Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Bad taste as good taste

Dance music is best praised by displaying its worst moments. Bad creators require a certain degree of talent, which keeps intact the discipline and skill of a good creator and only cuts out those elements that would make their work merely mediocre. Noteworthy and eminent bad taste requires a vile kind of greatness that we culturally have only allowed to flourish through history beneath the mean slur of commercialism. But commercial merit does not secure genuine bad taste any more than the blandishments of literary criticism secure literary status for a choice book. Charles Dickens is a vulgar and commercial writer, but his special kind of bad taste seems to be effective in people who have not already been inoculated by French refinement or Yankee frankness in literature. It is said that Stephen King admires Dickens greatly, but perhaps he admires their similarities in character (since both seem to enjoy tormenting children in their novels).

Bad taste is an enormous unexplored tract of potential. I predict the songs and stories yet to be told by humans will feature the use of bad taste as skilfully as our artificial ideals of excellence have featured in past and present works.


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