Saturday, February 04, 2012
"She's Better!" "No, He Is!, " Ad Nauseam....
So there I was today, Saturday, my day-off from normal fare, listening to Yesterday Once More by we-all-know-who at YouTube.
And while listening I read the comments and as usual, rolled my eyes at the ones which began, "Karen Carpenter was good, but __________ was better." Then someone else would say, "No! _________ was better than both of them." And on and on.
Well, like I said, I always roll my eyes at the foolishness of it all because oh! Probably nothing in this world is more subjective than music.
"Existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought."
"Placing excessive emphasis on one's own moods, attitudes, opinions, etc.; unduly egocentric."
But oh well, I was a good sport and looked-up one of these singers who was supposed to be better than Karen Carpenter, for hey! I've done that before (checked-out others' recommendations) and discovered some terrific new-to-me talent. So I went here and listened to Judith Durham for what may have been the very first time (though she's been around forever).
And oh! I did enjoy her voice, her song, so much! Yet I'm tempted to say, "But she's no Karen Carpenter," --but I won't. No, for I don't believe in comparing singers or actors, also--again--because of the subjectivity thing.
I mean, how could I say any actor was the best one ever? For one thing, I've not watched all actors. And too, some actors are amazing in movies, others are phenomenal on stage--and those styles require different technique. There are young actors, old ones, male actors and female ones, each one different, each one best-suited to certain, varied roles. An actor may have been amazing in the 1930's, but their style might appear affected and odd today. Some actors might be incredible, but they may appear in movies I would never feel comfortable watching--so my bias would affect what I think of them. A person may be an incredible comedic actor, but perhaps I would be critical of him because I prefer serious dramas a lot more.
The same goes for music..... oh, how many types of music there are! And each of us are wired differently, appreciating whole different combinations of song types, singers and singing styles. So really--to me--it's the height of cluelessness to say:
"Barbara Streisand is a better singer than Karen Carpenter." --or--
"Barbara Stanwyck could act much better than Meryl Streep," (or anything similar).
It's all sooo very subjective! What I like, you may hate and to get into an argument about our preferences? To be determined to prove our favorite singer/actor is the best? To even try to make those kinds of comparisons?
Well, to me, it's folly. Pure foolish folly.
Not to mention it can be cruel, too, for oh! How many singers and actors, themselves, not to mention their fans, have had their feelings hurt when these silly types of comparisons are flung around. For often, instead of , "My actor is better than yours," it comes out sounding like, "My taste trumps yours, big time. You know nothing about music/acting."
In other words, it's time to stop believing our opinions are Highest Truth.
And if I were Queen? I'd do away with the flashy award shows. Instead? I'd paste these verses on buses and planes and taxi's:
"Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load." ... Galatians 6:4-5
Why? Because all I know is that--since I began 'testing my own actions' (competing against myself, trying to do better than I, myself, did last time)--I've felt more contented and loving and way less jealous and cranky than I was the first 30 years of my life. It's such a relief when we "stop comparing ourselves amongst ourselves." And when we stop the dueling opinions, also.
Such. A. Relief.
Anyway, don't get me started..... I could go on and on, though, okay--yes! I already have. :) But I would just love to see everybody learn to recognize the value and worth in all people, to appreciate all talents--and the One who handed them all out in the first place, as He willed. Perfectly.
And before anyone asks this, let me say I see nothing wrong with a person saying, "For me, Joe Blow was the best singer ever." To me, that's different than this kind of know-it-all comment:
"BUT, please don't use words like "most beautiful voice on Earth" & "perfection".. Those categories are reserved for the likes of Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day-- Vocal giants from the jazz world.. They did things with their voices that Carpenter couldn't dream of."
That's what makes me crazy.