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#506265 - 01/13/03 02:29 PM Re: Why are Superheroes more "Mainstream?"
Sock Puppet #9.5 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 523
Quote:
Originally posted by Jughead Jones:
"Aesthetics." I thought you were an editor.
This Dictionary Image shows the US spelling for the word. Get it? United States? Not effete, not intellectual. United States.
Quote:
I took a four-month course on aesthetics. What we learned was that there is NO OBJECTIVE STANDARD OF BEAUTY. A standard of beauty is based largely on the viewer's own personal tastes, and beyond that on the larger tastes of society.
So, if I say that someone's art looks UGLY to me, you won't criticize

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#506266 - 01/13/03 02:49 PM Re: Why are Superheroes more "Mainstream?"
Pat ONeill Offline
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Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 3064
Loc: PA, USA
Quote:
I'd think someone who presumes to write about art would be familiar with the basics of art criticism.


I am...but the basics I'm familiar with and that I abide by predate the post-modernist idea that there are no standards by which to judge beauty.
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#506267 - 01/13/03 03:14 PM Re: Why are Superheroes more "Mainstream?"
Sock Puppet #9.5 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 523
Quote:
Originally posted by darryl comix:
(to Pat: )
Opinions, nothing more. you're the one making ridiculous value judgements that are 100% opinion and nothing else.
[...]
I never told anybody what art to like; all I've said is that certain art styles DO appeal to a great many people. If those people are not yourself, fine.
I do believe there are a finite number of "gatekeepers" of what is seen on the network and major cable channels, and they're interested in financial return. Radio has FEWER "gatekeepers" and damn few radio stations have the ability to choose the music that personally like to play for the people listening.

This certainly doesn't limit the people from choosing their own entertainment.

But for the mass media, the mass market, there ARE "gatekeepers". Many times people do not realize why LINKIN PARK or some other group gets airplay.

Unless you have known a band that couldn't get a live gig in a town to save their lives.

Maybe you DO know. I don't care.

Point is, the people that produce such things as magazines and TV shows and Radio end up reporting to the real "gatekeepers" and fewer and fewer decisions are made on any sense of "beauty" or "ugly". This frustrates people who do have an outdated version of what is beauty and what is ugly.

Hell, the funniest thing I saw last year was a fight between two art directors argueing over which font to use on a particular project. Both were willing to go to the mat, and it nearly came to blows.

Because of beauty? Financial beauty, most likely. "Which one would the audience most like to see?" To choose one implies the other was "ugly". Both widely used fonts, too!

In recent years, making money showing the ugly side of life has been a trend. Ugly also applies to subject matter as well. I know people who actively avoid some TV shows (not TV in general - that's a different argument) because the TV show would show "gross" things. Subjective rejection.(The edible portions of "Fear Factor" come to mind)

But there are those gatekeepers that cater to the common denominator. They do try to keep up on the latest trends, and even hire young people to figure out what the latest trend is, so they can copy and/or broadcast it, thus making money, even as their programming sets the trends they are following. Very cynical, eh?

Rap was not mainstream when it first came out. Rap was counter-culture in nature. But then, so were many musical styles.

Eventually, it's not art. It's business.

If enough people care about any art, it becomes a business.

Yep.
Very cynical.

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#506268 - 01/13/03 03:54 PM Re: Why are Superheroes more "Mainstream?"
gene phillips Offline
Member

Registered: 09/30/99
Posts: 5910
Loc: Houston, TX
Quote:
Originally posted by Pat ONeill:


And that may be exactly the problem. From what I can tell talking to today's art students, art schools no longer teach anything that might remotely be called "esthetics"...the standards by which beauty vs. ugly can be determined.


Pat,
I don't pretend to be an expert on ancient Greek aesthetics, but if you are stating that some of the ancient Greeks believed (a) that objective standards of beauty did exist, and (b) that the beautiful implied, as in the much later Keats phrase, some sort of "truth" about the nature of the world, then I would say that's a fair generalization.

The problem is, though, aeshetics did not begin or end with Plato or any other ancient Greek writer (even if the Greeks coined the word).

I think you fail to take into account the fact that even though perceived ugliness should in theory repel audiences in droves, the fact is that throughout history (and prehistory) there has always been a fascination with the outrageously-ugly. You see it in the Greek myths, with deformed Hephaestus and half-animal Pan standing apart from the perfect Olympian deities. You see it in anonymous folktales and in authored fairy tales like "Beauty and the Beast." You see it in the Gothic novels that sprang out of the so-called Age of Reason, in the Romantics and the Decadents. And yes, the fascination has even been in comic books from the very beginning. Often it may've been projected onto villains, but even technically-handsome heroes like Batman, the Hangman and Plastic Man all have aspects of the grim and the grotesque, while monster-heroes like the Thing and the Hulk brought the grotesque to the fore as never before.

