[ExI] Objective standards?

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 29 21:12:02 UTC 2015

On Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 1:40 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

> *From:* extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] *On
> Behalf Of *William Flynn Wallace
> *Sent:* Tuesday, September 29, 2015 11:23 AM
> *To:* ExI chat list
> *Subject:* Re: [ExI] Objective standards?
> >>…Measured by that standard, the Beatles anthology followed by Fleetwood
> Mac constitute the classical music of the 20th century.
> >…I'd argue that you can't compare Shakespeare and comic books.  The
> latter probably outsell the former.
> BillW you are comparing an author to a genre.  Did you mean Shakespeare vs
> Stan Lee?  Shakespeare vs Jerry Siegel?  Shakespeare vs Bill Finger?  Let
> the games begin.

You raise a good point. And what genre is seen as serious changes over
time. Comics were usually thought of as low brow -- mainly something
ascribed to them by people who didn't read them. It's only in the last few
decades that they're seen as serious art -- and are more taken seriously by
cultural elites.

This matches a general historical pattern. A few hundred years ago, great
literature would've been considered what? What we would call poetry with
epic being at the lofty heights of greatness. Any artist who aspired to
greatness would want to pen an epic to join the ranks of Virgil and Homer.
And Dante and Milton did. Overall, poetry had a higher status than drama,
which had a higher status than prose narrative. The latter was seen mostly
as non-art. Then the novel came along.

But it was a slow gestation. IIRC, Samuel Richardson wanted to be a
playwright, but censorship played a role (no pun intended) in his writing
novels. Even then, the novel was slow to be taken seriously as a work of
art. During this time, many of a aspersions cast at comic books (and that
would later be cast at video games and music videos) were cast at novels.
They were for the indolent. They wasted time. They lowered morals. (This
lasted well into the 19th century with the famous attack on Flaubert's
_Madame Bovary_ for focus on pettiness and double-dealing rather extolling

> >…A shame we can't compare the Beetles and Beethoven in 100 years.  But I
> think Ludwig will be remembered more.  bill w
I notice on the elevator/office music stations, the Beatles have remarkable
> staying power after all these years.  The bulk of Beethoven’s work is about
> 200 years old now, and the Beatles about 50, so the ratio is about 4 to 1.
> In a century, the ratio will be about 2 to 1.  I am betting on the Beatles
> for sales by then.

We'll see. The Beatles have had staying power, but many of their first fans
are still around. Beethoven has stuck around despite all his first fans and
their grandchildren being long gone. That said, I'm not willing to place
any bets. :)


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