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Discussion Starter #1
On the one hand, I have some sympathy for people who say things like "most people just don't know what good art is anymore". It may sound elitist at first, but one sometimes does have to wonder about the sorts of things that make it to the top of the charts/box office/bestsellers list.

The tone aside, though, I'm just not sure that this is accurate. Sure, you do get "guilty pleasure" stuff becoming successful because people genuinely like them (though they are often more aware of their flaws than others think, whether that is subconsciously or consciously). And to a large degree it really is a matter of taste. But I think it's marketing and big names that get popular art to be successful, honestly, and (especially in the case of works associated with a particular artist or franchise) the hope that they will not disappoint. Fan loyalty and fads (oh, you just have to see this!) play a role. I think it would be better, if you had to fault anyone, to do it for their optimism or their loyalty and not their taste. Remember, you only need to see a movie once for the producers to make some money on it. A song only needs to be catchy, then you can licence it to all the clubs and radio stations you want.

Art is meant to appeal to people's emotions (ie it is subjective at least to some degree), so I feel people as a whole really can't be incapable of telling whether or not it's of quality. Human nature is more or less the same on the most basic levels. If it succeeded in its goal of emotionally engaging most people who saw it, I believe you're justified in saying it works, at least on some level.

Any thoughts?
 

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The idea of art is that the artist transfers some symbolic images representing his own psyche to a physical form(let it be music or visual arts) and the person viewing the art projects his own psyche to the symbolism of the art and to the piece of art itself. And by symbolic image im obviously not talking about some visual image, but something that can be intuited.

For example some musical chords might sound sad, some might sound hopeful, some might sound happy. So when for example you are listening to a musical piece where it starts off as melancholic, then slowly grows into hope and then turns into happy. The person listening to this can project his own experiences of melancholy turning to hope and hope turning to happy happy joy joy. The same way visual arts can evoke similar emotions and instincts. Usually when someone cant relate to a song in any meaningful(to that person) way, he doesent like that particular piece of art.

Its not just this sort of emotions that gets transfered and projected to art, its about all instincts. Sexual instinct is a good example of this and this is basically why sex sells. Also most people have instinctive desire to belong to a group.. Sooo when it comes to musical industry for example and stuff like MTV and all the crap you hear from there it basically just plays with peoples instinct to belong to a group(tell them that this is the hottest shit on music right now) and play with their sexual instincts. There is no what people who really care about art would call art in MTV shit or radio hits most of the time(few bands that are actually popular because its good art and people see it do pop up at time to time).

Or actually the MTV crap like justin bieber or beyonce is doing what the art is supposed to do, there are symbols of group and sex attached to them and many people who listen to that experiences them. But the thing is that those instincts are simple compared to what for example a good classical piece can offer and people who have developed some sense of complexity in their taste of art see right through that and simply see MTV music mostly as utter garbage.

Here is a good example of this:



And yes most people are simple minded animals following the heard, therefore stuff like kate perry or justin bieber are so popular.
 

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It depends on numerous factors. However, a mistake many people (myself included) tend to make is to think "fringe=good / popular=bad". There are instances where, a popular, big-budget stuio movie can be extremely good; capable of evoking deep emotions to an individual and making him leave the cinema with his world turned upside down. On the other hand, you can have a small, indie film (which, are supposed to be artsy and not-commercial) that earns the term "steamy pile of shit". I think one has to taste everything; only in that way, you can find out whether something's really good or really bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Its not just this sort of emotions that gets transfered and projected to art, its about all instincts. Sexual instinct is a good example of this and this is basically why sex sells. Also most people have instinctive desire to belong to a group.. Sooo when it comes to musical industry for example and stuff like MTV and all the crap you hear from there it basically just plays with peoples instinct to belong to a group(tell them that this is the hottest shit on music right now) and play with their sexual instincts. There is no what people who really care about art would call art in MTV shit or radio hits most of the time(few bands that are actually popular because its good art and people see it do pop up at time to time).

Or actually the MTV crap like justin bieber or beyonce is doing what the art is supposed to do, there are symbols of group and sex attached to them and many people who listen to that experiences them. But the thing is that those instincts are simple compared to what for example a good classical piece can offer and people who have developed some sense of complexity in their taste of art see right through that and simply see MTV music mostly as utter garbage.
Good point. But like you say it's not the art that appeals in this case...it's the sex.

And while a lot of people may honestly be too unaware to tell the difference, I think that (beyond a certain age) a lot of people are able to enjoy these "guilty pleasures" while being fully conscious of what they are.

I can't tell you how many women I've met who've read crappy romance novels and prefaced their "reviews" with "omg, I just finished reading this terrible, terrible book...but I loved it!"

