Tag Archives: aesthetics

dandyism A-Z

“A” is for “Alex from A Clockwork Orange” This is the hyper-mediated dandy whose boredom leads only to vice in the form of sadism and violence.

“B” is for “Baudelaire” He is the epitome of what it means to be a dandy: a marvelous poet, editor of fashion magazines – the kind of dandy who wilts like a rare flower when you put him anywhere near fresh water.

“C” is for “Christ” It almost goes without saying that Christ was one of the prototype dandies – he surely suffered for fashion and fashion alone; his wounds pave the way for all the fake mutilations of our own age.

“D” is for “Dickens (or Dostoevsky)” Dickens was the British dandy before it was really popular to be British (Dostoevsky hated work, was educated enough to hate work, and secretly, or, not so secretly put himself through hell to avoid working).

“E” is for “Epicurus” Foremost philosopher, pre-Sade, of the Epicurean philosophy – a philosophy dedicated solely to the pursuit and attainment of pleasures.

“F” is for “French Revolution” It would take too long to mention all the figures who played a prominent role – the event itself is worth mentioning: they were burning effigies of “NOTHING.”

“G” is for “Galactus” Even though he is a fictional character from the Marvel universe of comics, the guy eats entire planets when he gets hungry. He is so incredibly lazy that he creates powerful beings, like the Silver Surfer, to prepare the planet for his consumption by wiping out the life on it first. He is the excessive dandy par excellence.

“H” is for “Hemingway” Although I personally consider him to be too active, his writing has influenced a generation of journalists from the common news journalist to the obscuro-bizarre gonzo journalist.

“I” is for “Incest” Dandies who lack a (post) Oedipal complex turn out to be like Norman Bates, from “Psycho.” See “N is for Norman Bates.”

“J” is for “Joyce” Whom is probably still the greatest novelist, filthiest neurotic, and pseudo-pervert who wrote in the English language. (Excepting myself, of course.)

“K” is for “Kierkegaard” The guy who could have actually had “everything” but preferred not to; he committed the perfect act of sacrifice and turned the woman he loved into a sacred object. And still lived and smiled in the immanence of her frequent presence at the opera – the presence that he sacrificed.

“L” is for “Limpid” Dictionary definition: limpid |ˈlimpid| adjective (of a liquid) free of anything that darkens; completely clear. • (of a person’s eyes) unclouded; clear. • (esp. of writing or music) clear and accessible or melodious : the limpid notes of a recorder. DERIVATIVES limpidity |limˈpidətē| noun limpidly adverb ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin limpidus; perhaps related to lymph .

“M” is for “Masoch” The novel “Venus in Furs” is one of the elements of our symbolic order – for sure. In it one finds all kinds of treasures: absolute fetishes, the presence – or absence – of which makes life worth living. Or not.

“N” is for “Norman Bates” Is the kind of dandy you usually want to avoid for the following reasons, in addition to the statement found in “I is for Incest:” It’s not that he doesn’t have a complex – it’s that he has resolved it by internalizing the Oedipal triangle: he is at once the lower-mother, higher-mother, and child-mother. This is evident in the structure of the house that he lives inside of. One does not “resolve” a symptom by absorbing its external signs, rather, one externalizes the already external – adding to the distance between the already internal dialectic between I / Other (this process is known as Production, the opposite is Seduction).

“O” is for “The Story of O” It’s about the perfect relationship; written by a woman for that special guy.

“P” is for “Poe” Despite numerous problems, including being virtually unrecognized in his own time (except for a curious volume about sea shells), he remains one of the heavyweight dandies that still obsesses the French.

“Q” is for “Queer” Not, as in, “Gay” – but as in “Odd,” “Peculiar,” “Uncanny,” etc. The word “Queer” should be restored to its former glory, not dressed up like some metro-sexual Southpark dad being controlled by crab people.

“R” is for “Roland Barthes” Despite being homosexual – he is also quite the dandy. He enjoys walking, the Eiffel Tower, and the works of Sade, Fourier, and Loyala. Not many do.

“S” is for “Swann, Charles” The ‘main’ character of Proust’s masterpiece; the one who structures the narrator’s desire for and pursuit of Love. Extremely Good Taste: Very Dangerous.

