britney spears vs. ella fitzgerald

I had an argument with the class today in History of Jazz. (On a side note, why is it that these arguments always end up me vs. the class? Are my opinions that different from everyone else?)

We started out by talking about Pat Boone. He was a '50s star that would take more 'worldly' songs (like how Elvis was seen as so risqué) and then cover them in a slower, less glamorous tone. He made a lot of money doing this and the Jazz professor said that he was, in a word, 'crappy.'

I began to argue. You can't say that music is 'crappy.' You can't. You can hate it until you're blue in the face, but you can't say it's 'crappy.' I don't care that you have PhD in musicology. 10000 flies feasting on fecal matter is the perfect analogy. To you, it's crap. To them, it's dinner. I don't care if it is fecal matter. I don't care if it's literally 'crappy.' If you are going to try and set up qualitative standards for music, and set them arranged in order of priority, you will fail. People like what they like, and everyone knows that. To say that something is definitely crappy doesn't communicate nearly the same idea as 'For these reasons I prefer Ella Fitzgerald over Britney Spears.'

Alas, I was not able to communicate my idea. Why oh WHY is having a loud voice and the innate ability to interrupt people a necessity for public argument? I'm grinding my teeth I'm so incensed right now.

Get over it.

1 comment:

Shaun said...

Well, I guess if you label taking someone else's creative work and redo it for a profit crappy then what he did was crappy. There will people who like it, but from an artistic standpoint it is sort of lacking.

But I know what you're saying. It's also like the saying "one man's junk is another man's treasure". It's not possible to come up with an objective measure for something that is purely subjective. You'd have to grade something else, like his technical ability or motive in creating music.