Sunday, 10 February 2008

I Just Like It

It's ok to just like things.

You may enjoy the taste of a really good Thai Green Curry, the sound of a jazz quartet or the visual stimulation of graffiti by Banksy.

You may feel uplifted by the breeze on your face on a sun dappled afternoon, you may experience more delight for the bubble wrap than the gift it surrounds, or perhaps you just melt if a finger is traced along the nape of your neck.

You could write pages, essays on why these things should be so. On why these things give you pleasure. People do. They take a piece of art or literature and tear it apart to see why it worked. Those who fancy themselves as thinking bloggers will devote pages to analysing a single word and why it worked for them. They gaze into their navels (or other orifices) and suck every last bit of colour and animation from the original work, until all we are left with are dry definitions, battened down and neatly labelled. This kind of approach narrows and restricts these experiences, rather than expanding them.

I must confess, it bores me rigid. I am no intellectual. I know my limits. I am a simple oik. I am that person who says "I don't know much about art but I know what I like." There are those who would feel compelled to explain why I am right or wrong about my preferences by cutting them up and laying them open for me. The types who say "ooh, listen, listen this is a particularly good bit coming up, the horn section in this is superb" so that you miss the very thing they so want you to appreciate. Shut up! Shut up shut up shut up shut up! Unless it contains some relevance to my continued survival, it doesn't matter why something gives me pleasure just let me enjoy the fact that it does!

Shakespeare, for example, was never meant to be read. His plays were meant to be experienced. Schoolchildren have suffered for decades, sitting in dusty classrooms, having every last syllable dissected for meaning until none of the original passion or intent is left. It's all wrong, wrong, wrong. You should just turn up to the play, watch it, feel it and then say "that was great" or "that was crap" depending on your own visceral response.

My pleasure from feeling the sun on my skin is not diminished by not fully understanding the chemical processes involved in my body synthesising vitamin D. I just like it, it makes me happy.
Similarly, I don't need an essay on the evolution of language and its inherent gender stereotyping to enjoy a post about fucking. If I read a bit of smut and am suddenly thinking "my goodness, that's an innovative new way of using that verb in a non-passive gender empowering manner" I am probably not as immersed in the moment as the original author may have hoped.

I'm not saying we shouldn't have inquiring minds, only that there is a risk of becoming over analytical. If you show me how the trick is done it won't be magic anymore. I don't want to see the wires and strategically placed mirrors, I don't care how it works. I just like it.


Flowering Jasmine said...

Well said that girl, well said!

I just like visiting the boudoir honey. xx

Helga Hansen said...


I feel the same about people who can't accept my reasons for believing what I want to believe. So what if I'm wrong?! If I'm happy, who cares?!

Nice post, and it's thanks to Ro that I found your blog! :^)

Ms Robinson said...

Luka, I sent you an email. I need your help.


Walker said...

Some things you anylize because you are meant to and some you take for what they are.
Things that give you pleasure should always be accepted as that, like this chocolate sundae i have infront of me.
Great post.

bittersweet me said...

It is a wonderful confidence to have, that innate sense of understanding what you enjoy yet not needing to impose a justification for that pleasure.

Many people seem afraid to admit to a spontaneous reaction without an almost scientific reason for appreciation. Trusting a gut reaction is far more liberating.

ps. i go with the finger traced along nape of neck *shivers*

Jackie Adshead said...

I totally agree with you regarding art - you either like it or you don't, and it doesn't need to be "explained" for you to enjoy it. As an artist I've given up trying to work out a formula for definitive good art, because there's no such thing, some people will hate it whilst others love it, and the majority couldn't care less about it! But, I do find that the erotic artwork I create with heartfelt passion has more of an effect on people viewing it, so something obviously gets passed on then. The arts should speak for themselves, whether its a painting, music or words. Enjoyment of something is so personal, there shouldn't be a written rule about being intellectual over it. I can understand people being taught an "understanding" of the arts, but not being forced to accept one thing is good or bad above another.

Anonymous Boxer said...

less is more, less is more.

in everything.

Luka said...

Jasmine - and I like your visits x

Helga - hello! Exactly. There are some situations where it is better not to ask too many questions and just enjoy the moment.

Ms R - I am on it, honest! x

Walker - thank you muchly.

Me - I am very much one for going with my instincts.

Jackie - absolutely. It is so dispiriting to have a piece of art dissected for you, when you were just enjoying it for yourself. It also presumes that the critic in question has the monopoloy on the artists intent, which seems somewhat arrogant.

Anonymous Boxer - it is.

EmmaK said...

You are so right. I was pleased to get out of London if only so as not to sit through a dinner party of pseudo intellectuals discussing the latest hip play.

Ms Robinson said...

That's why I don't pay attention anything anyone says. I suppose I am an outsider anyway but I'd rather be one that be one of the chatterers.

This piece would be good for the blog book Luka. Lots of empathy here. x

Luka said...

Emma - erk, that's my idea of hell.

Ms R - my email to you has fallen victim to a "delivery delay" thing - I will resend xx