Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Zen vs Art

Most modern art is shit. I don't say that because I think art should be figurative; neither because I think that an artist should be a craftsperson. Great art can be abstract and can also be made by those who are not technically adept (or are but are not employing their craft). I say that because most art is shit. It has fallen far behind music, which despite its very limited palette (pardon the weak pun) remains able to innovate; behind even the novel, moribund as that form is. The only medium that rivals it for uselessness is poetry.

Here is a Guardian whiffler telling us why the Turner is so great. I take issue, as follows.

The great feat of the Turner prize is not that it rewards art many people consider to be "just a bit of rubbish" but that it claims to make absolute, not relative, distinctions between four such pieces every year.


The great feat of the Turner is that it attracts attention to pieces of work that would otherwise be gleefully ignored by the masses. And the masses do not need training in the fine arts to recognise rubbish when they see it. I will say this up front: great art reaches inside you and touches you. That is what art is: how we talk to ourselves, how we show each other what we've understood about ourselves, our world and our place in it. You do not need to know art to be touched by it. Taste, I concede, varies. But the feeling that something is not just a thing that I, or you, like, but is something insightful, deep and satisfying does not so much.

It shortlists four artists that to conservative eyes


Here is the crux of why people like Jonathan Jones feel they must admire the emperor's apparel: because it is new, and Jones fears more than anything being seen as staid, unwilling to adventure. But newness in itself is not a merit. It's a terrible failing of critique across the board that it insists that novelty on its own is good. It's the same kind of thinking that in business has companies convinced that all change is for the good. But it's not, of course, and we can more clearly see that in business than in the arts. (Partly because business is not usually seen as being progressive, largely because it has not been infected with modernist critique that sees all of human endeavour as progressing from cave to cathedral.) Change can be destructive without necessarily entailing new creation. In any case, innovation works when it is against what there is, not when it is made in a vacuum. So music that departs from a genre can be excellent; music that invents one rarely is.

Conservatism is not an ill in itself. Some things really aren't broke, and don't need fixing. I'm not suggesting that all of art was good! I am saying though that, for instance, it was not necessarily true that art had said all there was to say about the world, so ditching the notion that it could say more was not necessarily a good step.


are just charlatans


And I'm not conservative, but I think most of the artists picked by the Turner panel are charlatans. They are chancers, who hope to make a career out of throwing together bits of junk, in the main. At best, they are cluelessly untalented. The benefit of art for them is that it's difficult for the poor "conservatives" to say why they are shit. (Because analwits like Jones have spent so many words on denying that "this artist has nothing to say and no means to say it even if she did" is all the criticism most modern artists deserve.)

exhibits them - and decides which is not merely an artist, but a brilliant, even great artist. In other words, it claims the loftiest critical standards can be applied to art widely dismissed as ephemeral.


Yes, doesn't it though.

And the art is not dismissed as "ephemeral". Ephemeral can be great. What is more ephemeral than the pop song? You love it today, forget it tomorrow, in theory. (In practice, some throwaway pop has lived for many years, and will doubtless live for many more.) Yet a great pop song is great art. The art we are discussing is dismissed as "shit". That's different.

Just so we're clear, I'm saying that an artist could be as good as Smokey Robinson but most are at best Celine Dion or Mariah Carey. Not even that, of course, because Dion and Carey are at least technically proficient, even if they are cluelessly awful. God, if Tracey Emin actually were as good as Mariah, what an improvement in her work we'd see! Perhaps it would be fairer to compare her with a novelty band, given that she is a dreadful one-trick pony. Indeed, the notion that modern art has become novelty art is quite strong. What else is a shark in a tank? It is not a statement about anything but how clever Hirst is to put a shark in a tank.

The truth is that after 23 years of this we still don't have any lucid way of saying why one ready-made is better than another.


Right again. But this is not because they are impossibly rarefied. This is because it is as pointless an exercise as comparing your stools and anointing one Best Turd of 2007.

What the Turner keeps falling back on instead is the oldest of all western ideas about art: the belief in God-given genius.


Why do we believe in God-given genius though? Maybe because some people's work has that extra something. Maybe because they excel in a form that we can understand?

