Fireside Chat #6 (Fall ’05)

HOW TO OBJECTIVELY DETERMINE WHETHER ART IS GOOD OR NOT.

Everybody is getting so excited just because there are photographs of gorillas using tools. Apparently this is a big deal because they were the only species of “great apes” so dumb that they didn’t even know you could use a rock to smash things.

Welcome to the club, you dirty, stinking apes. I smash things with rocks all the time.

It’s just like when a kid makes a crayola portrait of their moms for Mother’s Day Card, and she says it looks exactly like her. The other day, I dug up one of the cards that I drew for my own mom at age six. I remembered having drawn a masterpiece, so you can imagine how crushed I was realized how terrible it was. I told her, “Either you were lying to me about the accuracy of my drawing or you have such a bad self image that you think your torso is an awkward green oval.” If she wanted to do me a favor, my mom should have told me to get a job.

Once we stop celebrating the pseudo-accomplishments of animals and stupid little kids, we can start to give recognition to what really matters: Entertainment. Still, we are left with the question: “How does one measure if art is any good?” It’s actually very easy.

Let’s start with movies. All you’ve got to do is compare the film in question to the most highly-regarded film in history, Jackie Chan’s “Rumble in the
Bronx.” If the film is in many ways similar to “Rumble,” it is to be considered an instant classic. If not, it should be smashed with a rock immediately.

Pepperdine has been a-buzz about “Crash” lately, so let’s use it as the example. Characters in “Crash” deal with racial tensions in a large city. That’s a good thing. Plus four points. However, the actors in “Crash” did not choreograph all of their own stunts. Minus eight points. Then, while no protagonists in not single-handedly take on a street gang, there is one that beats up two carjackers and then threatens the cops. Plus two points. The most obvious mistake made: No Jackie Chan. Minus five points.

With a total of -11 points, you can go ahead and trash the “Crash.” I should mention that it’s true that there are different genres of films, and that not every filmmaker starts out with the goal of making a sweet Jackie Chan action movie. That’s okay. They can do whatever they want, it just won’t be any good.

My rating system is totally objective. I’ve told you the value of a film, but unlike most reviewers, I’ve got hard data to back it up with.

To measure any other form of art, you just relate it back to “Rumble in the
Bronx” as well. If it’s a dance performance, ask, “Are the dancers fighting each other?” “West Side Story,” for instance, is an example of good dancing. If it’s music, ask, “Could Jackie Chan defend a grocery store to this song?” This is why Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” is objectively the greatest piece of music ever written. Sorry Schumann, come back when you know how to rock.

So the House is overhauling the Endangered Species Act 1973, and not a moment too soon. Maybe when every endangered animal dies out,
America will wise up and start celebrating “Rush Hour 2.”

If you need me, I’ll be protesting our culture on the steps of Smothers Theatre, smashing copies of “Planet of the Apes” with a rock.

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One thought on “Fireside Chat #6 (Fall ’05)

  1. Interesting article.
    You’re asking how one can determine a good art from a bad one.
    Well I guess art is considered bad if it is poorly drawn combined with clashing colors and conveys ridiculous message.
    If you want to see more of bad art, try to check out the Museum of Bad Art in Orange Line.

    It’s me,
    John

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