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Monday, September 9, 2013

Popularity Kills Art


You can define yourself, taste-wise, as either in league with the popular or against it. To be sure you want to be accepted by (well, I mean popular with) your friends and colleagues, but you also wish to show that you are ahead of the crowd, not swimming with the current. The rule is: If something is popular, it can’t also be good. It's utterly uncool to be fond of the chart-topping song, the top-rated TV show, the No. 1 best seller, the highest-grossing movie of the year or the most successful musical. There's is some risk, however, in being enthusiastic about an unrecognized talent, a misjudged masterwork or an underrated play. What if the sleeper you praise will become a hit? Then you need a good reason to change your mind. I know what always works. Just say it is no longer what it promised to be because it lost its soul to the devil of commerciality. Today everyone knows that something that makes money can't be art.

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