like it. 'It's not worse, it's just different,' they say.

    When your toddler draws a picture of a face, and the eyes are off center, one ear is bigger
    than the other, the mouth is crooked, and the body is smaller than the head, you say, 'What
    a beautiful picture!' You want to encourage the child, even though the picture is a poor representation
    of what it aims to represent. You want the child to feel loved, to feel nurtured, to feel supported.
    These are good things, for a child. For an adult, it's not good. When an adult stinks at
    something, when they do a bad job, or when they are just plain mediocre, they still want to
    hear how great they are. And, you do your child a disservice if you continue to stroke its ego
    when its production doesn't keep up with its capacity to produce. If an older child does a mediocre
    job with something, if you tell it that it was 'wonderful,' of course it will have no standard for
    good and bad. And the cycle continues. Why strive for 'better' when 'mediocre' is 'wonderful?'

    By profession I am an organist, which means I attend (i.e., play for) to a lot of funerals. I've
    yet to hear a eulogy where the decedent wasn't a perfect parent, a perfect uncle, a perfect
    grandma -- infinitely patient, generous with money, time or advice, gentle, the best listener,
    loved Jesus more than anyone else, and so on and so on and so on. I'm sure I've played
    five hundred funerals, in which half had eulogies just like that.

    It's about self-delusion. If people acknowledge that 50% of culture is below average, then they
    are forced to examine themselves a little bit to see if they might be embracing crap. Don't
    mistake me: I'm not suggesting that one should only surround themselves with the cream of
    the crop of whatever cultural media. Sometimes, 'bad movie night' is fun. Sometimes, you
    just want to listen to Cyndi Lauper, Boy George, or UTFO. Thomas Kincaid is nice to look at.
    There's nothing wrong with vegging out to Miami Vice. But be honest about it: that stuff
    is mediocre at best.

    Is there good or even great contemporary stuff? Of course. This isn't a defense of the 'Dead
    White Men' mindset. But the idea that just because it's art makes it 'good' is baloney. Today,
    just like every other day in the history of humankind, there's a lot of crap being produced by
    a lot of mediocre artists. Today, unlike many times in the past, we just seem afraid to say:
    what a pile of crap! And even worse is when some of us actually have aesthetic convictions,
    the mediocrity-embracing group cries about elitism, judgmentalism, ivory towerism, and every
    other thing in an effort to call attention away from their 'average' production and upon the
    'bad guy' who actually has an opinion.

    Nemesio
  15. 29 Apr '08 22:58
    Roses are red,
    violets are purple;
    my love’s as sweet
    as maple syruple.

    _________________________________

    The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
    drives my green age,
    that blasts the roots of trees is my destroyer.
    And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
    my youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

    —Dylan Thomas

    _________________________________

    If the first example is as good as poetry as the second, then put me with Nemesio and Starrman as an elitist snob.