Thursday, February 24, 2005

Angry White Men

So Joe Carter was bad mouthing Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut today. This was after Markos "Kos" Zuniga at the Daily Kos revealed that he doesn't read much, but those two men are his favorite authors.

Joe has been pretty negative lately. He wrote a similar post not long ago ripping on Thomas Kinkade for being escapist. I'm not sure I like it. Granted I can get pretty negative too, but that doesn't make it a good thing.

The one thing I try not to be negative about is people's artistic, music, and literary tastes. There are bands I don't like. Perhaps I just don't like their style or their values. I really couldn't care about most critically recognized writers, either. They usually write on topics I don't care about and are recognized by critics because they can't or won't create works that are accessible to the general public. But that doesn't mean I think these people are total crap. It means I don't like them. There is a difference.

But I'm pretty sure that you can't take someone who's writing is so loved by so many people, even if you don't respect those people, and call it crap. If someone is touching so many people's lives, perhaps you should take a step back and try to understand why. So while I'm not a Thompson fan, I can tell by the sheer numbers of people who are that he touched something. He strummed his fingers on a common chord I don't happen to share or particularly like. But that is still an accomplishment deserving recognition.

For the record, I think it's pretty widely accepted that Thompson has been in decline for over 20 years. For that matter so has Peanuts. My experience reading Vonnegut is that it is bleak, somewhat funny, but basically not as good as Douglas Adams.

As for people who are committed to telling other their tastes are crap, or their work is worthless, just go read Ephesians 4:29 already.

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