"According to Hume in his Of The Standard Of Taste (1757), “A man who has had no opportunity of comparing the different kinds of beauty, is indeed totally unqualified to pronounce an opinion with regard to any object presented to him.” Thus, we have critics: people who are seen as specially qualified to give opinion on art and culture. But considering he also says “[m]en of the most confined knowledge are able to remark a difference of taste in the narrow circle of their acquaintance…” and “…a thousand different sentiments, excited by the same object, are all right…” what is the genuine role of a reviewer in the context of society? Is it really to dictate the standards of taste to the ‘lowly masses’; to inform the consumers of media to make good choices? Or perhaps it is to advocate for an industry – encouraging consumers to immerse themselves (and their money) in a field of art that may not be in vogue. This essay seeks to investigate the dialectic of gatekeeper vs advocate in the context of a critic's role in society."
That scintillating block of text is the introduction to my (as yet incomplete) essay, The Role of the Critic. I'm not even sure if I like it. It might need some revision; especially the "This essay" part. I hate it when essays refer to themselves with "this essay" - it means you are a lazy writer. I guess I just have to decide if I want to be lazy or not.
In other uni-related news, during these past couple of socially-starved days I've discovered a passion for the semicolon. It is very lovely; we plan to elope in the Fall.
In other other news I left my jacket at my pastor's house after Bible study one night and he went and put it on ebay as a joke. At least, I think it's a joke - but I still haven't got my jacket back, and there's actually been a bid on it. So, like, good times?
In other other other news here is a picture of my nephew looking quixotic: