Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The %$&*! Beatles?

I read stuff. Dumb stuff. I try to make it a point of not passing it on. I often fail. Sometimes stupid just pushes me over the edge. This was from a piece from 3quarkdaily.
arE OUR WRITERS AS LOUSY AS OUR BANKERS? by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash

"Urban Intellectual Fodder.

Neither original nor path-breaking, this art is derivative hommage; postmodern commentary around the edges of art.
It is art born of attitude, not passion. It is art that postures but doesn't grip. It is art created by those who are more passionate about a career in art than about art itself.
It encompasses:
1. The indie rock spawned in urban art ghettoes.
2. The visual art spelonked in Williamsburg.
3. The movies sputtered by independents hoping to get into Sundance.
4. The novels spritzed by creative writing majors from Iowa University and other environs."
"This art is superior to the cascading pile of blockbuster kitsch-dreck-crap that passes for pop culture, but only superior by a few pips.
This art sure ain't Picasso, or Joyce, or Rossellini, or the Beatles, or even Sondheim. It's more Woody Allen than Ingmar Bergman, more Joyce Carol Oates than James Joyce, more Jeff Koons than Duchamp, more Arcade Fire than the Beatles."

The Beatles? Using the Beatles as a musical standard for music? Bergman, Joyce, Duchamp, and THE BEATLES! Cilliers has completely blown his uppity, know it all, intellectual cover. The Beatles were the most popular song and dance men of their era, nothing more, nothing less. And God forbid, certainly not the best. Thank you all. I feel better now.

11 comments:

Justine Valinotti said...

I agree with what you say about the Beatles. I enjoy listening to them and in fact own CDs that include most of their work. However, they were indeed a pop group. It seems that people like Ciliers are so insecure about themselves (which they define by what they believe to be their intellectual credentials) that they need to rationalize their enjoyment of something that has been enjoyed by the hoi polloi.

Jean-Paul Sartre admitted that he preferred detective novels to much "serious" fiction. He never tried to rationalize his taste. Somehow I suspect that Cillier is not in the same league, intellectually or as an artist, as Sartre was. So why does he need to defend his love of the Beatles?

Gunnar Berg said...

I dunno where he's coming from. The article certainly worked on one level. It got me up. I know a handful of "serious" published writers, people who really work at the craft, as opposed to people like myself who just muck around in the words. One of them got her creds at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. I'm readin' Cilliers and thinkin', "Who's this asshole think he is, badmouthing Maria's school?"

Silk Hope said...

Can I go back to listening to Lynard Skynard, drinking a beer with chips and onion dip now?

Jack

Gunnar Berg said...

Yep. Wouldn't my choice, 'cept the beer maybe, but at least ya ain't trying to convert us. Just read something by Thomas Sowell - he's at least as wacky.

Silk Hope said...

I was just reading James lileks' tweets. You have some very funny cops in Minneapolis.

Anonymous said...

you're preaching to the choir, man.
Allan Pollock

Gunnar Berg said...

Silk,
He does, or least did, write a weekly column in the Mpls Star Tribune.

Anonymous said...

Joyce Carol Oates is reading here, at my Creative Writing MFA program where I teach, Friday night, to all the young novelists and poets you haven't yet heard of.

mw

Gunnar Berg said...

I no longer read stories, so I am not qualified to comment on Ms Oates. My wife, the designated reader, apparently has read her, as I've seen the name on our bookshelves.

Silk Hope said...

I forgot how to read. I only do books on CD. Road warrior you know.

Gunnar Berg said...

I read. A lot. I've just given up novels. There are only so many stories and so many forms and variations. At some point it's just another story.