The Rings, The Music and The Good Things

Yesterday I saw the last installment of Lord of the Rings. I enjoyed it. Later that evening I went to a party were a baaad DJ played all of thos old songs I grew up with. I enjoyed that, too. I realize that those things are not artistically “valuable” by most standards – in fact the DJ was downright tasteless. I enjoyed it nonetheless.

In the first moment, that bugged me. How could a enjoy a multi-million spectacle, with no intellectual message to speak of, as much as I did a deep and profound drama? How could I have as much fun on a party with a ridiculous sound track as in an elitist club?

The short answer is that I do. The long answer is that I think that emotional enjoyment is as valuable as intellectual fascination. Both are equally important, but sometimes you have to just sit back and relax. I don’t subscribe to the notion that everything we do and enjoy must follow some higher idea, as to prove our worthyness. Your view on art, and the world at large, will be narrowed if you always pre-dissect it into that which is worthy, and that which is not. It’s the same kind of behaviour that allows one to genuinely enjoy a meal and, only after finding out about the ingredients, reject it as disgusting.
Nonetheless I’m still very judgemental about taste. In movies, this has something to do with the fact that I do not like to be bored, nor do I like to be lied at – which is exactly was is happening in many blockbusters. Today it doesn’t seem to be enough to tell a simple story, and tell it well. One has to include a “message” of some sort, “deep” feelings and “insights” into society’s problems. This is, of course, a scam. One to set us up in the belief that we’re looking at something with a higher value. It wants to distract us from the fact that someone only had a simple story, but could not tell it well. I call it kitsch.

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