Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Logic and consistency may be two of the most overrated virtues of theater-making. So many hours are spent puzzling over aesthetic coherency and logical progression that it becomes really easy to think that these are inherent virtues of artistic expression, requisite for comprehension by the public. This is not so.

The number two song on the bilboard charts is this. I will say that it is arguably the worst song ever, but, importantly, it makes no sense. This has not slowed its overwhelming success. Certainly music, especially pop music, especially pop dance music presumes a different kind of audience engagement than two hours of theater, but there's still a lesson here.

And while I don't actually want to particularly valorize the kind of Theater of Moments that is popular with a breed of visual directors, productions that are a string of individually conceived bits that may or may not tie loosely together, it's important that they exist as an option. And it's worth remembering that the kind of ruthless tyranny of "logical consistency" is an aesthetic option rather than a moral requirement.

I hope you didn't click on the link.


Jack said...

The reason that song is actually totally good is that despite the overblown production, the tepid songwriting, and the inane lyrics, the vocalist has a unique and charming tone of voice that communicates personality. And that's all it takes to stand out in the dire field of radio-friendly dance music--a tiny bit of personality. I really like that song.

Benedict Nelson said...

I actually totally respect that, but don't you think it's like the worst personality ever: drunk rich girl?