December 4th, 2004

abstract butterfly

The Rudimentary Intricacies of Simple Thought

"[H]ow shall we choose among so much variety? No man can choose for, or prescribe to, another. But every one must follow the dictates of his own conscience, in simplicity and godly sincerity. He must be fully persuaded in his own mind and then act according to the best light he has. Nor has any creature power to constrain another to walk by his own rule. God has given no right to any of the children of men thus to lord it over the conscience of his brethren; but every man must judge for himself, as every man must give an account of himself to God".--John Wesley

I smiled today at the journal layout of a random LiveJournal person, whose journal I happened upon in that "surfing way" that LiveJournal inspires, now that google has stopped being mere waves and moved on to becoming unfathomable ocean depths.

The LiveJournal I reviewed celebrated a musical group [the curious Mael brothers, who perform as the band "Sparks"] whose work I have always admired. The group is an idiosyncratic duo, whose music has achieved only limited popularity and critical success--perhaps the ultimate "I'll sell out your club with my cult devotees" band for some 30 years.
Most people just don't get Sparks, which can, on any given Sunday, perform the blitz of odd ringing-guitar power pop or the abstruse reckoning of punchy Eurodisco, and is now on a two person vendetta to bring back a form of the piano-and-vocals-with-chorus art song based on motifs of lyrical repetition and tongue-in-cheek suburban absurdity. But I enjoy their music, and use my enjoyment as a mental reminder to respect the music of other folks, no matter how incomprehensible it might be to me.

I like the way that divergent and unique taste can be had by anyone without the need for advanced degrees, inordinate sums of money, or admission to any secret societies of cool.
No masonic orders attend the whim of the individual, and no academics consign souls to Heaven or Hell on the basis of taste. That's not to say all tastes are equal, or that no critical standards apply. It's instead to deny that any one body or group serves as the arbiters of taste for the rest of us. Each person answers to his or her own higher power (whether deity or the simple dignity of the rational mind), and works out the standards
for him or herself.

Collapse )
  • Current Music
    Sparks "Fletcher Honorama"