Like wearing Ugg boots and surf shorts
Genius is irreducible. Simply enjoy.
My roommate and I walked through half a dozen cans of Steel Reserve the other night as we watched the majority of a new Netflix documentary series about obscure competitions called We are the champions. We agreed it was a great show, but we couldn’t exactly agree on why, and we put a tremendous amount of effort, probably fueled by the Steel Reserve, into trying to articulate an intelligible principle that describes why the show works so well where others, similar concepts so often fall flat. For example, you could probably go to any movie festival and watch half a dozen obscure stuff without worrying about it, so you can’t say it’s a virtue of sheer luck, yet it is. must be at the heart of it all. because the dark and unexpected stuff is the most hipster. Is there a central principle at work there, or is it pure coincidence?
I know this feeling that you are trying to describe, and I agree that it is notoriously elusive. It’s like wearing Ugg boots and board shorts when it’s neither too cold nor too hot, so that your warm cozy feet are perfectly balanced by the crisp coldness of your knees, and you don’t care that everyone is looking at you from the side. the office that day.
It’s like when someone tells you that there is a band called BABYMETAL. You think it will either be (1) real heavy metal music for babies, which is almost impossible to conceptualize if you’ve ever met a real baby or listened to real heavy metal; or (2) some sort of KidzBop version of heavy metal songs, which is almost painfully easy to conceptualize if you’ve ever spent more than forty-five seconds with kids with access to their parents’ Alexa; but in reality it’s a third kind of thing that’s so much better than the other two.
It’s the difference between hearing someone describe a Colombian-style hot dog (a steamed dog that welcomes a litany of toppings, including crushed pineapple, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise , raspberry sauce and crushed chips), which seems impractical; and actually eat a Colombian hot dog, which will forever revolutionize your take on hot dogs.
In reality, the magic formula here, the secret sauce, can ultimately prove to be impenetrable. The French call it I do not know what, which, if you translate it literally, means “I don’t know what”. It suggests something that by definition resists definition. Some might see this as an escape for the intellectually lazy, a way for those who cannot be bothered by specificity when they devote their personal preferences and thus appeal to the almost mystical quality of being somehow beyond. of human understanding.
I do not agree. I think some things in life would be destroyed if they were reduced to anything other than being understood only on their own terms. In some ways, this basic principle supports all modern art. People will try, but no one can really “explain” a Rothko, and any attempt to do so is far from a single good look at a 1: 1 scale. Some things are just the way they are, and if you can explain them, it’s almost like you have to explain them; and if you have to explain them, you miss the point.