I don't know. Maybe because some people are just fucking geniuses?

When you get rid of technical achievement, get rid of excellence in painting or sculpting as standards of comparison, you are left with a messianic belief in the inspired artist


Get rid of all of that, and you are left with a bunch of guys who put junk together, aren't you?

One of the key problems I have with modern art -- and the notion that it can spawn genius -- is that that is all there is to it. You can be absolutely fantastic at putting junk together but that is all you have done. By removing conceptual depth from your work, you leave only the surface: the act.

So when you put a bunch of bronze figures on the beach, and insist they don't represent anything, what you have is a bunch of bronze figures on the beach. Which is nice.

- the same belief that led Renaissance Italians to claim Michelangelo was literally a gift from heaven.


Except that Michelangelo was talented.

This prize has abolished talent and replaced it with genius - and this exhibition takes the claim to a transcendent historical level.


No, the prize has abolished talent and replaced it with nothing, and is hoping no one who "matters" stands up and says "hang on, this is shit".

Well, I don't matter, but this is shit.

It is an exhibition of geniuses - a survey of the Turner's history that concentrates entirely on the winners since 1984. I can't think how the curators reached such a bizarre way of dealing with a history that is contentious in every way: every year, the winner is controversial; every year, some people think the whole thing's a sham. How on earth can you purify such a tangled phenomenon into this exhibition's pristine academy?


Well, why not?

The thing is, none of it has much value, and you could choose your winner by sticking a pin in the catalogue. As Jones has correctly noted, you can't judge these things. They are not like photographs or short stories. They do not have content. So what else would you put on display: the curators' personal favourites?

Why? To preserve the dignity of the judges who, in 1989, preferred Richard Long to Lucian Freud?


Well, who doesn't?

A Turner retrospective without Tracey Emin's bed - a loser in 1999 - is a history without the dirty, interesting bits.


Maybe they are striking back in kind. Emin's bed was uninteresting, and it won't have become any more interesting. If it wasn't for cunts like Saatchi claiming that this bollocks is art, Emin would be selling herself for crack, not coining it in. So maybe the curators are laughing at the whole idea of having "winners" and "losers" when there are no criteria for judging.

Maybe they are saying "just look at the shit some arseclown thought was the best of that year; Vermeer is rolling in his crypt".

Worse, by excluding the also-rans it forces you to ask: do any of these winners look like geniuses?


Nope. They look like cunts. If you included the also-rans, they'd look like cunts too. Because they are.

They have destroyed part of our culture. Art has long ceased to be about expression. Part of the reason is money. Making art tradable has created a desire for things to trade, and those who traded it had more or less run out of things that had value. So they needed to find new value, which they achieved by making it impossible to judge value. The truth is, modern art is "good" if Saatchi buys it, because he puts the value into it. It's all about the dollars. Another part of the reason is that we live in a world where not only does everyone want their fifteen minutes, but everyone also wants to feel valuable, talented, wonderful. So if you can't play the guitar, are not good-looking, can't write, are cackhanded and a bit dim, where do you go if you want to be respected as having a talent others don't have? You go to art school.

Other than Damien Hirst, I mean?


You know, many things in this world make you wonder whether it is you or the world that is mad. You read the endless bullshit that the rightards put out; you watch TV that it's almost unbelievable that people made, let alone expect you to watch; you see and hear things that are so in-your-face stupid that you wonder that the people doing and saying them don't implode under the weight of dumb.

But I am not living in a world where Damien Hirst is a genius. I am utterly confident of that; unless we are saying that his genius is for making money and having people talk about him. No, Hirst is a talentless prick.

Here's the thing. They often say about "conceptual" art (LOL at the "conceptual" tag for art that does not include concepts but seeks to be a concept in itself) that yes, anyone could have put a shark in a tank, but no one else thought to do it. However, the truth is, anyone could have put a shark in a tank, but no one else bothered. That's all it is. I could sever my cock and display it in the Tate. It would say nothing about me, about the world, about cocks, or about anything whatsoever, except that I claim my cock is art.

Which it is. And who's to say it isn't? Because we have allowed everything to be art.

