Friday, April 15, 2005

This is a post made on Caferati message board about the corruption of art forms and culture that is reproduced here just to show my view point

Richa, I never knew the term, “Randi” meant a woman of noble birth, having known it to have only pejorative meaning.

What I am against is the “randification” of art forms. Hardworking artists work over the centuries to raise the levels and standards of art forms to a higher level and along comes some hotshot upstart who “randifies” the whole establishment. A noble art form is turned on its head into a vocation of good for nothings and wastrels. In other words “noble women” have been reduced to “randies.”

All art forms should be open to experimentation and change. But that doesn’t mean we should accept all experimentation as hallowed. That would be akin to “randifying” the noble women of the earlier royal gharanas.

What we see today is a total breakdown of the establishment of criticism. Remember, I don’t mean writing per se but the fine art of criticism, which is an art in itself. I used to read columns on music reviews, drama reviews, art review, in newspapers earlier. Audiences were led by the hands of these learned critics about what to patronize and what to rubbish. Their criticism was the last word and anything they didn’t like perished. So the artist and creator used to be literally afraid of them. Thus one knew what is art and what is trash and garbage.

But today they don’t exist. Many newspapers do not have music, art, literary criticism columns anymore. So people like us are left with nothing to call a “benchmark” to decide what is good and what is not. That is the fine difference that I have been talking about.

Dalip, I think that answers your question about “who sets the standards” and Sonia that answers your question about “who cares.” We all should care because it affects all of us and we writers are the ones to write and express our angst and anguish. I am talking of my teenage days in the sixties and seventies, not the last millennium or the last century. There was enough literary, music, and dramatic awareness then to decide what is art and what is trash and garbage. Period.

Even literature has its detractors. So when somebody comes on board and writes in the Jamican “Netin, newayz, me no tink thatz good” style I and a few other Caferati members raised enough heat to make them vanish.

Sonia remember Acid rock? Acid jazz will also die that natural death. So don’t worry. As you rightly said these undesirable sub-cultures will be given the short shrift as time passes. But it is our responsibility to be aware, as writers.

Yes Max, trends in culture, literature are glacial and move a few millimeters an year. But that doesn’t mean we should stand and stare and do nothing when genres that are unacceptable should intrude and bring about “randification” of our treasured art forms.

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