I've been thinking about Lesli's response to my previous post. Particularly the part about the difficulty in starting a conversation with someone about art, books, poetry, etc. and hearing "No, because I'm just too stupid/uncultured/ignorant for that sort of thing!"
There is an insidious pervasive attitude in our culture to tear down and sneer at anything that is popular or light. My six year old nephew would say, "They got an attitude." It's cool to sneer at Twilight, Rowling, bestselling authors, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, pop music, Disney, etc.
If you're like me one of those uncool people who happens to enjoy those things, then when someone asks you about books, art, poetry, you're going to say, "No, because I'm just too stupid/uncultured/ignorant for that sort of thing!" Because who wants to get sneered at?
A few days ago, I met my brother's new girlfriend. At one point, we were both sitting on the couch reading (me a book. her her kindle.) So I asked her about the kindle. And then we started talking about books we liked. And at the beginning it was like two cats cautiously circling each other waiting for the other one to pounce, because we both like popular books, the ones you find on the bestseller lists, and we were waiting to see if the other one was going to sneer. Once we figured out that we had similar taste in books and authors and that the other one wasn't going to sneer at what we liked, we had a great conversation about books.
And you know what? Lesli is right. It is damn hard to start a conversation about books. That was the first time in a very long time that I had had a decent conversation about books. And even if it had turned out that we didn't like the same kind of books, I think we would have had a good conversation anyway, because neither one of us was going to sneer at the other.
Those that sneer at what others like cut themselves off from hearing what those others might have to say. If we're going to have good conversations with an exchange of ideas, then the sneering has to stop.
If someone wants to play around with alternative art forms, pushing the edge of the envelope, that's fine. And if you enjoy that kind of thing, that's fine. Just don't get an attitude about it.