How boring! Instead of its being our means of expression, a conversation among ourselves, a delving into who we are, we have made art just everything, whatever we put in tanks, whatever we splatter on a board, whatever we say or do, so long as we say it's art.

So much of the art here is good.


Cock.

Actually all of it is good,


Yes, I suppose it is. "Good" has absolutely no meaning in art.

Is this a good thing? Well, in some ways I suppose it is. Postmodernism helped us to stop thinking some people were better than others, some choices better, some morals and so on. But it helped because those things were not objectively better but were considered through the lens of individual or communal values. Postmodernism teaches that our judgements are based in consensus, not objectivity, and that confusing the two is a mistake. Mostly.

But it is not necessarily the case that consensual values are all wrong. We may agree that, for instance, genital mutilation is not objectively "wrong" without agreeing that it is right. We can say, we know that this judgement is based in our values, but we uphold those values all the same.

the notable exception being Hirst.


LOLski.

Seeing his bisected cow and calf - reconstructed by the artist for this show - is a shock: where is the sensitivity and beauty you see in Anish Kapoor's blue voids or Wolfgang Tillmans' tender photographs?


Kof. Well, Kapoor does blue lovely, and the worst you can say about Tillmanns is that he takes a nice photo.

And yet, forget the sensitivity, the beauty, the being good.


Yes, I think you can safely say that's been forgotten.

Hirst's art cannot be called "good" but it can be called great.


It can be called a dog on a string but that won't make it one.

It is ugly and brutal and true and far more modest than anything else here.


You FUCKING WHAT?

It's half a cow in a tank, you halfwit. That's ugly, yes. Brutal? Dude, brutal is the shoeing you will get if you ever express this opinion to me in the flesh. True? OMG. What? What truth is it expressing? Go on. I promise to accept Hirst's "genius" if any commenter can coherently say what truth there is in the cow. Unless your comment is "well, it's truly half a cow". Modest?

If Jonathan Jones was strangled with his own entrails, that would be modest in the same sense.


You want genius? He's a genius.


You know. One day, Jones is going to wake up and look in the mirror and go, fuck me, what a farce I am.

Well, I can dream.

Sigh.

I do dream that, you know. I dream that there will be a morning on which we all have a moment of perfect clarity. We all go, fuck me, what a farce I am, and realise what and who we really are.

I think I will write a novel about it! What do you think? A virus spreads throughout the world, infecting everyone person by person, so that they become incapable of... well, whatever you call that thing, hiding, pretending, masquerading. Incapable of not realising the truth about themselves. Scales from eyes. Think it has legs?

To find one in 24 years is actually not bad going.


You know something, Jones. I've put more art into this one post than Hirst has into his entire oeuvre. But you cunts killed art, and left us with a deathly dull substitute with the same name but none of the attributes. Thanks for that, Jones.

60 Comments:

At 8:34 pm, Blogger Grapes 2.0 said...

A pleasure from start to finish. I think that novel idea does have legs, but what if it's only one guy who has the power, and he can see through everyone else's charade? People become aware of this, and so they cannot bear to appear naked before him. He'd have to be killed, I suppose.

Too bad nobody thought Damien Hirst had to be killed. What a fucking sham. And did you see how his idiotic diamond-encrusted skull idea was ripped off? He shits on the carpet, dances around it calling for applause, and it turns out it isn't even real shit.

 
At 10:01 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

sometimes art works as a challenge rather than a solution or a commentary.

if you're squinting expecting to find something familiar, you've already failed.

 
At 10:17 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Yes, the challenge is "can I con Zen?". I meet it admirably.

 
At 10:19 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

if you frequently feel like artists are trying to con you, maybe you really have been conned.

 
At 8:36 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

That comment doesn't even begin to make sense, dude. Try again.

 
At 11:26 am, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

really? ok.

maybe you've been conned into believing that there are many artists who are simply trying to con you.

when in fact they're not, so you've been whooshed by your preconceptions into thinking that there's no there there.

if you don't immediately see a conventional point in a piece of art, you dismiss it as a con.

the idea that there are loads of artists out there whose only raison d'etre is to attempt a con seems overly suspicious to moi.

you just may be being too judgemental therefore missing some other values.

for instance, myself, i never look at a piece of art wondering whether it's a con. i simply make my own interpretation of what's there (or isn't there).

it either interests me or moves me in some way or it doesn't.

when it doesn't, i don't assume a con.

