A Note About Music And Art

To elucidate my post about real art, where I expressed skepticism towards art that attempts to push boundaries, consider music.

I think most people would, perhaps grudgingly, accept that avant-garde and experimental music is music, but whether it qualifies as “good music” is an open question (I don’t give it terribly good chances) and nobody would say that being avant-garde is what makes music good.

Similarly, when a band puts exceptionally vulgar or shocking content on an album, it is recognized for what it is–cheap exhibitionism–and no one is impressed.  True, many excellent and important albums were shocking when they were released, but to a one, they weren’t created with the primary goal of being shocking: They had other things to say and ways of saying them, and sometimes those were shocking to their audience.

And that’s why, in both art and music, pushing boundaries for the sake of pushing boundaries doesn’t deserve to be recognized or lauded: There are so many other things to say.  There are heroes to be celebrated and villains to be reviled, new loves to be declared and lost loves to be mourned, wars to be protested and injustices to be exposed, pasts to be reminisced and futures to be anticipated, and for that matter, there is fun to be had.  Why waste yourself just trying to get attention?

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One omnipresent danger of blogging is thinking of a perfect illustration or additional point after you’ve already published the post.

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