“T” is for “Truman Capote” Is the kind of dandy who is so fascinated by the real because he can clothe it in an interpretive fiction. These ones do not believe in aesthetic judgment; instead they believe that everything is just waiting for their words to wrap around them. Like monster-tentacles and naked orifices in Japanese Hentai films.

“U” is for “Ulysses” This counts as a reference to both Joyce’s novel, and Homer’s Odysseus and Odyssey. The guy is a wanderer, which pretty much is your occupation as a dandy: you do wander down and up, you end up whatever road life leads you down. Encore!

“V” is for “Valmont” Is the dandy whose evil is art, art evil. If the evil is not perfect in the form of art, he wants nothing to do with it.

“W” is for “Werther” He marks the shift from the attitude, in love, of “If I can’t have you, nobody can” to “If I can’t have you, then I don’t even want to live … therefore you must be somebody else’s.”

“X” is for “Xerox” Alas! the age of “degree Xerox” has produced the worst kind of dandy: the copy of the copy. You’ll find these poor souls at an event like “warped tour” with their “cool rock and roll haircuts / cool rock and roll bullet belts.” The goth, punk, and hipster all fall into Xerox level dandyism.

“Y” is for “You” If you are still even reading this.

“Z” is for “Zizek” Just because of the way he manages to make high theory a little less excruciating than it normally needs to be to feel edifying.

mind’s teeth, addendum (or, how far can we take this?)

Like real teeth, the mind’s teeth must be cared for or they will decay and rot. The kind of “dental hygiene” needed to maintain healthy teeth is to make an appointment with a sound literary critic every four to six months. Not book reviewers, actual critics. In the past this might have meant reading the critical works of Oscar Wilde, Edmund Wilson, G.K. Chesterton, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin. Today, we might read Frederic Jameson or Slavoj Zizek.

The loss of one’s teeth is a catastrophe – but not one that is irreversibly damaging. Today, there are a wide variety of prosthetic options available for neglected teeth, or teeth that have simply “lived their life” (god rest these in peace). Alas! there is no such prosthetic for the mind’s teeth. It is sad that, today, so many minds have let their teeth rot and can no longer chew on any kind of art that is at all difficult to masticate (e.g. Céline, Gombrowicz, the atonal music of Schönberg, etc, etc).

Teeth and the mouth is where the dialectic of nutrition begins. If, as Scarry says, “the purpose of art is to refine the reflexes of language,” the mind’s teeth are of the utmost importance for two reasons. The obvious reason is that we need teeth to chew. Less obviously, teeth are absolutely essential for the way we pronounce words correctly with our mouth. Without healthy teeth (in our mouth or in our mind) we cannot appreciate fine food or fine art; we will not be able to refine the reflexes of our language in either speech or writing. In speech, because our words will be garbled; in writing, because if the mind’s teeth are decayed and rotten, the only art we will be able to ingest will be mushy, tasteless, and barely nourishing – and what can possibly be written about that?

The Mind’s Teeth and Taste in Art

To extend and subvert the “mind’s eye” metaphor I am proposing that the “mind” be considered analogous to teeth: hard, meant for chewing, tearing – breaking down. Teeth, chewing, the tongue, and taste are all prior to swallowing, digestion, and excretion. Similar to the way in which music and poetry can resemble each other, the craft of cooking – the science of gastronomy – can be like music. I compare the two on the basis of temporal register: there is duration but no scansion; each sensation passes, only endures for a certain amount of time, as it is registered. With poetry proper (that is, representation of images as things) there can be a scansion: the gaze is able to go “beyond” duration, and effect a scansion of the immediate presented / media represented. Objects of art directed at senses other than that of the optical provide sharp contrast and striking similarity to the strictly visually aligned arts. Indeed, the scent of a particular dish can sometimes arouse desire and emotion on the same level – not register – as a clever poem or erotic film.

The “appetite” for art is kitsch; taste in art is rare. The appetite for destruction is vulgar; taste, sublime.

Earth – Philosophy, Science, Religion: Imaginary Gardens and Real Toads (o sweet spontaneous Poetry)

[two of my favourite poets. cummings poem is here; moore’s is here. see the brodsky essay here.]

He does not make aesthetic mistakes.

