There comes a time when any decent person will have to tolerate someone else’s taste in music and art. This is especially true when we are graciously invited to someone’s home or are being treated to entertainment that we do not pay for.
In these cases, nothing is more obnoxious than for a guest to rant and rave about the quality of the art and the music.
But some people are control freaks who have to “get” everyone else to take on their preferences in art and music. There is no repair for such sociopaths, so we need to leave them alone to howl at their own moons.
The truth is that, even if the music is Yugoslavian Balaicacas or Scottish bagpipes, as long as the sound does not lead to medical problems, the right thing to do is to tolerate a certain amount of the stuff of another person’s dreams.
But when the manipulative con game is on, watch out for the talentless hack. The talentless hack is more about yakking or “analyzing” than they are about producing anything good.
One tool of the talentless hack is to tell the reluctant viewer or disappointed listener that “If you understood it, you would like it!”
What does that MEAN?
Humans have a remarkable ability to establish their own preferences, no matter what their level of intelligence or formal education. While it is fine to develop an appreciation for art that can only come with greater understanding, nothing (and I mean nothing) can turn pure dung into spun gold.
The next con in the big con game is to intimidate the victim with endless pseudo intellectual conversation that is filled with “analysis” and “deconstruction” of the art. Unless a critic is an artist with a track record of solid accomplishment, then deconstruction monsters and arrogant analysts are nothing more than phailures, phakes, phonies and phools!
The only exceptions are the true filterers, historians, curators and evaluators. There are some who dedicate their lives to understanding art. They help us to understand and to become better informed. They lay out the art in galleries so that there is a flow from one work to another. They classify art, so that we can know where an artist fits among the vast field of other artists.
Such people truly know their music. They know their imagery. They know their artists. They know how one musician reminds them of another musician. They describe the “schools” or “movements” that happen in art and architecture. They are truly scientists of the creative and they do what the actual creators either cannot or will not do.
In the Artist’s Nook, the world is what we want it to be.
Pure watercolor on D’Arches 300 lb hot press
It is good to grow up in diversity, to have a broad education, and to develop an appreciation for many types of music and art. Instinct will give an automatic “gag me with a spoon” reaction. Instinct tells people that it is enjoyable to find something that evokes thoughts of the new. Sometimes the strangest things evoke a happy rediscovery of the past.
But it is wrong to buy into the “understanding automatically causes preference or liking” argument. It will not work. if the Emperor is naked, then the Emperor is naked.
Just because it sounds like “Jazz”, that does not mean that it is good or even tolerable jazz. In fact, nothing is greater torture than to listen to second or even third rate jazz. But after 20 minutes of self indulgent noise, it does no good to follow up with reams of excuses. You hear that ROVA? European Jazz tends to suck because, while Jazz can be learned by White people, it will never really be taught by Black people.
There was a time when American schools started that downward slide into limited palettes, minimalism, and the concept that, if we do it, then it is art. Now, we are the joke of the world, with notable exceptions that only come from outsider artists or from truly gifted students who do not take that part of art school too seriously.
This led to a mess of “unlimited rights to freedom of expression” and to the endless lineup of young fools who are on self appointed missions. They scream and stamp their feet if they cannot “open our minds and educate us”. How irritating.
How the hell did “Piss Christ” send a message about anything? It’s not like that piece of talentless and lazy garbage ended world hunger, inspired someone, or prevented 911 from happening.
We do not need for art and music to beat us over the head with mediocre instructions for living a weak, dysfunctional and lame life. We do not need to have our brains cluttered with images of low quality or with sick junk. The best is the best and the worst is the worst.
Just because someone put some paint on something, found something, or thinks that they can do interpretive dance does not mean that it is good for others to witness.
(And “collage” or computer generated work that involves someone else’s cut up art compels some of us to slap somebody with the harshest of words.)
In the end, everyone has their preferences and it is just fine to not like something that “everyone else” is yelling about. The strongest minds can go against the current. The open minds can appreciate the flow and eddies of quality in art and music. The prepared minds can figure out how those flows and eddies are created by millions of sets of eyes, ears and minds.