Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ramblings of a Madman: Get those damn words offa my yard!

This concept that I'm thinking about right now has no beginning or end. If anything it's really just a never ending loop so I guess I'll drop us in at random point x and damn the consequences!

Are video games art? Yes. No? Well why not? Roger Ebert doesn't think so. He's a pretty bright guy I suppose....he does watch alot of movies. Honestly I don't really care anymore. This does of course imply that at one point I did (which is sadly true), but I'm over it. Anyway, art. Clearly art is this special club that only a specified class of things can call themselves. That's a pretty vague definition, but I really don't know how else to define something that applies to Don Quixote, Citizen Kane, and hunks of metal twisted together in the shape of hunks of metal.

So at this point you might be thinking you've figured out my point. How can something as completely worthless as Citizen Kane be considered art while video games get the shaft? Well you're wrong! I have no grievances surrounding what any one wants to claim as art. My grief here is reserved for people "defining" things. We give things names so that we can identify them to each other through means slightly more helpful than pointing and grunting (imagine if you pointed and grunted and everyone just looked at the tip of your finger).

But it wasn't enough just to label individual things, we had to categorize them too. TVs and computers are ELECTRONICS, lawyer and doctor are OCCUPATIONS, hilariously awkward roommates and green dinosaur sidekicks are BABYBOPS. For the most part it is functional. Communication errors are numerous and frustrating but if you've been able to understand more than half the words in this post I call this language phenomenon a rousing success.

So we're good so far. We have names for things. We have categories to put those names in. We even have categories to put the categories in. What happens then when we start getting new things? Who decides when they can join an existing category? Is the term "art" frozen in a certain time so that everything coming after it has to find it's own new category? I don't know about you but I'd say dictionaries are pretty damn heavy already. Not to mention that (according to Wikipedia) "art" was coined sometime before 1750. Who won the Oscar that year?

What it comes down to I suppose is that we assign meaning not just to the things in our lives, but the words too. I consider myself a pretty open-minded, accepting person, but when someone says "this is gay", I know that they probably mean it's bad or lame or disagreeable with them in some way. Hell, what do "bad" and "lame" mean anyway? If you ask me, there's only one word that completely and reliably defines exactly what we associate it with...."thing".


Jason said...

i give this post two thumbs up