good taste is often in bad taste
May 25, 2013, 8:47 pm
Filed under: the sweet life | Tags: , ,

house-good-taste-contemporaryThis is Granta editor John Freeman offering a clear and challenging definition of taste.  I studied literature and design, both of which are disciplines heavily invested in taste as an idea and also no doubt as a commodity.  I came to see taste as the safe, prescribed, status quo solution.

Freeman thinks otherwise.  In his definition he says taste is loyal and unfaithful: so, contradictory and unpredictable.  It is not safe nor prescribed but an anti establishment stance.  He says:

Could my job have been done by a computer? I suspect someone at Google or Amazon would say yes – why don’t all creative writing students upload their files to a server and let a program look at their language and score its uniqueness? The reason we care about taste, however, is because it is a human trait. Good taste is erratic, irrational, passionate, wrong-headed, determined, loyal, unfaithful, grumpy and pleased with itself. Good taste is often in bad taste. It is foul-mouthed, marginal, irreverent, unpatriotic, and deeply inappropriate. You know it when you see it.

Then and now: Granta’s best young British novelists, John Freeman, The Guardian

Read the linked article Then and Now at the Guardian on four decades of British novelists.

squinting at pop
August 15, 2011, 5:23 am
Filed under: the sweet life | Tags: , , , ,

Facebook status updates are quite a bit about life actualized:  sushi lunches and manicures on days off, chillin’ with single malts in Brooklyn lofts, cedar planking salmon, safariing in east Africa, prix fixe with poached flounder, taking post season dips in the Tyrrhenian Sea, generally jetting about, and so on.  I like reading them, but must admit many are giggle inducing.  Would they, gathered together, make a viral tumblr?  No doubt.

The actualizing set has seductive new tools.  Facebook’s ‘like’ and Google’s G+ are innocuous but powerful little buttons built on the human need to have and to express strong opinions about — well, about everything and nothing. Essentially, they are curatorial tools, which puts everybody in the desirous position of editor.  They give delusions of influence and power.  That they are viral shows our deep need to know, to be culturally evolved and experienced.

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