Friday, August 24, 2007

Judgement

Is there a "e" in there? It' s one of my favorite words, and yet, I can hardly ever spell it correctly. Well, according the American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition, it can be spelled both "judgement" and "judgment". I find the second spelling ugly, so I shall proceed with the first.

When did "judgement" become an liability rather than an asset of one's character? It bothers me to hear, "Well, it's not for me to judge" or "Aren't you afraid you're being too judgemental?" If I can't or won't judge, how do I get out of bed in the morning? How do I determine whether or not something is good or bad? How could I possibly wrestle with higher thinking if I am unable, or unwilling to sit in judgement of ideas?

Perhaps most people mean stop harsh judgement, or prejudice regarding someone else's personal choices. Surely, I can judge someone else's choices, particularly if I judge behaviors or choices of others not to be consistent with one's that I would do or make. All my constant judgment does is help galvanize how I should live my life. I have no impact on the behavior of others. My thoughts and actions are independent from those of other people. I can, however, judge their thoughts and actions to be consistent or inconsistent with my view of life. And I must.

If I suspend all judgement, I would be like a newborn baby. Think about it. Judgement is constantly required in order to sustain life. I want to live and learn and make my way according to my own thoughts and actions; not live and be moved merely by prevailing wisdom.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Culture of Derivation

Let's discuss derivative culture. Is art, say a novel, based on the work of another artist, say a well-loved novel, art, or just derivative art? Even if the second generation work is really good, would it ever stand alone as good art? Recently I was in a Barnes & Noble, and was shocked to see the number of contemporary novels about Mr. Darcy. Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy. The smoldering love-god from Pride & Prejudice, Mr. Darcy as portrayed by Colin Firth in the A&E presentation of the BBC's 6 hour long Pride & Prejudice, only to be out-smoldered by the hardly-faltering vulnerability of Matthew Macfadyen in the 2005 remake. Despite my obvious affection for Mr. Darcy, I had to wonder how good any of those novels could be. Where have all the fabulously good original ideas gone?

We need some new heroes. A cowboy would be nice, please.

Despite Facts

Despite the fact that it is painfully clear I do not know how to blog, I persist. What's to blogging? You just put your opinion down in writing and post it for all to see. That's it, right? How hard can it be?

Already, I'm too bored to go on. There's the hitch. It's not just your opinion in writing, I'm okay at that. It's your opinion in writing interesting enough to read. This is where I get into trouble. Now I'm becoming a derivative blogger; blogging about blogging. Where does it end?

Here is my posit for this post: Objective beauty, in art, music, and life, exists.

Sure, there will always be songs, books, movies, and even people that appeal to a sense of nostalgia rather than our finely honed judgement of these items, but I'm not talking about that or the flipside of that - things that are hated for prejudicial reasons. I'm talking about, as an adult, seeing or experiencing a piece of art and being able to judge its objective beauty. This obviously flies in the face of "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder", but it's a fascinating thought that I need to explore further.