– Marianne Moore on E.E. Cummings

E in an epoch of UNself-to be ONEself

– E.E. Cummings, Marianne Moore

The two poems, “o sweet spontaneous” and “Poetry,” parallel and reflect one another aesthetically and ethically – that is to say: they express aesthetic and ethical concerns. Analysis of a few of the poems’ formal aesthetic elements combined with meditation upon their divergent – yet parallel – content, reveals a similar poetic ethic. My purpose in comparing the two poems is to argue that they both reveal a common ethical approach to the writing of poetry: a critical attitude that demonstrates its critique in form and declares allegiance through content. I shall offer a close reading of each poem in an attempt to illustrate where they diverge and where they intersect – and how they parallel. Following this analysis, I wish to compare each poem’s use of enjambment, parentheses, and the parenthetical clause in order to show how the content of one can be transposed onto the form of the other, and vice versa: the operation of reading one text against the other, in this case, allows us to view aesthetic or ethical problems through different frames in order to come up with startling sequences of meaning and stunning conclusions that offer new solutions to old problems.

Cummings’ poem, “o sweet spontaneous,” is fairly straightforward: an ode. The most startling thing about it is the way it mimes the actual rhythm of nature through its manipulation of line length: spontaneous. The poem is divided into (roughly) six stanzas, concluding with three stand-alone lines; every line is enjambed; there is one period, one comma, and one set of parentheses. Within this structure there are only two sentences: the first is closed with the period, the second does not end with a period. Sentence one is a compound sentence that, even though in the form of a question, addresses the earth and declares – without actually saying “how often” (Cummings, l. 2) – that it has been “pinched and poked” by the “fingers of / prurient philosophers” (l. 4-7), that its “beauty” (l. 12) has been “prodded” by “the naughty thumb / of science” (l. 11-2). What is of importance here, besides the pedophiliac overtones of sexual abuse, is Cummings placement of the comma and the period: instead of end-stopping the line with the comma, Cummings chooses enjambment; instead of placing the period right after beauty – which would place a limit to the limitlessness of “natural beauty” (I use inverted commas to not assume that there is such a thing as nature, or beauty) – Cummings leaves a spontaneous space. The second sentence does much the same thing as the first except it does not address – it simply declares – again, without saying “how often” – “have religions taken / thee upon their scraggy knees / … / buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive gods” (Cummings, l. 14-6) and adds the conjunction “but” to record the earth’s answer: “spring” (l. 27).

To turn to Moore’s poem, “Poetry:” it is composed of precisely five stanzas, all of which are enjambed, save the last. Each stanza ends, begins anew, without punctuation – I would go so far as to say: without closure. The stanzas have no fixed number of lines, or fixed line length: each stanza is like an “imaginary garden” (Moore, l. 24) that contains “real toads” (l. 24) and is contiguous, through enjambment, with each that follows the one before. Transition from one stanza to another, aside from the white space separating them, is invisible – all that is seen is what they contain: the stanzas contain six sentences between them. The first three sentences are short, the third: slightly longer; the fourth is the longest, and the fifth and sixth diminish in length – but not to the original shortness of the first two. Moore’s poem concentrates on the rhythm of the syllable rather than the rhythm of the accent. Despite not having a strict metrical form, Moore’s emphasis on rhythm, not unlike Cummings use of line length, is to establish a visual rhythm that repeats a certain variation – which, I would like to argue, is her aesthetic approach to poetry (one that is not incomparable to the style of jazz music …). Repetition of the word “genuine” in the first and last stanza book-ends and explicates the poem’s central concern: the ‘importance’ (a word that is also repeated in the first stanza of Moore’s poem) of a ‘genuine’ interest in poetry attained by “reading it with perfect contempt” (l. 2)

I am trying to draw an equi-valence between Cummings sense of the word “earth” and Moore’s sense of the word “poetry” to show how the objectification of something like Poetry or the Earth – whether it be through the methods of philosophy, science, religion, or criticism – leads to the exaltation of the instrument of objectification – the exploitation of the thing being objectified – rather than exalting the thing itself. Both poems admirably attempt to refute and resist the objectification of their subjects and – although they refute different limitations through content, resist in very different forms, and are doing so on behalf of different subjects (i.e. cummings: earth / Moore: poetry) – in my opinion, succeed in doing so without being hypocritical or pedantic.