 
At 11:33 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"really? ok.

maybe you've been conned into believing that there are many artists who are simply trying to con you."

I noted that it's possible they are also conning themselves.

"when in fact they're not, so you've been whooshed by your preconceptions into thinking that there's no there there."

OTOH, I do think that many, most, artists are profoundly full of shit. If they had any perspective, they'd be aware of that.

Read the autobiography of Cellini (a fine artist) if you don't understand what I mean. He saw through the bullshit in the most amusing and engaging way.

"if you don't immediately see a conventional point in a piece of art, you dismiss it as a con."

You won't see anything in my discussion that suggests that art should have a "conventional" point. That's an assumption you've made. However, a "point" is definitely needed. If it has no "point", it's just shit in a can, dude.

"the idea that there are loads of artists out there whose only raison d'etre is to attempt a con seems overly suspicious to moi."

They may not describe what they're doing that way, but that's what it is. They are shitting in cans, and saying "that's art". I am the little boy watching the emperor and saying "no, that's shitting in a can, dude".

"you just may be being too judgemental therefore missing some other values."

Lay them on me, bro.

"for instance, myself, i never look at a piece of art wondering whether it's a con."

Me either. It's apparent straight away, with no need of wonderment.

"i simply make my own interpretation of what's there (or isn't there)."

Isn't that precisely what I'm saying?

"it either interests me or moves me in some way or it doesn't."

Isn't that precisely what I'm saying?

"when it doesn't, i don't assume a con."

I assume that it failed. Given that I don't lack sensibility, I'd say that's indicative of something.

 
At 11:51 am, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

--"when it doesn't, i don't assume a con."--

I assume that it failed.

or you failed. that's my point.

you'll admit that there's art that you appreciate which others dismiss as crap, no?

most often it's a matter of them not knowing the context.

Given that I don't lack sensibility, I'd say that's indicative of something.

context.

i mean, Sean Hannity probably thinks lots of stuff is pretentious or delusional crap.

just because you have way more sensibility doesn't make your dismissals any less potentially clueless. see what i mean?

you think that you're pointing out that the emperor has no clothes when in fact perhaps the emperor's clothes are purposely invisible.

for example, perhaps the emperor's new clothes are there for you to create. your own context.

or perhaps the emperor is naked for some other reason that you just don't grok.

 
At 11:56 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

the notion that there's something to comprehend beyond what's apparent is the con, dude, right there.

And I'm not Sean Hannity. The insistence that I'm unable to appreciate art because I'm such a solid conservative is very misplaced. I don't appreciate it because it's shit, not because it's too deep or disturbing for me.

 
At 12:01 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

OTOH, I do think that many, most, artists are profoundly full of shit. If they had any perspective, they'd be aware of that.

what's this "most" bullshit?

yikes.

 
At 12:03 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

the notion that there's something to comprehend beyond what's apparent is the con, dude, right there.

give me one inexorable example.

 
At 12:06 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

http://home.sprynet.com/~mindweb/maincan.htm

enjoy

 
At 12:08 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

The insistence that I'm unable to appreciate art because I'm such a solid conservative is very misplaced. I don't appreciate it because it's shit, not because it's too deep or disturbing for me.

maybe, maybe not.

perhaps you're just impatient or annoyed that you don't get it on some level.

assuming a con is the lazy way out.

if it doesn't work for you that doesn't make it a con.

it's only a con if it is a con.

and even then, the artist may have accidentally conned himself and inadvertantly created a non-con.

art isn't always a conscious thing.

you've assumed otherwise, by definition.

 
At 12:08 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"Their current estimated value stands at approximately EUR30,500 (US$25,000–35,000)."

B-b-but, your highness, that's a can of shit.

 
At 12:10 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"In 1960 Manzoni marked a number of hard-boiled eggs as works of art by imprinting them with his thumbprint. He let the spectators eat the whole exhibition in 70 minutes. He also began to sell prints of his thumbprints. He also designated number of people, including Umberto Eco, as walking works of art."

LOL. Genius.

