Deconstructing Pop Culture

Deconstructing Pop Culture header image

Aesthetics

Objects, Part 2

March 5th, 2009 · No Comments

Another interesting juxtaposition of counterpart stories involving objects. 1.            Mohandas K. Gandhi evidently owned only five physical possessions: his steel-framed spectacles, a pair of sandals, a bowl, a plate and a pocket watch.  A Los Angeles filmmaker and peace activist named James Otis somehow came to own them and today he auctioned them off for […]

[Read more →]

Objects, Part 1

February 24th, 2009 · No Comments

This is the first in a series of hopefully interesting discussions about objects.  Objects are things.  They can be broken down into two categories: tools and objects per se.  Tools are equipment or implements.  They help us to achieve an objective or bring about a result.  They can be evaluated in terms of functionality – […]

[Read more →]

Is There a “Lowest Common Denominator” of Aesthetic Preference?

September 25th, 2006 · No Comments

We often hear the phrase “lowest common denominator” used in a pop culture context, particularly in a pejorative or derisory way. Television programming, for example, often is said to appeal to the lowest common denominator, particularly since the advent of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and unscripted “reality” shows such as “Survivor,” e.g., Maynard, […]

[Read more →]

The Minow and the Whale

September 25th, 2006 · No Comments

A. Minow’s Speech Like a latter-day Mr. Peabody, let us jump into our time machine, and traverse back to 1961, when Newton Minow, who just had been appointed as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) by John F. Kennedy, gave a speech before the National Ass’n of Broadcasters [reprinted at 55 Fed. Comm. Law […]

[Read more →]

Wrestling with Ruskin

September 24th, 2006 · 1 Comment

The Victorian essayist and commentator John Ruskin generally is credited with the first economic critique of the arts. Ruskin believed the newly-emerging British market economy, and its methodology of analysis, necessarily would result in a decline of cultural values; in particular, those expressed by aesthetic preferences. The economist Ludwig von Mises pithily summarized Ruskin’s views […]

[Read more →]

Do Aesthetic Preferences “Matter”?

September 11th, 2006 · 2 Comments

A. Typically, They Don’t An interesting fact about aesthetic preferences is that there is no good way to determine their truth or falsity. To borrow an analogy, it’s not like Moses brought the Ten Commandments down from Mount Sinai, and one of them said that “opera is good and rap music is bad.” It certainly […]

[Read more →]