To begin my comparison of these two poems, Joseph Brodsky’s Nobel lecture, “Uncommon Visage,” provides the central thesis of my paper: “every new aesthetic reality makes man’s ethical reality more precise … [every new aesthetic reality] can itself turn out to be, if not a guarantee, then a form of defense, against enslavement.” This is precisely what I believe Cummings and Moore are attempting to do: forge a new “aesthetic reality” that informs (i.e. structures from within) the ethical core of our relationships with others, and relationship with the earth we live on. The earth, like poetry, cannot articulate its own aesthetic: they both rely on an other to make sense and perceive (aisthesthai) their processes, sequences, and closures. This reliance on an other, “perfect contempt” for Moore, in Cummings poem, manifests itself in the abusive triad of Philosophy-Science-Religion.

The first, and perhaps most obvious, connection between the two poems is their visual appearance: before even reading the poems, the reader is arrested. It is not that the two poems are visually symmetrical but they are asymmetrical in a similar way; the two poems both play with line length. It has already been mentioned how the visual structure of each poem represents (what I believe to be) its content: for Cummings the ‘sweet spontaneous earth;’ for Moore the repetition – with difference – of a certain structure. There is a kind of chiasmus between the visual structure of the two poems, in exactly the same way that there is between each one poet’s use of the word ‘earth’ the other’s use of the word ‘poetry,’ insofar as Moore’s poem gives body to the “sweet spontaneous” and Cummings’ poem resembles what Moore calls “the raw material of poetry in / all its rawness and / … / genuine” (l. 26-30)

I would now like to move from the purely structural analysis I have been performing to a comparison between, what seem to me, the two most striking sentences in each poem. Cummings poem speaks of being “true / to the incomparable / couch of death” (l. 24-5); Moore speaks of “, ‘imaginary gardens with real toads in them’,” (l. 24). Both phrases, and this is why I have retained the commas from Moore’s passage, appear in parentheses or as parentheses (i.e. not ()theses, (anti)theses, or – most terrible of all – (syn)theses). (I have put prefix in parentheses to try to show my disbelief in the pseudo-Hegelian / vulgar-Marxist notion of “dialectical syntheses.”) Not only does Moore’s passage appear in between commas – it is also in inverted commas: a real toad within an imaginary garden.

It is from being ‘true to the incomparable couch of death’ that the earth answers philosophy-science-religion with ‘spring.’ In another sense, Moore’s sense, it is being read ‘with perfect contempt,’ as philosophy-science-religion seem to do, that allows the earth to answer at all; philosophy-science-religion here resembling the imaginary gardens (i.e. discourses) in which real toads (i.e. the earth) dwell. Likewise, it is by being ‘true to the incomparable couch of death’ that allows the reader to discern the ‘imaginary gardens with real toads in them’ to appreciate what is ‘raw’ and what is ‘genuine’ about poetry. It is through singularity, the non-dialectic fact of being-toward-death, the non-dialectic fact of death itself, that things like the earth and poetry resist all “high-sounding interpretation[s]” (Moore, l. 7) … all objectifications that philosophy-science-religion-criticism might impose: “squeezing and / buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive / gods” (Cummings, l. 16-7). These two poems respond to (the) singularity (of death, of earth, of poetry) with singularities of their own (i.e. poems) – and this makes them more than just responses: they become correspondences. That is to say, they can have contact with each other without ever touching one-an-other; unlike philosophy-religion-science establishing contact through touch: forcing the earth to respond with spring, “so derivative as to become unintelligible” (Moore, l. 8).

My next point of comparison has to do, in conjunction with the notion of parentheses, with each poets’ use of enjambment. As has been mentioned, the entirety of Cummings poem is enjambed, and most of Moore’s poem is enjambed (there are only seven end-stopped lines) – especially the lines that end and begin stanzas. Moore’s use of enjambed stanzas suggests, I am suggesting, a continuity between different objectifications of poetry: each stanza’s difference but similarity to the others can be seen as different versions of what constitutes “good” poetry. The paradox here is that poetry can only be “aesthetically” “good” – but does not contain an articulation of its aesthetic. What is displayed in a poem is the ethic the poet has towards poetry: it is the reader’s ethic (his notion of ‘good’ and ‘bad’) that create an aesthetic out of the poet’s ethic displayed in the form and content of the poem. Cummings uses enjambment to create accents, signs of spontaneity, mimicking the earth; however, these accents do not punctuate the pulse of the poem (neither do the actual punctuation marks he uses), for example: “poked / thee / , has the naughty thumb” (l. 8-10). I use the word pulse instead of rhythm because of the irregularity of both the earth’s “behaviour” and the way this poem sounds when read aloud.