 
At 12:10 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

http://home.sprynet.com/~mindweb/maincan.htm


i'll have to click on that later.

do you have a popular example that i can find on wiki or google images?

 
At 12:14 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

LOL. Genius.

exactly!

and here you are wasting away your hours trying to perfect your understanding of poker!

but seriously, that was pure genius art.

the artist as sublime artist.

 
At 12:16 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"The insistence that I'm unable to appreciate art because I'm such a solid conservative is very misplaced. I don't appreciate it because it's shit, not because it's too deep or disturbing for me.

maybe, maybe not."

Dude, do you think maybe you're just smarter than me? Because you can, like, understand just that level deeper?

I think you need to think that over again.

"perhaps you're just impatient or annoyed that you don't get it on some level."

No. I get it. I get the idea. The idea is shit. That's the fucking point, Z.

"assuming a con is the lazy way out."

He also began to sell prints of his thumbprints

Want to buy a thumbprint? I would sell them by the caseload if I thought I could get away with it.

"if it doesn't work for you that doesn't make it a con."

No, quite. What makes it a con is that it's a complete con.

"it's only a con if it is a con."

Yes, we totally agree.

"and even then, the artist may have accidentally conned himself and inadvertantly created a non-con."

Which is exactly what I said. Are you only reading what you want to and ignoring what doesn't fit your preconceptions?

I do dream that, you know. I dream that there will be a morning on which we all have a moment of perfect clarity. We all go, fuck me, what a farce I am, and realise what and who we really are.

I think you are afraid to take the step of saying, actually, it's shit in a can.

"art isn't always a conscious thing."

You fucking what? That is too stupid to tolerate. Never say that or anything similar in my comments again. I won't have it.

If it's not conscious, it cannot, per definitionem, be art. I will not permit any definition of art that does not include intent.

A pebble on the shore can be beautiful but it cannot be art.

Until Hirst puts it in a bucket, of course.

"you've assumed otherwise, by definition."

Yes, I have. And I will insist on that definition.

 
At 12:17 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

B-b-but, your highness, that's a can of shit.

shit is as valid of a medium as watercolors or oils.

an artist who uses it knows far more how full of shit they are than those who dismiss him or her for using same to express themselves.

 
At 12:19 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"do you have a popular example that i can find on wiki or google images?"

I don't know why you're restricted to those but you can wiki Piero Manzoni, and you too can see a can of shit.

 
At 12:20 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"B-b-but, your highness, that's a can of shit.

shit is as valid of a medium as watercolors or oils.

an artist who uses it knows far more how full of shit they are than those who dismiss him or her for using same to express themselves."

He is using shit as a medium? You think?

What is he expressing in that medium then?

 
At 12:21 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Apart from "I can shit in a can, call it art and some halfwitted cunt will buy it for a ton of money".

That is often the "message" of readymade art. It "challenges" the notion of what can be art. Yeah yeah. That's my fucking point, right there.

 
At 12:21 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

Want to buy a thumbprint? I would sell them by the caseload if I thought I could get away with it.

what's stopping you?

that's something that you ought to think long and hard about.

seriously.

 
At 12:22 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"what's stopping you?"

Two things. I never went to art school and don't have the connections. If anyone was ever to suggest it, I'm up for it though. Spread the word.

 
At 12:33 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

Two things. I never went to art school and don't have the connections. If anyone was ever to suggest it, I'm up for it though. Spread the word.

oh man, you just don't get it, do you?

you work with what you've got, Dude.

never been to art school? no connections?

perfect!

make those your main selling points.

see?

unsanctioned thumbprints.

 
At 12:51 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

Dude, do you think maybe you're just smarter than me? Because you can, like, understand just that level deeper?

i'm smarter than you for appreciating the sublime beauty of a dude imprinting his thumbprint on some eggs and having it eaten by spectators in 70 minutes, yes.

for appreciating the four-dimensional artistic beauty of that event.

 
At 12:55 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"i'm smarter than you"

Wrong though, aren't you?

You are unable to step beyond, dude, and I pity you. I can appreciate the joke. And that's what makes me smarter. You see art; I see clownery.

