Saturday, 11 February 2012

Popular Culture: A Contempt

a) Let’s not mince words. All populist entertainment is repulsive, useless, dangerous and witheringly anti-intellectual. b) Except maybe Doctor Who. But that’s hardly Beckett, is it? c) I first became an intellectual snob in my late teens. I witnessed first hand the slow declension of burgeoning intellects through a routine of television, video games and a fear of reading books. d) How did I escape this declension? e) I learned words like declension. I started to read books. After a decade of unbridled virtual hedonism I crushed Sonic the Hedgehog to death with The Brothers Karamazov. f) I say: it’s not hard to respect difficult art and escape the self-perpetuating loops of populist cliché. You don’t have to read broadsheets. You don’t have to speak eloquently about anything with intellectuals. Who cares about all that bulldash, the haw-hawing in ginsenged dining rooms? g) All you have to do is read, watch, listen. h) I spent four years thinking Green Day made the greatest music in the universe. One day, I heard some Stravinsky and burst into tears. i) Does this make me a pompous girlie-man? j) No. k) Or yes. l) I surprised myself by tackling Dostoevsky novels and finding them relevant to my own life, psychology, etc. m) So it all became clear. The only way to grow as a human being through art is to confront difficulty, to embrace difficulty, and be pleasantly surprised when that effort translates into bliss. n) This isn’t a homily, it’s an anecdote. But I truly believe people who hide in dreary commercial art are betraying their capacity to think and improve and understand. o) Everything.


  1. Didn't h) happen to Christian Bale in Equilibrium? You may need to up your Prozium dosage. Or not.

  2. I love Prozium. Mmm, Prozium, antidepressant of the Gods!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, EFTR. I thought you were spam but there appears to be human lurking in there.