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Old 08-16-2016, 10:51 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2001
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Originally Posted by Martian Bigfoot View Post
Whether someone likes or dislikes X is a different matter. Although I suspect that it's just a matter of time before the thread devolves into the usual "X is so cool!" vs "No, you're so dumb, X is stupid!" slapfest.

We're not there yet, though, so maybe we can get some more examples in. I think the more interesting cases is where you like something, and you'll like it either way, but you still can't decide whether it's brilliant or dumb. It's funny you should mention Dylan, since he's like that for me at times.

Maggie comes fleet foot
Face full of black soot
Talkin' that the heat put
Plants in the bed but
The phone's tapped anyway
Maggie says that many say
They must bust in early May
Orders from the D.A. look out kid
Don't matter what you did
Walk on your tip toes
Don't try "No Doz"
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose

OK, that is either great poetry that was sweated over and revised endlessly, or just some weird stuff that Bob wrote down while drunk, on a napkin, in the back of a taxi, and then found the next day and decided to keep. It's really hard to tell sometimes. I'm pretty sure that he employed both methods.
I think these days we would say that Dylan had a good "flow" - like a rapper. If the flow is working, a lot of nuttiness is more than acceptable.

Martian - I used words like "I like" and "I dislike" - but what do you think of my Jeff Koons examples? In both cases, he is trying to jar our thinking by taking childish things and making them monumental - again, depicting them using the language of Great Art(tm). And both are dogs (he had done other balloon animal sculptures, but his most well-known is a dog) -

The Balloon Dog doesn't work as well as the Puppy - IMHO, the former is "stupid" and the latter "clever." As with Rothkos and Pollocks, it really is better if you see them in person, to take in their size, the level of craft that went into them, etc. But the Balloon Dog looks like some company could have manufactured it - like you could order a dozen of them, even that big, and have them delivered by Friday*. The Puppy looks like a shit-ton of work. For some reason all of that apparent effort, and the "hey, wouldja look at that - a big puppy!" reaction create that interesting dissonance.

*apparently the Balloon Animals are super-hard to make, require teams of metal craftsmen and plenty of rejects where Koons's team has to start over. Again, that seems so ridiculous to me for the effect it delivers.