(I wouldn't be caught dead listening to MTV stuff though...lol.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It depends on numerous factors. However, a mistake many people (myself included) tend to make is to think "fringe=good / popular=bad". There are instances where, a popular, big-budget stuio movie can be extremely good; capable of evoking deep emotions to an individual and making him leave the cinema with his world turned upside down. On the other hand, you can have a small, indie film (which, are supposed to be artsy and not-commercial) that earns the term "steamy pile of shit". I think one has to taste everything; only in that way, you can find out whether something's really good or really bad.
Agreed. Yes, it's true that most mainstream stuff isn't good (Sturgeon's Law), and that most good quality stuff is found outside the mainstream (not because mainstream art can't be good, but because most art, both good and bad, never gets mass distribution). But most indie bands/movies/etc. really are awful. If anything they actually plumb deeper lows than the "mainstream stuff" - and don't get me wrong, that's not because the mainstream is the paragon of "great art" or anything, but because there are fewer barriers to getting into the indie scene (still quite a few for film of course).
 

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It depends on numerous factors. However, a mistake many people (myself included) tend to make is to think "fringe=good / popular=bad". There are instances where, a popular, big-budget stuio movie can be extremely good; capable of evoking deep emotions to an individual and making him leave the cinema with his world turned upside down. On the other hand, you can have a small, indie film (which, are supposed to be artsy and not-commercial) that earns the term "steamy pile of shit". I think one has to taste everything; only in that way, you can find out whether something's really good or really bad.
I like this post. You're absolutely right. Sometimes things are popular because they are good. While this can be an exception to the rule, many people take the stance that it's popularity means it's inherently bad. Of course, subjectivity is important here as well. Viewing something as "objectively" good doesn't mean someone will like it if it doesn't fit their tastes.
 

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I get tired of snobbery over the arts. If I like, it I like it. It's as simple as that, whether the whole world wants to nitpick over what's wrong with it or not. I get tired of reviews nitpicking unimportant details rather than taking, books for instance, as a whole, but I suppose that would be my Ne at work taking in the big picture rather than the details. Not that I don't like thinking about the book in more depth etc., but even if I do find problems, it doesn't change my first impression. So basically, I don't think it matters, and it's too subjective to tell. Movie reviewers are the worst for snobbery in my opinion. They'll bash movies for the weirdest reasons, and then you'll discover that the movie is a million times better than they said.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I get tired of snobbery over the arts. If I like, it I like it. It's as simple as that, whether the whole world wants to nitpick over what's wrong with it or not. I get tired of reviews nitpicking unimportant details rather than taking, books for instance, as a whole, but I suppose that would be my Ne at work taking in the big picture rather than the details. Not that I don't like thinking about the book in more depth etc., but even if I do find problems, it doesn't change my first impression. So basically, I don't think it matters, and it's too subjective to tell. Movie reviewers are the worst for snobbery in my opinion. They'll bash movies for the weirdest reasons, and then you'll discover that the movie is a million times better than they said.
One thing I find a little weird is critics' obsession with logical plotholes. Especially those of the internet persuasion. :wink: Don't get me wrong, especially in certain genres these can be big enough to ruin a film, but not always, and if you can suspend disbelief you'll sometimes find a movie that is otherwise of very high quality.

I'm not saying a logical plothole isn't a legitimate problem; it can pull people out of the story, make the tension less compelling...plus I have found movies with a lot of logical plotholes are often bad in other ways. I just think people lose sight of what a movie's about when they focus solely on them. We don't go to movies for the logic, at least not most of us. And this is coming from an INTP... :wink:
 

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Art is meant to appeal to people's emotions (ie it is subjective at least to some degree), so I feel people as a whole really can't be incapable of telling whether or not it's of quality. Human nature is more or less the same on the most basic levels. If it succeeded in its goal of emotionally engaging most people who saw it, I believe you're justified in saying it works, at least on some level.

Any thoughts?
I especially agree with the sentiment of your last paragraph. I am personally so sick of art snobbery.
I hate parts of the industry (in my case mainly film/acting, but also music and writing/publishing to a lesser extent), I really do, but it also enables us to do what we want. It undoubtedly has its flaws, not least because it's a billion dollar industry, and there's much at stake. And sometimes that means you need to make a decision about your artistic integrity. That doesn't mean however we constantly need to get our knickers in a twist about artistic merit.

Whether the average audience member can judge: Most of them might not have the ability to judge performances/whatever from a technical point of view, but do they need to? The purpose of art is expression and communication, and if it moved someone emotionally, it served that purpose.

What is good and bad? Who defines it? Are there objective criteria? These are the really interesting questions to ask...
 
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One thing I find a little weird is critics' obsession with logical plotholes. Especially those of the internet persuasion. :wink: Don't get me wrong, especially in certain genres these can be big enough to ruin a film, but not always, and if you can suspend disbelief you'll sometimes find a movie that is otherwise of very high quality.

I'm not saying a logical plothole isn't a legitimate problem; it can pull people out of the story, make the tension less compelling...plus I have found movies with a lot of logical plotholes are often bad in other ways. I just think people lose sight of what a movie's about when they focus solely on them. We don't go to movies for the logic, at least not most of us. And this is coming from an INTP... :wink:
Yeah, I don't really watch movies for logic. I do laugh sometimes at movie reality, especially when average people survive super long falls, but I don't usually think about it when I'm actually watching the movie.
 
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