Gone to meddlin' some might say when Ken Myers broaches the subject of preferences (either music or cannibalism!) on page 77 of All God's Children and Blue Suede Shoes and proves that matters of taste are not wholly private and personal.
The author had already begun to draw the line in the sand on page 76 by suggesting that if a particular culture form encourages the sort of individualism that presupposes that one has to discover who s/he is independent of family and community then there is a problem.
Here's the reason we mothers (who have no taste and wore short shorts - giggle) are reading this book:
What should attract more attention is the effect of consistent exposure to
popular culture, whether or not the content is objectionable, on the internal
dispositions. The habits of mind, heart, and soul. In short the
qualities of character.
Aesthetic judgment is one way of determining merit or evaluating form, but is by its very nature more elusive than the scientific (quantitative or qualitative) method will allow. It requires patience, training, and a willingness to submit. Those are qualities that I'm sure all of us are striving to develop in our children, our charges.
Myers quotes a 1966 article addressing the aesthetics of popular art showing its limitations by contrast:
Great art reveals something about human nature because it is forced to
conform to created reality. It selects its material according to the
demands of the "Author of the reality to be grasped".
Now that's a new name for God, but I recognized Him.
He is our reference point.
In this same referenced article, it is argued that popular art cannot bear the sustained attention that high art can. We might remain well-acquainted with it, but the relationship is always superficial, never maturing into intimacy. pg 83
I appreciated the explanation surrounding celebrityism, another attribute of pop culture, and how TV talk shows play into this. And how sentimentality, another attribute, and its lack of sincerity permeates the atmosphere even into evangelicalism.
Myers just explains a lot.
He challenges my sympathies.
Because I watch television, listen to music, surf the world wide web, and enjoy fashion.
But because I think my life is characterized by a rootedness in objective reality, the subjectivism of popular culture is impotent for me.
Or is it?