(image from http://www.futuregamez.net)
Let it never be said that I am not a renaissance man. Take today for example. In addition to work (although I readily admit that no one really considers both dressing and smiling sharply work anymore, myself excluded), I played the guitar until my fingers nearly bled*, collected 21 stars on Super Mario Galaxy IN JAPANESE, took a cell phone photo of a cute girl on the subway picking her nose (irony is so easy; it's the creative yin to cuisine's ramen-preparation yang), read about half a page of Tuesdays with Morrie (make me spend some time alone with Mitch Albom and I guarantee you I won't live more than a few hours), studied Korean ('언제나 이안은 티셔츠를 잘 입어요'), gayve mah dowg a wawk, and did some other stuff that I probably shouldn't mention because my Facebook page links to Psychedelic Kimchi and I still hope to be included in several of my relatives' wills.
Yep, it was a good day for art. One of the best.
All silliness aside, I'm not the person to ask whether A or B is art, because I honestly have no fucking idea. I can tell you what I consider art, and then you can tell me I'm wrong, but where does that get us? Nowhere. Because you're wrong, too. (Glibness is so easy.) Art to me is shit I like. Lord knows that's prosaic, but whatever. It saves me from trying to appreciate Salo as a film and scat porn as erotic, although I'm willing to try, just not when I'm eating. Today, Jeremy G. Butler posted a DVD review of Hannah Montana's first season on CHUD.com that caught my attention, because instead of the knee-jerk response (read: vile hatred) most 20 to-30-somethings might expect, he was surprisingly honest in his review. Instead of shitting on the show -- which I've seen enough episodes to, I believe, give my own opinion on, one which isn't too different from Butler's -- he understands its popularity. There's a reason Saved by the Bell is similarly remembered, and it's not because of its artistic value, whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. Our lives are shaped by the culture surrounding us and the shared comfort it provides. You might never understand why, in 2019, your grown children are bopping out to "The Best of Both Worlds," but you can empathize.
So, does that make Hannah Montana art? You bet. Live to be 60, 70, 80, hell, 90 and beyond, I'd say everything is art. Not to discount criticism, but, fuck, if I only have a short while to live (and we all do, some more than others, and I'm purposefully being glib again), I'm going to make everything art to some degree.
Can a video game be art? Roger Ebert says no, Clive Barker says yes, and I'm stuck in the middle with you. To me a game can, although few fit the bill, and you're better off trying to settle the Israel-Palestine conflict than taking a side in this war.
In 2001 I was reading a lot of Haruki Murakami novels and playing Ico on the Playstation 2. I've since grown upper, the games have gotten a lot deeper -- so I hear -- and it's been a long time since I thought about a horny kid (a kid with horns, I mean) leading a mute girl around a castle full of shadows.
Ah, nostalgia. Art? Maybe not. Probably not. But a hell of a lot more satisfying than pictures of you and Grandma planting trees in the backyard or a dress made out of meat.
Like the corners of my media-addled mind.
What's the frequency, Yorda?
* in the process mastering more chords than The Ramones and learning to play Neon Bible BY ACCIDENT