 
At 1:03 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

the old one-two:

Item 1 -- I do dream that, you know. I dream that there will be a morning on which we all have a moment of perfect clarity. We all go, fuck me, what a farce I am, and realise what and who we really are.

Item 2 -- He is using shit as a medium? You think? What is he expressing in that medium then?


obligatory recap:

if you frequently feel like artists are trying to con you, maybe you really have been conned.

 
At 1:12 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

You are unable to step beyond, dude, and I pity you. I can appreciate the joke. And that's what makes me smarter. You see art; I see clownery.

from your description of it, i don't think that the thumbprint dude was necessarily engaging in mere clownery.

there's no need to pity me for seeing some symbolism that you've apparently missed.

 
At 1:17 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

As I say, you're patting yourself on the back for spotting what I've moved beyond.

 
At 1:21 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

but see, i'm not patting myself on the back.

 
At 1:22 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

you're patting yourself on the back for spotting what I've moved beyond

like, whoa.

see?

 
At 1:27 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

and since you seem to think that i meant "art as con" was the symbolism, well... whoa.

whooooooosh.

 
At 5:46 pm, Anonymous Thomas said...

Zen, why do you bother engaging with people who can't read your posts carefully enough to see that they're not offering a single argument you haven't already dismissed? I can barely find the patience to read this shit.

 
At 7:20 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

Zen, why do you bother engaging with people who can't read your posts carefully enough to see that they're not offering a single argument you haven't already dismissed?

as if.

yikes.

well, actually, in a way, Zen's way of thinking about art automatically dismisses every possible argument, very much like Sean Hannity.

so anyway, let me guess, you're standing on the shoulders of giants as well?

 
At 7:27 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

I can barely find the patience to read this shit.

well, that explains your not being able to find the patience to think about any of it -- let alone make a comment short of "i'm plugging my ears".

 
At 7:34 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

the notion that there's something to comprehend beyond what's apparent is the con, dude, right there.

you can't be serious.

i just read that again and am still marveling at its arrogance (as well as its irony).

thanks for that.

 
At 8:00 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

You won't see anything in my discussion that suggests that art should have a "conventional" point. That's an assumption you've made.

a true assumption, hence:

However, a "point" is definitely needed. If it has no "point", it's just shit in a can, dude.

assuming that you're not Chinese, how do you explain enjoying Chinese music?

in that case, what point is being made?

 
At 8:22 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

--"and even then, the artist may have accidentally conned himself and inadvertantly created a non-con."--

Which is exactly what I said.

no, where did you say that? OTOH, you said that art requires intent, which is a major contradiction to an inadvertant creation.

Are you only reading what you want to and ignoring what doesn't fit your preconceptions?

i don't believe so.

how about you? are you doing that?

 
At 9:01 pm, Anonymous blurbees.com said...

speaking of art and making a point, check out this Marianne Faithful live version of Working Class Hero.

what a voice. whoa.

that whole Broken English album of hers is a keeper.

lyrically, musically, pointilly.

 
At 8:30 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

What makes you think I can't appreciate Chinese music?

The thing is, even if I don't, I can understand it formally.

Your argument is: you can't understand modern art so you don't like it.

My argument is: there is nothing to understand so I don't like it.

EOFD right there.

Unfortunately, one skill you lack is knowing when you're actually offering anything new.

 
At 7:01 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

The thing is, even if I don't, I can understand [Chinese music] formally.

obligatory recap:

what point is being made?

...

My argument is: there is nothing to understand so I don't like it.

whoa. are you sure you understand modern art?


Unfortunately, one skill you lack is knowing when you're actually offering anything new.

it's a skill we all lack.

the difference is, given the nature of infinity and my knowledge of it, i don't let my lack of skill in that regard get me down.

IOW: i don't let it stop me from creating new stuff.

see?

if i were to busy myself learning the endless canon i'd be constantly bending over to pick up the pennies while the dollars flew over my head.

and not the other way around.

the illusion of the reverse is what prevents most innovation.

if one is reasonably intelligent, one can have a decent intuition about what's new and what isn't simply by osmosis of the collective unconscious.

if it were otherwise, there'd never be any progress whatsoever due to the limits of time itself.

