Sometimes when Laura leaves the house to go out and do whatever, I do dishes and listen to post-rock. You know, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Explosions in the Sky, Mono, Red Sparrowes, that sort of thing. Right now I’m listening to This is Your Captain Speaking. It’s good stuff! If you’ve ever listened to post-rock, you’ll know how hard it is to come across truly interesting material, even by those veterans of the genre such as (and especially) Mogwai. TIYCS seems interested in being interesting. That’s good.
I don’t like megachurches. I mean, I can see where they fit into the ecosystem of Christianity — if it can be called an ecosystem as opposed to a burgeoning, idiotic choas — but I don’t like them. I don’t think I ever will. It’s not simply that they’re generally white, suburban, middle-class and almost always utterly devoted to not offending anyone. It’s that they’re not distributed enough. They’re too centralised. Thus, one pastor boffs his secretary, the whole thing goes under, and your sanctuary gets converted into indoor soccer field. I’m pretty sure churches should be small, efficient, face-to-face, involved, local, community-based, and active. But mostly small. Enough that you can’t hide in the crowds. But also enough that if something goes wrong, and entire faith community isn’t left floundering in the shallows.
Let me ask you this: Why do you dislike Thomas Kinkade’s art? Is it because his art is bad? I bet it isn’t. I bet you don’t know good art from bad art even if such things exist. What you probably mean to say, instead of, “I dislike Thoman Kinkade’s art,” is, “I dislike Thomas Kinkade“. That would probably be more accurate. You don’t like his commercialising of his art (but when was art ever not commercial?), you dislike his subject matter (though his paintings are quite nice to look at), and you especially dislike the types of people who buy his prints (you think they’re generally the unwashed white trash living in trailer parks somewhere, their floor and ceilings and furniture covered in linoleum). You don’t want to be one of them, because that wouldn’t be… something. Wouldn’t be cool, wouldn’t be acceptable to your peers, wouldn’t truly speak to your sensibilities and your good taste. Maybe what you should say instead is, “It’s not kosher to like Thomas Kinkade… so I don’t like him.” Because at least then you’d be a bit more honest. In the meantime, look at some of his paintings. They’re quite nice.
This may be some indie music heresy, but you know what’s wrong with My Bloody Valentine? They’re completely and mind-numbingly boring. Sure, they came up with sounds no-one had ever heard a guitar make before, but none of those sounds is interesting.
I hate modern classical music. I really do. Things started going off the rails in the early 1900s and haven’t gotten back on since. Once I thought, “Why have people accepted abstract art, but not abstract music?” The answer is, of course, that a bunch of different colours splashed on a canvas a la Pollock can be extraordinarily — if unintentionally — beautiful. It doesn’t hurt me to look at. Notes seemingly scribbled on a page at random, however, has the capability to make me — and from the look of it lots of people — wince. (I am abusing my dashes; I know.) Harmony and melody aren’t old social conventions meant to stifle the artists. They are a common framework in which we as Westerners operate. It may indeed be that this only a custom, but that doesn’t matter: It’s ingrained and there’s no point in the composer trying to wiggle it loose. You are literally hurting me with your atonal disasters, your craptastic 12-tone form, and your alternative rhythmic nightmare. Go write some music someone wants to listen to; see if there is perhaps something of value to be found in those old forms everyone seems to have abandoned without a reasonable alternatives. Rediscover, for heaven’s sake, the power of beautiful music. Don’t make it your mission to question what beauty is. It just is.