March 28th, 2003

beartato phd

(no subject)

Racquetball again. A couple of disappointing defeats. Still, a good workout, and a made the occasional satisfying shot. Serve needs work.

Finished the Cours. His dismantling of various fallacious arguments is much more enjoyable reading than his production of same. Will resume reading "glass bead game" now, I think. Promised cdinwood I'd try not to finish first, heh. She had better hurry...

Watched the second half of "Connections" after seeing the first half yesterday. I love this show. Need to force it on all my friends now.
beartato phd

(no subject)

An epigrammatic thought, prompted by norm's frequent (but not unjustified) complaining about cliches in various movies and tv:
originality is impossible, originality is trivial.

Pure, undiluted originality is practically impossible, of course. Everything is based on something else. But to me it feels like norm, when he constantly criticises, say, the empty platitiudes and slogans and soupy lines of babylon 5, is indeed demanding every new movie and series to be some groundbreaking, genre-busting lump of pure newness, with no old forms re-used at all. He says, no, it's okay to redo things, as long as it's done cleverly, and B5 and Billy Elliot and Connections just do it clumsily. I don't know what he does consider clever, though. Maybe all the stuff I like really is crap, though. I don't know.

Anyway, for the contrasting side, if you do set your standards low enough, of course practically any creative act produces something new. We routinely speak sentences that have never in human history been spoken before. Ho freakin' hum.

So what is it to be original? Where is the sensible place to set the threshold? It's not even clear that more tradition-breakingness is monotonically related to (at least my notion) of artistic merit. Intentionally binding your hands into the conventional forms of the day and still making fantastic art seems even more impressive somehow.