 
At 10:06 pm, Blogger bickerfest.com said...

the old one-two, redux:

Item 1 -- Unfortunately, one skill you lack is knowing when you're actually offering anything new.

Item 2 -- My argument is: there is nothing to understand so I don't like it.

 
At 7:17 am, Anonymous Thomas said...

Bicker, you're like someone shouting and spitting in the face of someone instead of having a conversation. You're totally unwilling to stand back and simply let someone have an opinion you don't agree with.

Why don't you go off and chill, dude?

 
At 9:24 am, Anonymous blurbees.com said...

Bicker, you're like someone shouting and spitting in the face of someone instead of having a conversation. You're totally unwilling to stand back and simply let someone have an opinion you don't agree with.

Why don't you go off and chill, dude?


irony, right?

 
At 12:16 am, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

so, Zen.

have you ever created anything profoundly beautiful by just allowing yourself the freedom to do so or not?

is everything that's beautiful in one of your essays already intended by you from start to finish before you even begin to write your piece?

or do you stumble upon things as you write, without intent?

anyway, i'm surprised that you deleted that comment and question from a few days ago.

what was so unsettling about it to you?

 
At 9:58 pm, Anonymous Thomas said...

Man, you don't know when to quit, do you? You can't even give yourself the last word!

 
At 11:10 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

the last word. Gawd.

no wonder you won't even venture out to attempt to say anything at all.

there's no there there.

there's only someone else's ideas for you to regurgitate.

can get very far in an argument armed with nothing, can you?

obligatory recap:

what's the "point" of Chinese music?

 
At 11:49 pm, Anonymous blurbees.com said...

BTW: i had you in mind when i selected today's blurbees.com song of the day, Zen.

i was hoping you would favor us all with an essay about the video.

it was always one of my favorite songs from the Substance compilation album. maybe you could use the word substance in your essay a few times.

for me, the tennis ball is the key to that video. especially once i saw the tennis racket and thought about the dog.

how about you?

 
At 6:49 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

I'm not fond enough of the song to watch the video.

 
At 10:15 pm, Anonymous bickerville.com said...

I'm not fond enough of the song to watch the video.

that's your criteria for making comments?

no.

 
At 8:15 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

The word is criterion. It's not my criterion for making comments but it is one of the criteria for watching the video.

 
At 1:47 pm, Anonymous bickerfest.com said...

no, it isn't your criterion nor your criteria.

it's you crying uncle.

you're just giving up on your argument.

the Chinese music angle did you in.

 
At 1:51 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

All I can do is tell the truth. I'm not a fan of Paul McCartney or his music.

The "Chinese music angle" was too profoundly stupid to indulge. My apologies.

 
At 2:03 pm, Anonymous blurbees.com said...

wrong song of the day.

it's New Order, not McCartney.

...

so what is the "point" of Chinese music?

 
At 2:08 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

How am I supposed to know which day you are referring to? Which song was it?

The point of Chinese music is to make joy enter your heart, dude. I mean, dur.

 
At 2:24 pm, Anonymous bickerfest.com said...

How am I supposed to know which day you are referring to?

it was the song of the day when i noted it.

you don't know how to click the PREVIOUS button?

Which song was it?

http://blurbees.blogspot.com/2007/10/sotd-0073.html


The point of Chinese music is to make joy enter your heart, dude. I mean, dur.

that's not the point of modern art?

 
At 2:27 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

"http://blurbees.blogspot.com/2007/10/sotd-0073.html"

It's a good song but not typical. It sounds a bit dated now.


"The point of Chinese music is to make joy enter your heart, dude. I mean, dur.

that's not the point of modern art?"

No, dude, the point of that is to sell shit in a can.

 
At 2:33 pm, Anonymous bickerfest.com said...

It's a good song but not typical. It sounds a bit dated now.

the issue was the use of modern art in the video, not merely the song.

anyway, i'm quite familiar with both New Order and Joy Division.

 
At 2:37 pm, Anonymous bickerfest.com said...

The point of Chinese music is to make joy enter your heart, dude. I mean, dur.

that's not the point of modern art?

No, dude, the point of that is to sell shit in a can.

so you keep insisting.

must be quite a huge market out there.

 

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