[ExI] Objective standards?
William Flynn Wallace
foozler83 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 30 16:29:42 UTC 2015
On Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 8:04 PM, Dan TheBookMan <danust2012 at gmail.com>
> On Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 3:38 PM, William Flynn Wallace <
> foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dan - Probably an issue of exposure and guidance and maybe self-control.
>> But if it's all a matter of tastes, why care so much about it?
>> Because I am a teacher - to the bone! Teachers are sharers and if I
>> love something I want to share it. That's what psych 101 does, isn't it?
>> Present a large number of areas in a rather shallow way to see if some are
>> drawn to one or another and want to follow it up somehow.
>> As for music, it's not presented in school in most places, and so most
>> people don't even have the chance to see what they might like, and I think
>> that's sad. Also sad is the fact that they might use it as sonic
>> wallpaper, just for background and never hear that there is anything more
>> to it because they don't just sit and listen, and because if they did
>> they'd still not get all of it because of their untrained ears.
>> Now - I went to concerts with a chemistry teacher and he knew nothing
>> about music but he knew he liked some classical. I argue that his
>> enjoyment might equal mine, and that he really doesn't need any more
>> knowledge than he has. But if he did, he would enjoy it on a more complex
>> level and on more levels, just as good English teachers can do with books.
>> No, I did not try to teach him. I thought it might be perceived as
>> I have pointed out the donkey imitation in Midsummer Night's Dream, and
>> that's not essential to the enjoyment, but it's interesting, eh?
>> Take Huckleberry Finn - the symbolism taught is that the river is a good
>> place and the shores are bad places etc. Interesting even if not what
>> Twain had in mind. True, as Terry Pratchett said, for a given value of
> Doesn't much of this seem to answer your question about literary and art
> analysis and criticism?
> And what was my question?
> Also, if it all comes down to pure tastes and also tastes are irreducible
> did I say this?
> and have no other significance, then it still seems to be pointless. In
> fact, one might argue this distracts from more important things. So, having
> music only as decoration would be good so that people don't focus too much
> on it, no? Of course, if there's more to it than tastes or if tastes are
> not irreducible and do matter (as in one can have bad or the wrong tastes),
> then it might matter a whole lot. One person might be better off than
> another simply because she or he has better, more informed, wider, or more
> refined tastes, for example. Or art (including literature and music) might
> have a bigger, more important role to play in life than just tastes.
> why 'just' tastes? Most of my day is concerned with taste: what to
> read, to listen to, to eat, to talk about even- I love these discussions
> and so it suits my taste to have them - when I make a post and no one is
> interested I try again to stir thing up -and sometimes I play devil's
Ask most people what/who they are. Maybe they will start with their town
or state, country, religion, occupation, marital and child status, race,
sex, level of education, social status, income. I'd rather talk about my
tastes - they are more who I am than my degrees of cash on hand.
Do I think of my tastes as refined? Somewhat. Am I an elitist? Of course.
I do believe in objective standards, but those are highly debatable, as we
are finding out. I'd even talk about Ravel versus Debussy as to whom was
better, though it doesn't make a hill of beans. And at the end our tastes
are probably unchanged, but what comes out often is that one needs to
explore others' choices to see if they are a fit for one's own universe. I
am extremely picky and so most don't, but often I am pleasantly surprised.
I have bought a lot of classical CDs, music written after 1950, and the
vast majority of them are money wasted, but then the few diamonds (Ligeti's
piano etudes for one) I find are worth it. I wish I had the money to do
that with fiction, but as Dan says, there are just so many coming out, as
Dogbert says, like a fire hose aimed at a teacup.
Maybe we should start another chat group devoted entirely to posting
favorite new books and music and what not.
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