February 04, 2008
"I am your broooother, your best friend foreeeever!"
If that wasn't enough of an introduction to my next blog, I don't know what you people are expecting. haha. So...I thought that, with this blog, I would venture to narrow the gap between the world of the classroom and into popular culture which is a lot less philosophical and, dare I say, more pertinent to today's society. But, despite the divider that I initially interposed as a distinct barrier between the two existences, one small epiphany forced me to retrace my steps and further evaluate the distinctions between these two supposed competing cultural variances: AMERICAN IDOL. (I can almost hear Ryan Seacrest uttering those acclaimed words as I type...and I love it!) Alright, enough babble. I'm sure you're saying, 'what the heck is your point, Taylor?' Well, dispose of your impatient suspenseful cravings as I reveal to you one of my tiny steps in better contemplating the world...340 style. I’m sure you’re all very excited.
So, this question is what started it all: “Do you think that the maker of a piece must build specific doors and windows for someone who would encounter the piece?” I was like, gosh---do I even care? But then I started thinking more of the subjectivity of a piece of art and whether or not the reader’s subjectivity is in fact influenced by workings of the author. Surprisingly, what I came up with the inverse response. I feel like the reader is the constructor of either the doors or windows into a piece. If we are to reference the American Idol example, the contestants are the ones showcasing their works of art—their singing auditions. The judges—in this case, highly publicized faces, who before this show were scantly recognizable—are the readers, or observers, if you will. Now, the authors or the singers, arrive at the auditions with a clean slate, desiring only to impress the judges with their performance, having for some, undoubtedly stood in front of the mirror on countless occasions perfecting what they consider to be a performance most reminiscent of their personal style, talents, and artistic message. Despite this preparation, the judges can either objectively approach each contestant as a valid competitor, or subjectively be unfairly swayed by other variables (appearance, dialect, socioeconomic status, religion, likes/dislikes, etc.) irrelevant of the contestants’ singing ability. When the judges deem an entry worthy of their time to listen to, very rarely overlooking characteristics labeling a person outside of what is typically mainstream and profitable, they then build and open the door to really evaluate the art, or in this case, the performance of the singer.
To further elaborate, the door is more sturdily constructed based on the magnitude of the differences between the author and the reader. I believe that at first introduction without any other preconceived notions regarding the author or the work, there is actually not a door or a window, but a wall separating the two forces. From there, the reader is either influenced positively or negatively by third party opinions or facts or if that is not the case, he very quickly judges the material based on its qualifying characteristics. Accordingly, the reader either constructs a door with which he fully immerses himself into the work or a window through which to passively observe the art. On the other hand, in a negative instance, he will uphold the wall as a barrier or construct a door, but not open it, so he only will be faintly submitted to the author’s work.
The irony of the video clip that I posted is, to me, it represents an opening of a door usually ignored by the American Idol judges. When anyone not considered marketable in mainstream culture approaches the show, the judges usually discard them without further thought, unwilling to explore the psyche of the person, their values, culture, etc. I feel like the goodness and the potential rich offerings of people are dismissed before they have the opportunity to convince the judges that they worthy of attention and admiration. With this audition, the original wall as a barrier is transformed into an open door, providing an avenue to the discovery of the altruistic goodness of a man not typically idolized by the powerful media.
Posted by thulyk at February 4, 2008 04:51 PM
Well yes, I'm excited!
Do ou think that the reader has been trained to give the self the right/responsibility for the construction of doors and windows?
Do some readers, through training, deflect (some of) this responsibility?
When the reader does not/is not able to construct doors/windows, what is occurring? What doesn't occur?
I'm very interested in the wall that you say is in place before doors and windows. Are there locations of varying structural vulnerability in the wall? Locations where constructing a door or window might be more likely, might be easier? might be locations that author and observer might both construct a door, though the door need not unlock or lock the same things?
Fantastic framing systems enacted in this post;
thank you for giving me much to consider and reconsider.
Posted by: thyliasm at March 10, 2008 12:50 PMLogin to leave a comment. Create a new account.