Friday, November 13, 2009

14. A Note from d'Artagnan "On Elitism"

"On Elitism"

I am not going to post a book review as scheduled this week because the past couple of weeks have been insane and I just didn’t get to it. I will though, offer some thoughts on art, music, and literature and my book reviews in general.

Elitism in the creative arts pisses me off. I really can’t stand it when people confuse preference with status. I see and hear it happening a lot in my line of work. If Person A prefers a certain genre of music but Person B prefers an entirely different genre, Person A seems to automatically judge Person B. Suddenly Person B’s self-worth is mixed in with what music they listen to and whether or not that music is “cool” or “lame” according to Person A.

The same thing happens with literature. Certain books are devalued and therefore, anyone who likes those books are devalued as people. Preference or taste becomes a status game.

I HATE THIS CRAP. (Excuse my language.) I find it absolutely ridiculous.

It is my understanding that one of the main purposes of art, music, and literature, is to reach people. The creative arts are a means of self expression and connection. Just because a piece isn’t preferred by one person, doesn’t mean it can’t hold value to someone else. Just because Person A values a certain type of music, doesn’t make Person A somehow superior to Person B.

It is a matter of SUBJECTIVE PREFERENCE. One is not better than the other; they’re just different!!!

Reasons for connecting to or enjoying a song or a book or a painting are different for every single person. Maybe they like the lyrics to one song. Maybe a certain character reminds them of someone they loved. Maybe a brushstroke reminds them of who the hell knows what else.

My point is, people should be able to like the music, literature, and art of their choosing without that preference leading to some sort of judgment of their character, intelligence, or worth. The creative arts are meant to be enjoyed and discussed. They’re meant to be provocative and being elitist about any art form defeats its purpose entirely.

I hope that my reviews are not perceived as elitist.

Anything I express in this blog is ALWAYS up for discussion, contradiction, etc. I don’t claim to be the ultimate judge of ANYONE’S writing. In doing these reviews, I am not passing judgment on readers but expressing what value the books I read hold for me. Feel free to disagree as much as you would like. There is a good chance you’ll be right because I think that, ultimately, the only person that can truly judge the quality of a piece is YOU.

Ok, I’m done now. Hopefully I’ll have the Ceremony review up for you next week.


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