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Culture Forum

Culture Forum

  1. 31 Mar '09 16:50 / 1 edit
    This will no doubt get Palynka, Bosse and CFT all excitied

    I'm interested in what people think are the pros and cons of popular vs elitist, primarily in cultural and creative respects. And whether we should aim for one in preference to the other, or if a healthy balance should, or even can be attained.

    Is there a difference between elitism and snobbery on the one hand and popular and simplistic on the other?
  2. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    31 Mar '09 17:17
    Originally posted by Starrman
    This will no doubt get Palynka, Bosse and CFT all excitied

    I'm interested in what people think are the pros and cons of popular vs elitist, primarily in cultural and creative respects. And whether we should aim for one in preference to the other, or if a healthy balance should, or even can be attained.

    Is there a difference between elitism and snobbery on the one hand and popular and simplistic on the other?
    Popularity and elitism are part of the same fractal.
  3. Standard member ChronicLeaky
    Don't Fear Me
    31 Mar '09 17:26
    Originally posted by Starrman
    This will no doubt get Palynka, Bosse and CFT all excitied

    I'm interested in what people think are the pros and cons of popular vs elitist, primarily in cultural and creative respects. And whether we should aim for one in preference to the other, or if a healthy balance should, or even can be attained.

    Is there a difference between elitism and snobbery on the one hand and popular and simplistic on the other?
    People who worry about the cultural ramifications of the products of creativity are vile hipsters! I believe that Questionable Content even commented on this fact.

    Either I am misunderstanding the question (in particular what you mean by "aim for" and who's doing the aiming). I think that if a person making a creative effort doesn't have some sort of aesthetic standards independent of the audience, then that creative effort is probably in some trouble. In other words, I think that while it's certainly not clear what our aesthetic standards should be, the good art/crap art axis, however defined, should be orthogonal to the elitist/popular one.
  4. Standard member Seitse
    Doug Stanhope
    31 Mar '09 17:59
    http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Hipster
  5. 31 Mar '09 18:18 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Starrman
    I'm interested in what people think are the pros and cons of popular vs elitist, primarily in cultural and creative respects. And whether we should aim for one in preference to the other, or if a healthy balance should, or even can be attained.

    Is there a difference between elitism and snobbery on the one hand and popular and simplistic on the other?
    How does enjoying something make you either a popularist or an elitist? Are those the default assignations?

    We are talking about enjoying things, right? Art, music, film, etc. If I enjoy listening to something that fewer people enjoy, relatively speaking, does that make me an elitist? If someone enjoys a song or band that I don't, does that make them a popularist? If so, then I kinda find that offensive.

    Personally, I think people should aim to please themselves and to hell with what anyone else thinks. Search for what you like and enjoy it. If you don't find enjoyment in what's directly available to you, find what it is you enjoy and run with it.
  6. Standard member Hand of Hecate
    Merciless Vagabond
    31 Mar '09 20:12
    Originally posted by Starrman
    This will no doubt get Palynka, Bosse and CFT all excitied

    I'm interested in what people think are the pros and cons of popular vs elitist, primarily in cultural and creative respects. And whether we should aim for one in preference to the other, or if a healthy balance should, or even can be attained.

    Is there a difference between elitism and snobbery on the one hand and popular and simplistic on the other?
    It is my opinion that elitist often have something going for them that legitimately separates them from others. Those that just think they're better than everyone else for no damn good reason are snobs. Sometimes we can be both.

    Darvlay = Music Elitist / Fashion Snob.
    Starrman = Social Elitist / Self Absorbed Plonker
    Bosse de Nage = Literary Elitist / Sociopath
  7. 31 Mar '09 20:41
    Okay, so perhaps rather than aesthetic poles, we should look at (I'm really not sure how to phrase this) something like 'effort'? Is culture that is easy to come by, to produce or appreciate somehow lesser and likewise, is that which is very hard to come by, produce or appreciate somehow better?

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is, irrespective of taste, whether or not there is some element which could be considered catalytic in promoting a cultural appreciation with the emphasis on better or worse.

    Is there anything we can say which is not anchored to aesthetics alone?
  8. 31 Mar '09 21:20
    Originally posted by Starrman
    This will no doubt get Palynka, Bosse and CFT all excitied

    I'm interested in what people think are the pros and cons of popular vs elitist, primarily in cultural and creative respects. And whether we should aim for one in preference to the other, or if a healthy balance should, or even can be attained.

