Rachael left me a comment the other day that I was going to address in a rant against relativism in artistic meaning, but I got sidetracked and instead went on a rant against value judgments in general. So... I will come back to a rant about art later. But for right now,
I HATE BLANKET RELATIVISM IN VALUE JUDGMENTS.
You know what? Some things ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS.
This is one of the things that pisses me off to no end. People thinking that their uninformed opinion of something should be taken into account just because there is some sort of wussy "all opinions should be treated equally" mantra floating around out there. ALL OPINIONS CANNOT BE RIGHT, because then A would be both A and NOT A at the SAME TIME, IN THE SAME RESPECT. And that is IMPOSSIBLE.
And who is the judge of this, you say? Because doesn't it end up being put in their hands, the fate of art and taste and all things? YES IT DOES. And I AM THE JUDGE, BITCHES. Actually, I should qualify that by saying I am totally not the judge on most things. I will defer to those more knowledgeable than myself, in most instances. But I can be the judge in areas in which I have been educated. Because I believe that my opinion regarding literature is more informed than most people's opinions, for example. If some illiterate eighth-grader said that Hamlet was a misogynist play that made no sense, I would tell you that he is WRONG. He is not just interpreting the play as it can be interpreted because there are many interpretations and aren't they all right? NO.
And I'm not saying that you have to know Shakespeare's life story, or have read ALL THE PLAYS, or have an earth-shaking love of poetry or theater to love him OR to realize that he IS, unqualifiedly,* a genius. But I am saying that the worth of your opinion depends on your familiarity with the subject on which you are opining.
You are entitled to your opinion in the same way that I am entitled to tell you where to shove your opinion. Freedom of speech does not necessarily entail equality of opinion. You don't go to me to place your horse racing bets, because I do not know a fetlock from a forelock. You go to the stable hands and jockeys and backroom odds-makers, because their opinions are MORE VALID. You don't go to Rachael to tell you how to solve your sinus problems, you go to a DOCTOR, because his opinion is MORE VALID.
And now I am running out of steam because I got sidetracked reading up on fetlocks and sinus problems. Dammit. Let's just have a beer and look at this beautiful picture.
|Degas' Ballet Rehearsal. Definitively Beautiful.|
*Unqualifiedly is so a word. Fuck You, Spellcheck. My opinion is more valid than yours 99.9% of the time.