There are several other examples that may be drawn out in a comparative analysis of these two poems to illustrate my thesis that they complement the aesthetic, ethical aspects of writing poetry and living on this earth (e.g. Cummings liberal use of internal rhyme and alliteration, Moore’s sparse use of such devices). The goal of this short essay is to draw out a few examples from each poem and elucidate how they, when read together, complete each other, fill in some of each other’s blanks. Most important is the word “interested” in Moore’s last line: to be interested is to be between being, to be a parenthetical clause – just like the earth answers – after being read with perfect contempt, reduced from being a Thing, a singularity to an object – with spring.

On Literacy versus Reading Literature

Boredom murders the heart of our age / while sanguinary creeps take the stage / boredom strangles the life from the printed page
Forecast Fascist Future

I am tired of “literacy” propaganda. The problem is not literacy, but reading literature. Although illiteracy is definitely a problem, not reading literature, if one is literate, is an even more confounding state of emergency. The state of emergency is that we lack a common aesthetic reality, that is, a reality with a depth beyond the surface of so-called current events or reality tele-vision; or, if you prefer, we lack surfaces that are not mere superficial abysses.

Reading literature, although it must come after acquiring literacy skills, is actually more important than the acquisition of language. The Ancients told stories, not only for entertainment but also to create a shared language through which they could describe reality outside of that language; perhaps those who heard the tales of Homer would compare events in their own (communal) lives to events in Homer’s narrative. However, in the age of tele-vision, Harry Potter, and The Da Vinci Code, entertainment is all “literacy” seems to mean. We could all discuss the nature of scandal more effectively if more than a few of us had read Laclos; how easy it would be to explore perversion if we knew the scriptures of that holy book, Juliette.

I do not want to argue against entertainment. The reading of literature is rarely, if ever, purely entertaining. Reading literature should not be an exercise in masochism, nor should it be about brutalizing oneself to the point of insensitivity; if you do not like the book you are reading, you are not ready for it: put it down and begin another. It is not wrong to be entertained by what you read; but if you only read to be entertained, then the vapidity of your reading will be manifest in the content of your thought.

But what is the purpose of not being purely entertained by what one does, whether it be reading a novel considered literature or a tabloid article about a celebrity who is as distant from the reader, as the reader is distant from the celebrity, through screens and speakers? Perhaps there is no purpose in reading a novel that does not completely entertain you as the newest and shiniest Reality Tele-Vision media does. However, we may also pose the same question to the entertainment industry: what is its purpose? The purpose of literature and of reading literature is to dialectically approach meaning; the purpose of entertainment seems to be a stultification of intelligence through the negation of being.

I have seen young children, teenagers, and adults sit transfixed, for numerous hours, in front of tele-vision screens, not even seeming to care what they watch – so long as they are watching. By analogy, these various advertising campaigns promoting “reading” are doing the same (i.e. do not care what you read as long as you are reading); and let us not forget that many of these campaigns are sponsored by corporations, whose aim is not so much promoting a well-read population but more to gain publicity for themselves. And when “reading” is a gimmick of advertising for the corporate world of profit, this should signal an alarm for us; what books are they promoting? What best-seller has gained the most awards, sponsored by a corporation no less (perhaps even a financial institution)? This is an ideological state apparatus if ever there was one.

The more obscure one’s reading, the more particular the aesthetic reality one inhabits. Better to resist the lame conformity of best-sellers and the awards circle, better to engage with others’ who inhabit the same obscurity. “Aesthetic reality precedes [and determines] one’s ethical and moral reality.”

I would be the last to argue that literature has some sort of ethical, moral, or spiritual value; it is up to the reader to decide these qualities in a book and their relevance. However, these values can only be communicated and create community if we have the language to describe the events we may or may not feel are “fair,” “good,” or “interesting” – an ability which relies as much on aesthetic taste as it does on vocabulary. Our concepts of the aesthetic, ethical, and moral are derived from fiction. The author, as a stylist, presents us with a certain situation in which we read (or think we read) what s/he is trying to communicate whether it is an aesthetic, ethical, or moral proposition. We recognize an event similar to the author’s representation in our experience of the world and we compare; we can now ask: “Is that the way it is, or not?” We can confer with one another: “Do you think … ?” (In the case of a few authors it is the absence of such propositions that gives us pause and makes us wonder: “What could such an absence signify?”)

