Everyone says art is subjective. One man’s flung paint is another man’s priceless Jackson Pollack. To a housewife it is the stuff in the lint trap of the dryer. To an artist it is a blue-matted sea under pilings of a dock at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Basically, many authors are upset that Amazon is not treating books as “special”. They believe they are very different from cereal stocked on a supermarket shelf. That got me to thinking. Books themselves aren’t special, they are just things to be stocked on a shelf, virtual or otherwise, especially when they are mass-produced. The experience the reader brings to each book makes it special. The many readers who found something to relate to in Lord of the Flies or 1984 or A Brave, New World are what made those classics. Word of Mouth spread the knowledge of the great things inside those books; of mob mentality, of government control, and of a utopia that wasn’t. More people bought them until the book’s message became special. Became common knowledge that those who hadn’t read them felt they had missed something. That to not read them is to be missing a universal knowledge. To hear of “Big Brother” and to miss the reference.
Which brings us to Sharknado 1 and 2. No, these movies are not classics, unless they become cult classics, which they bloody well might. These are not Masterpiece Theatre or Citizen Kane. What they are is entertainment. Campy, fun, some blood and gore, movie entertainment. #sharknado2 was breaking Twitter on Wednesday night. :)
All movies can’t be It’s a Wonderful Life and all books can’t be A Christmas Carol, but we can all aim to be entertaining. If it is for 2 hours of an escapist movie or a few hours in the pages of a romance novel. Art is subjective. It’s a Wonderful Life was thought to be too corny for its time and A Christmas Carol was an instant success. Only the future knows what will be a classic and what will be entertainment. And in this world, you need a little of both.
Jill James, contemporary and paranormal romance writer (and hopefully entertainer)