Monday, September 6, 2010

It's Okay to Hate Art

I'm about to say something that's either going to make you think I know nothing about culture or feel the need to clap your hands together while you nod in agreement. So here it is. Sometimes artsy is boring. I'm sorry, but it's true. Admit it! Oh, go ahead. I won't judge you. I don't care how much you pretend to love something to make yourself look like you 'get it' or keep people from thinking you're a Neanderthal. Sometimes art can be a snooze fest. I know what I'm talking about here. I have a BFA in Musical Theater. And yes, I know that sentence alone makes me sound pretentious. Trust me. It ends there. Because during my stay at Syracuse University, I failed to see the entertainment value in some of the 'classic' plays I read. Oh, I see the purpose. The intent. The message. I 'get it.' But I'm bored. And no way would I have said any of that to the other students. Even though I know at least half of them were thinking the very same thing. I could hear them snoring in class. I even got a bunch of them to admit it while drunk. (Oh thank the flying spaghetti monster we did NOT have Facebook when I was in college.)

I'm not lying when I say I love Shakespeare. But I am when I say I love 'Waiting for Godot.' Just an example. I understand the themes. I appreciate the meaning. I'm bored out of my skull. I know that's even part of the intent. But you don't EVER say you don't like that play. You immediately look like an idiot. You're uncouth. How could you possibly be an actor and not love every juicy moment of the boredom? How could you possibly be thinking about how much you have to pee and what a bad idea having a giant Diet Coke before the show was?

I love them both. I would be honored if either one of them adopted me. I would pay disgusting amounts of money to see them on stage together. I still hate 'Waiting for Godot.'

Someone loves it. Someone loves everything. I'm a may have noticed that when you read the title of my blog. I could talk about World of Warcraft and the adorable Murlocs in the Cataclysm beta for hours. Seriously, there are baby ones! I could speak endlessly about the methods I use to build my coffers or what it's like to actually fly over Azeroth. But if you're not into the game, you'd want to shoot yourself in five minutes just to shut me up. Go ahead and ask me about Tudor England, Greek mythology or themes in fairy tales...use the facilities and eat a hearty meal first, because you're not leaving your seat for the next few hours. Ask my sister what happened when she asked me about Mary, Queen of Scots as we drove through Scotland. She may growl at you. What I'm saying is this: it's alright to admit you're not into something. You're not an idiot. You just have other areas of interest.

Trying to convince my sister that this should be my niece's Halloween costume.

So what brought this particular rant on? 'The American.' And believe it or not, I liked it. I swear, I'm not lying. It was beautifully shot. We're talking about an absolute stunner here. And looking at George Clooney for a few hours is hardly a chore. Sure, he's a beautiful man, but he is also a fantastic actor and he handles both the dialogue and the two thirds of the film that are, I'm not exaggerating...with the ease of a seasoned pro. A lot of the movie-going public is not going to like it, and that's alright. And this is not a review of the film. It just made me think about the poor people who just went in to see Georgie without his shirt on. People who bought into the action film marketing. I imagine them leaving the theater, stunned by the lack of dialogue, but terrified to tell their viewing companion. 'Oh, no! It was wonderful! It was deep...and nice...and, well, deep.'

Oh yes. I know. It's hard to resist hot guys holding puppies. In underpants. Worse than crack.

Please understand, I can spend hours at the Met, dragging my poor friends through endless rooms of paintings and sculpture. I will wax poetic about the Pre-Raphaelites. I will watch a marathon of sub-titled Asian films and bore you to death with commentary on the differences in our entertainment culture. I'll discuss what's wrong with RPG's and why I need to use the One Bag cheat in WoW. I'm an art geek, a movie geek, a geek geek...see what I'm doing? I couldn't help myself. I'm trying to convince you I'm not an idiot. I'm a hipster of sorts, I swear! I wear cool shoes. I like tiny, fancy cupcakes! Me=smart, see?

So, in the end, it doesn't matter if I liked 'The American' or not. All art should be made and seen. And it's good to expose ourselves to everything we can. Try new things. See a French film. Talk to someone at an old age home. Adopt a puppy. Try that slimy thing on the menu at a new restaurant. Go to a museum. With me. Because I haven't been in a while and I need someone to listen to me babble about Waterhouse. Just admit it if you're not into it. And don't judge anyone else if they tell you the same thing. I cannot begin to count the number of people who have come out of a screening with me, talking about how much they loved a film, when the day before, they were railing against the very same thing. Since that screening, close friends have told me, in hushed voices of course, that they were bored, but afraid to tell anyone. Not the first time that has happened.

I love Waterhouse with the passion of a teenager's anger at the world. (Does that make me sound artsy?)

I'll still love you, even if you vehemently disagree with me in the comments section of my review of 'Pillars of the Earth.' I don't think your parents will disown you if you didn't love 'Inception.' I won't stop talking to you if you're a Twilighter. Um, can someone help me down off my soap box now?


  1. Will you please go to the art museum with me? I'd love to hear your take on pre-Raphaelites, especially since I'm more of modern art girl myself, and I've never actually been to LACMA.

    And I'm never afraid to say I don't like something. Every one of my fellow geek friends thought District 9 was BRILLIANT. I hated it. I thought it was very well executed, I thought the acting was great, I thought the special effects were amazing and the action sequences were sufficiently suspenseful and exciting. I also wanted to punch it in the face by the time it was over. And I am okay with that.

  2. Dinah, I didn't love District 9 either! Shaky cam makes me sick and there were a zillion plot holes! And yes, I would LOVE to go to the museum with you! Just let me know when! :)