“All hail the dimwitted masses — summed up elegantly in the busy, busy activity of the world’s dumbest, cheesiest, sappiest, and most mind-numbingly unimaginative Facebook statuses.”
Nope, FPS fans, this isn’t a retread of ‘Doom 3;’ this is a blog dedicated to one young man’s intense cynicism of and disdain for (most) things mass-produced and watered-down for the dimwitted masses, as well as his burning love for all things that successfully venture into the unknown — things that truly make a name for themselves in the effort to say something meaningful and change the world, no matter how small that change may be. The latter, of course, are not considered special because of the their uniqueness — remember, being different is never a guarantee of quality, it merely assures…well, difference — no, works that are true successes couple quality with the ability to stand out.
What are these “things” I speak of, which can be both desirable and memorable or repetitive and artificial? Well, for the purposes of this blog, they will tend to be works of art. These artworks may include anything from music, motion pictures, television, paintings, theatre, sculptures, to novels, graphic novels, comic strips, videogames, architecture and beyond. The primary focus of this website will be critical analysis and appreciation for the arts. As a preliminary warning, I will tend to spend most of my efforts on mediums of art I enjoy and/or am exposed to the most. These mediums will usually be (in descending order of predicted focus): films, music, television, videogames, and novels.
Arguably the most memorable art projects are those which are able to be interpreted and appreciated on multiple levels. Both dimwitted simpletons and arrogant snobs such as myself both find themselves flocking to the greatest and most famous of works, because they are applicable and/or allegorical on a variety of planes. What I am describing are projects that can be enjoyed, consumed and appreciated in multiple ways; for instance, a truly memorable work can be enjoyed simply as entertaining, escapist fun while also be appreciated for containing worthy character development, effective pacing, and witty dialogue. This year’s (2012′s) Hollywood blockbuster juggernaut, ‘The Avengers,’ is a perfect example. One could appreciate it solely for its considerable entertainment value as a massive, flashy, and action-packed blockbuster with character-esque one-liners (which is how most people enjoyed it). Others, such as professional film critics and many film enthusiasts, lauded the film for its impressive handling of multiple, iconic, Marvel superheros within a single script and giving them all adequate screen time and development. They also praised the beautifully self-absorbed action scenes, standout visuals, and great pacing that made the climax all the more satisfying. In short, the snobs appreciated the finer details of ‘The Avengers’ and what exactly made it tick. Further examples of memorable films that can be appreciated by both the masses and the minorities include epics such as, ‘The Godfather,’ ‘Scarface,’ ‘Aliens,’ ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ ‘Star Wars,’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ and smaller films like, ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ ‘Star Trek (2009),’ ‘Men in Black,’ and ‘Casino Royale.’
Occasionally, I will also allot time and space to highlight meaningful topics in other areas of interest, such as science (e.g. zoology, conservationism, human evolution), history, health (the global ‘obesity crisis,’ sex, dating, diet and exercise), social issues and politics (presidential elections, congressional happenings, sweeping legislation and, of course, ‘The Daily Show’). These will usually take a backseat to the art evaluations I love to brag about, but every so often, something really big and memorable will happen outside of just the world of artistic expression, and it will warrant extended conversation and discussion.
Now why would all these topics necessitate a welcome to hell? The answer (my little victims, he he he) is that most, if not all of the aforementioned areas will stir up strong emotions and more than a few deep-seated prejudices and grudges. With regards to the analysis of art in particular, I have many bones to pick with quite a few people, both in fandom and on the creator’s side. Conflicts in the worlds of art, politics, sociology, science and others can quickly usher in much pain and suffering, touch many tender nerves and salt still open wounds. This can happen easily even without discussion/analysis degenerating into immature arguments and bickering. Quite simply put, dissecting anything will often reveal more information than one was originally wanting to know. Proceed with the following autopsies at your own risk.
With that said, suffering is usually a prerequisite for greater personal and social triumph in the end. One must first travel through hell in order to reach heaven, as it were. Painful evaluations and analysis of the world are intricately intertwined with education (which itself involves much suffering), and these two things eventually make themselves worth all the incredible hassle and shit you have to slog through (that is, if they haven’t caused you to jump off a building or blow your brains out first) because of this: Educating oneself and questioning the world around you, while undeniably a very painful process, make us enjoy life more fully, allow us to better relate to and understand others and their problems (particularly in their darkest moments), and enable us to contribute far more to this world than would have had we taken easier roads. In short, testing ourselves, pushing ourselves to the brink, makes us live more complete lives.
No one gains more from suffering than the sufferer, although the world will inevitably reap a portion of the benefits as well. Simply look at the great movers and shakers of society, the most legendary artists, the smartest geniuses, the fabled leaders of the greatest nations of the world — nearly all of them suffered a great deal at some point in their lives due to their ambition, and many experienced one or more mental illnesses. A very abbreviated list of examples include: Abraham Lincoln, Virginia Woolf, Ludwig van Beethoven, Vincent Van Goh, Isaac Newton, Ernest Hemingway, Michelangelo, Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, John Nash, Mark Twain, Marlon Brando, Ray Charles, Edgar Allen Poe, Drew Carey, Trent Reznor, Elton John, Buzz Aldrin, Roseanne Barr, Terry Bradshaw, Jim Carrey, Kurt Cobain, Heath Ledger, J.K. Rowling, Winona Ryder, Leo Tolstoy, Lionel Aldridge, Metta World Peace (Ron Artest), Herschel Walker, Mike Tyson, Ricky Williams, Brandon Marshall, Tennessee Williams, and Charles Darwin.
In a way, this blog is a tribute to those movers and shakers of the earth who went through considerable amounts of shit to not only make a better life for themselves, but to make a better life for the rest of us as well. I will tend to focus on the modern patrons of the arts — actors, musicians, directors, screenwriters, and software developers — but at the same time, I write these musings and reflections to honor all the great leaders and trailblazers of humanity, whatever their profession.
So, in summary, I welcome all viewers to this blog with a promise of a trip through hell. But I also promise that we will, slowly yet inevitably, make it out as better people if we percervere. As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you simply makes you stronger. The world, filled with art, science, history, politics, and a bunch of other crap, actually has a method to its madness after all.
So with out further deliberation, let’s get started. It’s time to see what the planet below has to offer. It probably won’t all be pleasant, so keep your pulse rifles locked and loaded. We’re on an express elevator to hell, goin’ down!