    Is there a difference between elitism and snobbery on the one hand and popular and simplistic on the other?
    Of course there is. Bourgeois music and solely popular music (with no artistic ability) are very different.
  9. Standard member ChronicLeaky
    Don't Fear Me
    01 Apr '09 19:30 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Starrman
    Okay, so perhaps rather than aesthetic poles, we should look at (I'm really not sure how to phrase this) something like 'effort'? Is culture that is easy to come by, to produce or appreciate somehow lesser and likewise, is that which is very hard to come by, produce or appreciate somehow better?

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is, irrespective of t ...[text shortened]... etter or worse.

    Is there anything we can say which is not anchored to aesthetics alone?
    "Effort to appreciate" sounds promising, but I think it should be weakened a little. A lot of aesthetic stuff I find really spiffy can be appreciated in some way with no effort, and in another way with lots.

    There's very good stuff which gives diminishing returns appreciationwise as the effort increases (I'd put Quentin Tarantino and The Beatles in this category, for instance), and it's possible for this stuff to have popular appeal.

    If we take "elite" to refer to the (small) group of people who like to put lots of effort into appreciating some type of thing, then art in the above category isn't likely to have additional elite appeal (elitists may like it, but in liking it they are not functioning as elitists).

    This way of looking at things isn't completely independent of aesthetics though, for at least two reasons. First, the fact that something takes a lot of effort to fully appreciate can colour our aesthetic judgment of it one way or the other, depending on whether we find that sort of effort pleasant. Second, stuff that takes a lot of effort to appreciate tends to take a lot of effort to make (the converse does not hold: your Mozart example illustrates this, because Mozart is quite easy to appreciate), and stuff whose production took lots of effort tends to be better than stuff that didn't on a lot of aesthetic scales.

    EDIT As usual, scherzo is a joke. There's plenty of "bourgeois" music which exhibits no artistic ability, and something being solely "popular" is not equivalent to it being the product of no ability.
  10. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    01 Apr '09 21:20
    Originally posted by Starrman
    I guess what I'm trying to get at is, irrespective of taste, whether or not there is some element which could be considered catalytic in promoting a cultural appreciation with the emphasis on better or worse.

    Is there anything we can say which is not anchored to aesthetics alone?
    Everything I can think of is related to interventionism. Art as a form of symbolism for a successful movement.

    For example, for a Portuguese, the value of this song:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%A2ndola_Vila_Morena
    is much more than just aesthetics.
  11. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    12 Apr '09 14:00
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Everything I can think of is related to interventionism. Art as a form of symbolism for a successful movement.

    For example, for a Portuguese, the value of this song:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%A2ndola_Vila_Morena
    is much more than just aesthetics.
    Of course, politically motivated songs can lead to regimes that enforce their own brand of aesthetics, as in the Soviet era, all the composers were forced to write songs extolling the Soviets, etc., and in the US, songs supporting war efforts were big on the charts in WWII and the Vietnam era, but you couldn't exactly call them art.
  12. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    13 Apr '09 00:54
    Originally posted by Starrman

    Is there a difference between elitism and snobbery on the one hand and popular and simplistic on the other?
    The former is correct, the latter is wrong
  13. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    13 Apr '09 01:00 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Starrman

    Is there anything we can say which is not anchored to aesthetics alone?
    To simplify the abstract,

    Are you a sheep or are you the sheppard?

    If life is a mirror, are you the reflection or are you the object?
  14. Standard member rbmorris
    Vampyroteuthis
    13 Apr '09 02:46
    Originally posted by Starrman
    This will no doubt get Palynka, Bosse and CFT all excitied

    I'm interested in what people think are the pros and cons of popular vs elitist, primarily in cultural and creative respects. And whether we should aim for one in preference to the other, or if a healthy balance should, or even can be attained.

    Is there a difference between elitism and snobbery on the one hand and popular and simplistic on the other?
    Personally, I'd rather see someone enjoying crap art/music...etc. than avoiding the whole endeavor altogether. Someone who enjoys uncovering hidden gems in the music/art world isn't necessarily an elitist or a snob, although it can certainly lead to that. Discovering great talents who never got the credit they deserve can lead to a certain level of disappointment in popular taste.
  15. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    14 Apr '09 08:37
    Originally posted by uzless
    To simplify the abstract,

    Are you a sheep or are you the sheppard?

    If life is a mirror, are you the reflection or are you the object?
    See the second post on this thread.