The media as an abstracted general whole is as tasteless and unhealthy as food from a fast-food restaurant. As such, taste for books and media reminds one of the documentary Super Size Me: one does not really care what one poisons oneself with, so long as one poisons oneself to prove a point, namely, how bad it is to poison oneself in the first place. Not all media is poison though; there are at least as many great films, paintings, sculptures, and songs, as there are books. However, we are witnessing the accelerating Disneyfication of literature, whereas these other forms were Disneyfied long ago.

There is only one reason I can think of why the reading of literature is so uncommon: reading, in general, is not seen as an activity so much as a pastime, a form of passivity. Taking the activity out of reading has at least these two effects: one pays less attention to the events the work is representing and one pays much less attention to the way in which the representation is ordered. Reading as an activity requires the effort of sustained attention; not that one needs to closely read every line of an 800 page novel, but that one should be attentive and try to notice how, what, and why the novel is written in this way.

Lastly, a reflection of the encroachment of business (or, as I think of it, busyness) into literature is the fact that, because we are all so busy, we simply do not have the time to think. And this is the exact nature of business, to kill the capacity for thought and replace it with “doing.” New Age Obscurantists’ who preach “living in the moment” (and who also, let’s face it, run a good business) are of this movement. Reading literature is about reflecting-into-self, so that one’s thoughts attain a kind of visibility through the work. The visibility of thought is the purity of language. Our constant need to do something, to do anything prevents us from this vision. Thus we are freed from the burden of thought. I recognize the need to have an economy, to be engaged in some form of work, to be free from thought to some degree – but I am thoroughly against humanity attaining total liberation from thinking.

I have met people who think Shakespeare is a word that refers to masturbation.

film and the new agony

for some reason, i no longer think that a film has to be brutal to sit through in order for me to judge it a “good” picture. i suppose my taste has changed a lot. i still enjoy films that challenge me, that are challenging to watch, but i no longer like films that are tortuous.

there are many categories of film. i tend to break them into two. 1) film that is aiming at a “deep” meaning. 2) film that solely aims to entertain. most fall somewhere between the two. i used to only watch and judge films of the first category, and dismissed all others as “mainstream” or “hollywood” or both. now, i can appreciate film of the second category, although i still may not judge such a film good or even likable.

i understand that not all film is made with the intention to produce or provoke a meaningful response in its audience. sometimes a cheap laugh is all that can be expected, and that is good enough. still, there are only so many dick and fart jokes that can be told before the gag reaches a level of stupidity that is no longer amusing.

i still tend to avoid mainstream and hollywood movies as much as possible, but, if subjected to them, as i sometimes am, i no longer unleash critical negativity upon those subjecting me to such indignity. (sorry guys.) i’m sure i’ve put some people through some tough viewing love; the kind of movies i like aren’t for everybody. it sometimes seems as if they’re for nobody but me.

with film, it comes down to two things for me. 1) Did I like it? 2) Was it good? i’ve liked films i thought were not very good; and vice versa, i’ve hated films i thought were very good. “liking” a film is aesthetic, a matter of taste. thinking a film is “good” is more of a personal ethico-moral judgment i make based in relation to others, my peers. if i think a film is good, i’ll probably end up recommending it to people. if it’s merely a film that i like, i’ll probably keep it to myself. this does not undermine the aesthetic value i find in the films i like. rather, it accentuates it. my taste becomes more my own this way.

on the whole, i find most people do not have a “taste” for cinema. the films they like or the films they judge to be good, if they were to list them, indicate, not a taste for a particular “flavour,” but a tastelessness that too much mainstream cinema (like too much fast food, or too many novels on the best seller list) will do to a person. i mean, as a friend once remarked to me, “even vanilla is a flavour.” and that’s the thing, most movies aren’t even “vanilla-flavoured,” their sole property is to be consumed.

i’ve been called a snob. perhaps i am. but if craving something more than ninety minutes of vapidity makes me a snob, then so be it. i can handle the mainstream in small doses. i can handle hollywood on occasion. but if my visual diet consisted of merely these films, then consider me an anorexic or bulimic or whatever it is young girls do to keep thin nowadays.