09 August 2015

Thoughts: mostly rehash plus some offroadin’


I wish that people’s lives were less trying and that people in general were better-off socioeconomically, because I think that the hard conditions of life cause us to want easy art: the kind of art that plays the background and demands little or no attention.

I’m not saying that by making life itself more comfortable for people, they would all automatically begin seeking out difficult pleasures in art; but, if times weren’t so consistently tough, I believe that a great number of minds would be liberated just enough—and thus retain just enough surplus energy—to begin to care about the artworks that possess great depth of thought.

When one is surrounded by turmoil, one wants to escape into a story that is simple and undemanding in an easy medium like TV or online video—life’s turmoil drives us to seek refuge in base works; and the most sublime works get passed over.


It’s totally out of a pastor’s control whether or not people listen to her sermon. If I were a pastor, I would announce that I must, for the sake my own mental health, give up on trying to understand what my congregation wants. And then someone would throw a piece of fruit at my head.

Over the last few years, I’ve continued to use the online world as a placebo—I know that it’s not working, it’s not getting my words out to anyone; even though I’m posting publicly, my writings are more secure than if I were to lock them in a drawer. What I just said is a bland repetition of what I’ve said before; I’m starting to echo myself dimmer and less interestingly (I’ve been whining for 97 blog years).

When creating my sermons, I focus on those who are willing to listen—I treat them as I would like to be treated: if I were part of a congregation, I’d want the pastor to swear at God and lift her skirt. (I mean the pastor’s skirt, not God’s; although, come to think of it, lifting God’s skirt would be fine too). The problem is that average people are different from non-average people: they don’t want the same things that we do. They want horror; we want boring horror.

Knowing the truth about the minuteness of one’s potential audience mitigates the pain of unpopularity; but one still needs to feel that at least a single irresponsible critic out there might like what one is writing—even an illusory hope will suffice; and that’s why I’ve continued to woo the Devil in this here diary. I know that the act of doing so is wrongheaded, but my excitement about the chance of reaching the Fiend is enough to propel me into further follies.


Qualo Infinity said...

I don't know. I have known plenty of people who are definitely better-off socioeconomically than the average person...their lives aren't tough at all, and all they crave is easy art...and also many people who have had it not so great at all who seek out art that demands a lot of attention.. It's easy to give sublime works plenty of attention if one has the capacity for it, so what you need to do is buy yourself a capacity installer (it's new! try it today!) and head out to your nearest mall and get crackin'! In all honesty, I think in difficult times, a person might be *more* apt to seek out works which go far beyond 'the average' and 'the conventional', but based on my own experience, it's people that wear hats that you have to look out for! Hey wait, ..what were we talking about? OH yes...God's skirt!

Bryan Ray said...

Hey I'm glad that you bring this up—I was in thinking within a rut when I wrote the above, yet now when I see your own observed examples, I realize that I also know these same types of people that fall outside of the circle that I was trying delineate... So, on second thought, I guess I simply wish that artistic taste were a socioeconomic matter only; because then the "problem" would be easier to "solve"—and I put those terms in quotes because I have a hunch that Marcel Duchmap was right (again) when he said: "There is no solution because there is no problem." Probably the best way to state my feeling is also the plainest way (and I think that you & I are on the same page about this)—I wish that more people valued wonder over complacency when it comes to art.

Qualo Infinity said...

Yes, exactly. & I like Duchamp's quote there muchly... Hey, have you ever heard of the actress Mariko Okada and the director Yoshishige Yoshida? I stumbled across stills from a movie called WOMAN OF THE LAKE "Onna no mizûmi" (1966) which led me to imdb to read about it and decide to seek out a copy...and also led me to look up other movies that director and actress have been involved in (apparently husband & wife in real life), and in reading about THE AFFAIR "Jôen" (1967), I came across this very interesting imdb user review (which I'll try to copy and paste here, if it doesn't fit, I'll just give you the url...it's the first review on the page for THE AFFAIR)..
No, it doesn't fit...here is the url: (title for review is "Brilliant and underseen") http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0202415/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_51

Bryan Ray said...

Oh! after typing my last reply, I went right outside for a walk, so I'm just now seeing that you responded again—yeah, although I wouldn't have recognized her name, I definitely have seen Mariko Okada in at least one film by Yasujiro Ozu (I researched Okada's filmography just now—I wouldn't have known this off the top of my head!)... but as for Yoshishige Yoshida, I don't think I've seen anything that he directed other than his contribution to Lumiere and Company (which, again, I would never have known if I hadn't looked at an online filmography) ...& by the way, when you mentioned Woman of the Lake it triggered my memory of Woman in the Dunes, which is another Japanese film that I've seen (and liked!), but then I realized that the titles are completely different... So anyway, yeah, both of the films that you mention are new to me, but I researched each one, and also I've read about the director, and now I'm going to try to check out whatever I can find—yes, plus I read the "Brilliant and underseen" review for The Affair and it piqued my interest: it's so passionate: that's ideal film-writing: the reviewer strikes me as the perfect spectator... Dang, when it comes right down to Japanese cinema, I'm afraid that I'm one of those boring fellows who's mostly familiar with Ozu and Kurosawa, BUT anywhere that a "new wave" appears, I'm eager to get to know it better!!

Qualo Infinity said...

That *is* a passionate review..I'm interested in reading some of his other reviews (especially if it turns out that I agree with him on the Okada/Yoshida films) ...I believe I have a copy of Woman of the Lake on the way..

Oh, btw... I might have finally figured out how to add a comment section on Tumblr without a third party link up (Disqus is the third party, and I'm a little unsure about using it..need to research it more), but at any rate, I've found a (fairly hidden) option to allow photo comments, and when I clicked on that, it seemed to also add a text comment section too...Weird, as it is nearly impossible to find any info about this through googling or Tumblr itself! ...Anyway, what it looks like so far is you can make comments but only if it is in the format where it is positioned off to the right side ie not from archives and not with the chosen 'theme layout'...this might not make any sense!...But so far, I've set it up on part 10...I had set up Disqus a few days back, but I was having such difficulty with Disqus preferences/options, that I threw up my hands and removed it and decided to maybe give it a go on another day..


More from Bryan Ray