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Friday, 1 October, 2004

A couple of weeks ago I wrote some posts defending wikipaedia. A thing that probably doesn't need defending as much as it needs pay pals. I didn't like the idea that information gatekeepers might be going on disparaging it, working themselves up to bald statements that it was just not real information at all. The general line I took was that handbooks, factbooks, almanacs, and annual reports, and the libraries and archives that collect them are all well and good. They tend to collect information from the integer disciplines very well: engineering, chemistry, etc. From the realm of culture society, politics, art; they catch varying sublties of established culture, respected and endowed. And sports - when bats hit balls, this is noted.

In the course of that I tried to come up with a decent working definition of highbrow and lowbrow culture. On this wheel of culture I suspected a lot of this collection management turned. Except for occasional facets of ordinary manufacture somehow deemed worthy of academic examination and classification, the common world lies low unexplored and undescribed, in the hands of its immediate audience only. The Web log Psuedopodium has turned out just such a defination.

[A]n institutional distinction. The lowbrow is subject to cultural and economic pressure en masse; the highbrow is sustained largely by individuals' nostalgia for roles which are (now) free of such pressure.No one talks about a painting or a poem outside the brand of its creator, whereas comics and science fiction packaging may barely register the authors' names. ...It's all business, of course, but the rhetoric of the businesses differ. On the Internet, No One Knows You're an Ex-Abstract-Expressionist

High art being glamorized pre-industrial, hand crafted of a personal touch has some appeal (and explanatory power). Turning to low art, lowbrow culture openly depend[ing] on mass reproduction, and as ephemeral as poster paper, where is the unique object, what is the center, the source, of fascination in the phenomonen, what is being contemplated responded to? Where does one need to stand, and with what detachment in order to see it? There is enough residual Fugazi in me to take some comfort in the knowledge that largely no one who is not responding knows or cares.

[even as I write this, i admit I have not followed all the links in psuedpd.'s piece ]

11:41:04 PM    comment [];trackback [];

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2004 Paul Bushmiller.
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Prolegemma to any future FAQ.

Who are you again?
paul bushmiller
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at the least, this.
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victoria - the kinks
RockandRoll? Favorite American song then
Omaha - Moby Grape
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