... BUT I KNOW WHAT I LIKE
It has long fascinated me how, at the most critical points in our lives, many of us so often look outside ourselves for guidance and comfort. For a lot of people, close friends and family become the sounding board they require as they attempt to navigate the challenges of adversity. Some develop a sense of spirituality which may never previously have existed, or find connection with their faith restored, perhaps even enhanced. Others find solace in the company of the natural environment.
And for many an engagement with artistic pursuits, in whatever form moves them most powerfully – be that music, film, literature, the fine arts, or some combination of them all – can prove incredibly cathartic. That is to say, for people who may, for a period of time, find themselves incapable of communicating effectively with other human beings due to the weight of their emotional baggage, the arts can often provide the outlet, and the stabilising point of reference they crave.
And of course some form of the arts can equally be the companion we seek out when our mood is buoyant, and we are looking to sustain that positive energy. The urge to dance like no-one’s watching at the end of a great night out is a classic example of this phenomenon.
All of which thoroughly intrigues me, and makes me want to analyse what it is that makes interaction with the arts such an apparently indispensable element of the human condition.
So perhaps you’re thinking – well who is this dude? What are his qualifications to pass judgment on these complex fields of human endeavour? Fair question.
I was having breakfast with my wife the other day. Completely out of the blue she announces, “You know, I reckon you’re now an official triple threat”.
Well I do fancy myself as a bit of an actor, and I certainly have been known to take an optimistic lash at karaoke from time to time. But it seems my daggy Dad dancing has also now been given the tick of approval by the Boss. Nice.
My shoulders straighten, and the chest puffs just a little as I help myself to another spoonful of porridge.
“Like Hugh Jackman you mean?” (She loves Hugh. Who doesn’t?).
“Hugh Jac – what are you blabbering about? I’m talking about the marital triple threat”.
OK. Here we go. Not before time. It seems my cooking, handyman and lovemaking skills are finally going to receive the acknowledgement they so richly deserve.
“Yeah”, she continues. “I’m pretty sure I heard you farting, burping and snoring last night”.
Rightio. Way to crush a man’s spirit.
Anyway, I guess the answer to your query is that I almost certainly don’t have any of the necessary expertise to pass judgement on this multi-faceted range of artistic activities.
But I know what I like.
And apparently I like to share. (Just ask my wife). So in this section of the Library I’ll be imparting my thoughts and observations on a variety of movies, books and songs to you, for whatever they’re worth. Enjoy!