Monday, June 30, 2014

When I Fail To Be Pretentious

Totally unrelated collage I made. I've been really into Sylvia Plath lately. 

Some time ago I wrote that things were vey hectic in my life, little did I know that was just the begining. The last few days have been blur of graduation ceremonies, extracurricular activities, parties and late night essay writing sessions. There is no time in between to really register what actually happened. My body constantly seems to be ahead of my mind.

This intense level of constant activity has also made me realize I'm a true introvert. I do really enjoy all these social events, but after a whole day of being around other people, I am exhausted and feel like I need  time to enjoy some aloneness (which, I might add, is very different from loneliness). My social-exhaustion also changes several habits I have, including the books/Tv-shows/movies/music I 'consume'. I find myself throwing my 'sophisticated smart (/pretentious) people'- literature to side and picking up easy reading YA series. I suddenly go on a Disney Channel- movie binge and my favorite musice genre changes into 'love songs about high school boys'. 

These entertainment choices go against everything that I as an entertainment snob (I know, it's bad) believe in. I'm that person who proclaims there is no hope for society when I see trashy reality TV and go on a thirty minute long rant when I see some book about an unrealisticly sappy romance is on the top of the bestseller list. This is not just outward appearance. I do truly love my high-brow-intellectual-pretentious-person entertainment and get sad when I see it doesn't recieve the recognition (or at least, I think) it  deserves. I hate to see a theatre or museum close because lack of visitors or really cool artists not getting a big enough audience to support themselves. I am (or was) truly puzzled about why others can't appreciate poetry or 18th century lit or some indie film, like I do. 

Another totally unrelated picture of my messy art supplies.

My own change of behavior this week has really made me cirtically look at my attitude. As I observe that the busier and more exhausted I become, the simpler my entertainment gets, I wonder if all that artsy-intellectual is only appealing for those who have time to worry about it. There are many great literary novels that, however brilliant, are actually really depressing. They're inspiring and thought-provoking, but not something I like to read after a long day of studying/work/socializing with family you barely know. Sometimes I already have to many things to worry about to leave room for some fictional artist's existential crisis.

I know that there are many more much more complicated factors that influence what kind of entertainment/media a person consumes, but perhaps I should be more understanding when I see 'said book about sappy romance' sell better than 'intellectual artsy novel about wretchedness of society'. One of the most powerful things entertainment does is providing an escape. Especially when life gets hard, a world that is different from ours becomes appealing. That can be a world with magic and dragons or one where simply all man  our amazingly romantic lovers. Or one created by Disney for 12-year olds.  Quite often high-brow-intellectual-pretentious-person entertainment doesn't offer this escape, or does it in a more complicated way. A complicated way that you don't want to deal with after your own life has already worn you out. 

All my ramblings above do not mean that this whole phenomenon is not more complex. Many factors have a say in what kind of media and entertainment a person consumes. It also shouldn't be forgotten that high-brow-intellectual-pretentious-person entertainment can often make us feel understood, inspired or just simply happy. Good art doesn't always have to be sad. 
Also, I would like to point out that no kind of enertainment is better than the other. Despite my sometimes snobbish attitude (that I have to work on getting rid off!), entertainment is good as long as long as you find it enjoyable/inspiring/interesting/etc. Labeling something as 'great literature' and 'easy summer read' is a highly subjective matter and you shouldn't let those labels define your own experience with entertainment/art.

1 comment:

  1. I get what you mean. I recently got next year's book list for my school's book club, and I thought the suggestions were very solemn. Critically acclaimed, but too serious. I joined the book club to discuss books we probably wouldn't read in class. I suggested we read Tina Fey's Bossypants, because it gives in insightful look into feminism, the TV business, and comedy, all while being absolutely hilarious. Sometimes good art isn't serious, or it can be satire of the seriousness. Look at the Broadway musical, The Book Of Mormon. It's offensive, vulgar humor that's also a great play and has won many awards Also, the songs are genuinely fantastic. For a while, I tried to read a lot of classics. Now, I'm going though a phase where I only want to read more humorous, light hearted books and comics.