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Well I liked Forest Gump

 
 
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 06:57 pm
There I said it.

I liked Forest Gump.

And I enjoyed the Da Vinci Code.

And I wouldn't miss Survivor.

Why do certain things get labled "lowbrow" and generate some weird universal sneer?

Seriously, there are thousands of worse movies, books and TV shows but these three seem to have some kind of pop culture signifigance in that you're only "okay" if you hate them.

If I carry a copy of The Flounder (read it) and discuss The Bicycle Thief (seen it) and throw my TV out the window (done it) would you like me better?

Why is "popular" "bad"?
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:10 pm
@boomerang,
I didn't see Forrest Gump, I wouldn't consider reading the da Vinci Code, or not for long, and if I still watched tv, Survivor would not be it

I'll easily take your thread as a sneer on me and the dribbles of folk like me.

Many of us didn't like the Bicycle Thief, that's no argument.

I like popular when I like it.

You, you, you... anti aesthete, you!!!

Never mind aesthete, I'm uncomfortable enough with that, but what is the major discomfort for talking about these matters? Class resentment? (I get this). Intellectual performance sneering (I get this). Fear of complicated thinking? (I get this.)

0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:13 pm
I like plenty of stuff people sneer at. Doesn't matter. I like it no matter what.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:32 pm
I'm just rocking the boat, osso, not pointing fingers at anyone.

I'm fascinated by pop culture. I LOVE pop culture.

I'm interested in why pop culture is so frowned upon.

There are a thousand books I liked better than either The Da Vinci Code or The Flounder but the fact is, I enjoyed both of them.

Internet discussion adds an new and interesting twist to discussing such things. I'm curious about that.

I'm very interested in how something popular becomes hated. Is it just because it's popular? I think that has a lot to do with it.

And I'm guilty myself.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:36 pm
I love the "torture porn" tag. Who did that!?
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:36 pm
I think we assume if something is popular it has been dumbed down to appeal to The Masses. Sometimes I like being one of the masses. Anyone see the latest episode of Hell's Kitchen?
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  3  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:44 pm
@boomerang,
I loooove Forest Gump. One of the better movies of the past 30 years or so. (Parenthetically, I've liked just about everything Tom Hanks has been in. Maybe it's him or maybe he just gets good roles.)

I enjoyed Da Vinci Code, but that doesn't mean I'd label it as art or good literature. (I have explained elsewhere, on at least two other threads, why I enjoyed the book and why I think it's hilarius. The Tom Hanks movie, in this case, didn't cut it. It doesn't take full measure of the nuttiness of the book.)

But, to answer your central question, certain things get labeled lowbrow because, well, because they're so lowbrow. Your next sentence comes up with an interesting observation. You say:

Seriously, there are thousands of worse movies, books and TV shows but these three seem to have some kind of pop culture signifigance in that you're only "okay" if you hate them.

The point, I think, is that these have become popular pop icons. It's okay to be terribly "lowbrow" as long as you, as an artist, don't start to claim an abnormally large portion of the public's attention. Nobody really cares or makes a fuss if you like Harlquin romances. Why? They're not on any best-seller lists. Dan Browns execrably wretched imitations of prose art are.

(Still don't know why Forest Gump would be on that list, though. Great movie.)
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:46 pm
Build it, tear it down....build him/her up, tear him/her down....build up the popularity, tear down the popularity

THis is what humans do, searching for the point is pointless. It is coded in the DNA, the brain does not control this human behaviour.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:48 pm
I don't dislike Forest Gump as being low brow. Heck I like low brow stuff. The reason I dislike that film is for the author's (and film maker's, I guess) agenda behind the story. It hammers anything remotely liberal. I resent that.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:48 pm
Life is so frikken complicated that brain candy can be medicine. I get tired of dealing with things that require analyzation or discussion. Some things should be simple.

Sometimes I just want to be "dumb".

I wish I had the capacity to even care about "high art" anymore.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:50 pm
@boomerang,
Complicated. Sometimes popular culture is the result of interesting thinking and sometimes it's plain old ballistic. Who exactly frowns on popular culture? Give me some long list of names. Mostly people, from whatever walks of life, feed on it.


Hated? I've read probably thousands of books and I'd have to work up some time to think if I hate any of them - I don't keep a hate this book diary.

I will admit that I care less about what the general population world wide thinks than I once did if ever. This is probably from boredom. About pop culture and it being frowned upon, it gets to be a stretch for interest.

So... for me it is almost piquant to care. I don't mean that as a slam, but as a transition.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:50 pm
@Merry Andrew,
"Forest Gump" was one of the worst films I've ever seen. "Being There" was one of the best films I've ever seen.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:51 pm
@dyslexia,
Being There rocks!
dyslexia
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 07:53 pm
@boomerang,
"Being There" was satiric commentary about people who though Forest Gump was a good movie. Laughing
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 08:06 pm
<snork> Dys! You're incorrigible.

Merry says:

Quote:
The point, I think, is that these have become popular pop icons. It's okay to be terribly "lowbrow" as long as you, as an artist, don't start to claim an abnormally large portion of the public's attention


I think you're onto something here!

I need to think on this a bit.....
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 08:48 pm
@boomerang,
I know you're relatively intelligent individual. Especially if you're the person I remember from Abuzz.

There is real wisdom behind the adage, Moderation in all things..

An entire cultural diet of this populist junk food is just as bad as the complete low brow starvation diet (the complete removal of all things populist and campy from ones entertainment repast).

A complete diet of high brow culture and entertainment? Any you'll risk completely alienating yourself from mainstream society. Some people find that attractive. Its a tad too stuffy of a lifestyle for me.

A complete diet of low brow culture, (network reality television; mindless summer reads; etc...) then you don't get any emotional, cultural, or intellectual development. As a student of life on this all cheese, you will become existentially stale.

This side of the cultural diet spectrum, a person risks becoming a mindless drone, void of any distinguishing cultural identity. That's a terrible thing.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 08:50 pm
@boomerang,
I assumed you did that tag out of some kind of Freudian association with Survivor. Then again I know I'm apparently wrong.

It is pretty funny.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 08:51 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
I liked Forest Gump.

And I enjoyed the Da Vinci Code.

And I wouldn't miss Survivor.

[...]

Why do certain things get labled "lowbrow" and generate some weird universal sneer?

[...]

Seriously, there are thousands of worse movies, books and TV shows but these three seem to have some kind of pop culture signifigance in that you're only "okay" if you hate them.

I can certainly relate and agree with all you say. Entertainment is very much an individual thing, much like different types of comedy.
I thought Forest Gump was okay. Not a favourite, but was fine entertainment. Tom Hanks played the role well. The same with Da Vinci Code.

My wife and I are trying Survivor for the first time this year (Samoa) and see how we like it. Also, going to try the Great Race when it comes up.

There are some movies that just don't get the recognition that they properly deserve. For example, The Notebook, with James Garner. I thought this was excellent.

I'll come back later with more examples, Boom.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 08:53 pm
@Merry Andrew,
The pop icon status draws a much larger target to the cultural item. That's why if you follow the Razzies, they don't pick the really worst films and performances of the year. They pick some of the terrible and hideously bad junk that's been made from the high profile actors and directors, the pop icons of their medium, simply because they are the easiest and most accessible of the cultural targets.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Sep, 2009 08:56 pm
@dyslexia,
Quote:
Being There" was satiric commentary about people who though Forest Gump was a good movie

That's an amazing trick of cinematic time travel considering Being There predated Forest Gump by 15 years. Wink
0 Replies
 
 

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