Popular vs. Good

Wed Feb 21 03:39:08 EST 1996

Date: Wednesday, 21 February 1996 8:38am ET
Subject: Re: Popular vs. Good
In-Reply-To: The letter of Tuesday, 20 February 1996 4:56pm ET

>Do you seriously think that people entering a CD shop must buy SOMETHING. Do
>you think that upon finding nothing they want, THEY DROP FIFTEEN BUCKS FOR

Yes, I seriously do, because I, unfortunately, did it often in my youth and
know that people with money "burning a whole their pockets" will often buy
things they wish they hadn't, especially when the want to be entertained.

>I have never bought any recording because it was the least objectionable.
>(I'vevoted that way several times.)  If I don't like anything on TV I turn it
>off. I'm not compelled to watch the least objectionable thing on.

You are a discriminating person, you refuse to settle - most people are not
like that, otherwise the quality of TV, movies, music, etc., would be higher
than it is.

>All of those pieces of art that have "stood the test of time" were, and
>continue to be popular.  They don't survive if they are unpopular.  Just
>because something that's popular DOESN'T survive the test of time does not
>mean that it wasn't good.  It means that it wasn't timeless.

This is provably untrue.  Many artists who were *never* popular in their own
time have been the ones who, today, are considered the greatest (Van Gogh
(sp?)comes to mind), this has happened over and over throughout history.  I
assert that "good" equates to "timeless" or "enduring" NOT to popular.

>"Popular" is only a put-down in the minds of them that ain't.

I'm NOT saying "popular" is a put down, but rather that it doesn't equate to
"good."  Many things that are not "good" are "popular."  To use a political
analogy that will not offend anyone's sensibilities (and if it does they
deserve to be offended) is that Hitler and the Nazi party were *immensely*
popular in Germany in the 1930's, yet were patently NOT good.

Popular can be good, e.g. the Frasier TV show, but more often than not,
unfortunately, is not good.


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