Wednesday, July 30, 2008

High Culture Meets Low Culture.

An interesting article came from the Los Angeles Times the other day talking about the blurring of the lines between high-culture and low-culture. The general thesis is that mass-media has pretty much obliterated the divisive line between the two, with more and more typically snobby cultural elitists flocking to cinemas to watch summer blockbusters and "lowly" everyday people being exposed to high art, music, and film via culture sharing sites such as YouTube. Some of you might read this and yawn at the whole thing, but one of the more interesting points in the article is the idea that by accepting everything, the tables have turns and we're starting to experience guilt in finding pleasure in work of quality.
Instead of feeling guilty about reading pulp novels, he said, we worry that we've become "elitist" if we go see chamber music or jazz. "The culture as a whole seems to have decided which arts are elitist and which ones popular, and so made some people feel guilty to be watching European movies [otherwise known as art-house stuff] or to be reading novels not likely to be turned into screenplays."
It's a view that i've been agreeing with for some time and it's a shame that, culture, at its current state is more comfortable with professional academics checking TMZ every half an hour than with a kid at McDonald's going to watch a play. Recommended reading.

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