I will agree, Pat, that there can be a literary pleasure in extolling the beauties of nature, of the human form, or what have you. However, even if the ancient Greeks didn't have a word corresponding to our "grotesquerie," I think they knew its appeal: not for nothing did some Greek critics trace the form of the "tragedy" from the so-called "satyr-play," which supposedly involved low comedy with the eponymous animal-creatures.

I think humans have in them both the desire to build things up, and the desire to see them torn down, or at least humbled. These desires occur both in real life (where both can be harmful in varying ways) and in fiction (where both are relatively harmless). I think you've fixed on the first desire as the only desire worthy of inhabiting your aesthetic universe, and that's your privilege. But I think a fuller aesthetics takes in the fascination of both the beautiful and the grotesque, because both impulses are to varying degrees a part of us all.

And you don't even have to like SOUTH PARK to admit that.

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#506269 - 01/13/03 04:31 PM Re: Why are Superheroes more "Mainstream?"
Sock Puppet #9.5 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 523
Quote:
Originally posted by gene phillips:
I think a fuller aesthetics takes in the fascination of both the beautiful and the grotesque, because both impulses are to varying degrees a part of us all.
In the marketplace of art, many times the public consumer doesn't get to see the "grotesque" because the artist it told flat out the art they don't like won't be duplicated for the masses on their dime.

Some artists have to go from production company to production company, and often have to CHANGE their 'Art' to even get their work in front of the public.

This past weekend Sheryl Crow was featured on 60 Minutes:
Quote:
"I can’t say that the music industry... is one that nurtures artistry. It doesn’t," she says. Before her Grammy Award-winning career finally took off in 1993, Crow spent years as a back-up singer and songwriter for hit-makers while shopping her own material to record labels. "[The industry] works against artistry. It doesn’t create a comfort zone... doesn’t ask you to be creative…[or] original," she says. "It asks you to fit into a format that people can make money off," says Crow.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Now I'll sit back with my brand new Wired magazine and read about the fall of the music industry.

----


"How much you want to bet that the entire music industry collapses? And I mean soon - like five, ten years. Kaboom!"
--Timothy White(1952-2002) editor Billboard magazine to Charles C. Mann (WIRED magazine, Feb 2003)

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#506270 - 01/13/03 04:37 PM Re: Why are Superheroes more "Mainstream?"
NatGertler Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/99
Posts: 4618
I just want to know how the ancient Greeks drew the line between the art in Hate and Don Martin's work. (Pat: Don was an artist in Mad magazine for many years.)

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#506271 - 01/13/03 04:42 PM Re: Why are Superheroes more "Mainstream?"
Dan Carroll Offline
Member

Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 4588
Loc: Chicago, IL
Compare and contrast:

[img]http://www.toonisland.com/alan/groening/dmartin4.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.peterbagge.com/images/hate1.jpg[/img]

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#506272 - 01/13/03 10:54 PM Re: Why are Superheroes more "Mainstream?"
Jughead Jones Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 814
Loc: Riverdale USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Sock Puppet #9.5:
This Dictionary Image shows the US spelling for the word. Get it? United States? Not effete, not intellectual. United States.


Messrs. Merriam and Webster disagree with you. I stand by my spelling.

Quote:
So, if I say that someone's art looks UGLY to me, you won't criticize


Nope. I'm sure there's stuff you think is ugly that I don't. There's plenty of stuff I think is ugly that other folks like, like Paul Pope's comics. But that doesn't mean that they are inherently ugly-- someone else might think them beautiful.

It's when people start using these terms as objective measures that I've got a problem with it.
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#506273 - 01/13/03 11:30 PM Re: Why are Superheroes more "Mainstream?"
Charles Reece Offline
Member

Registered: 08/18/99
Posts: 10013
Loc: us of fuckin' a
Clement Greenberg spelled it 'esthetic' and the majority of philosophers would spell it 'aesthetic' -- the point being is there is no point to be made. I believe the 'a' was dropped to bring the word more in line with modern day spelling, but it never really caught on (with an 'a' is clearly the most frequent spelling, so I guess that's something of a point).
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#506274 - 01/14/03 11:43 AM Re: Why are Superheroes more "Mainstream?"
Slawless Jug Offline
Member

Registered: 04/11/00
Posts: 276
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1111/1811_302/72732951/print.jhtml

Lexicographers often disagree about spellings and definitions as much as everyone here disagrees about comics, which is why using the lack of information in a particular dictionary entry to prove an argument is moot.

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