March 06, 2004

Sympathy for the Devil

Terry Teachout, today, says that "it’s usually not that hard to pick a One Best—absolute excellence is by definition self-evident". He goes on to give examples: "The greatest opera ever written," he says, "is The Marriage of Figaro". To which my immediate reaction is "That's not the greatest opera ever written – it's not even the greatest opera ever written by Mozart!"

Upon reflection, however, I think that Terry might have stumbled across yet another instance of the age-old Apollonian/Dionysian distinction. Most people think of this as the Beatles vs the Stones, but there are definitely advantages to using a single artist rather than two very different ones in order to force people into one camp rather than the other. Here's my theory, then: if you prefer Figaro to Don Giovanni, you're Apollonian; if you prefer Don Giovanni to Figaro, you're Dionysian.

Posted by Felix at 10:48 PM GMT

What about somebody that prefers Appalonia to Vanity?

Posted by: Emcee Fleshy on March 7, 2004 12:28 AM

If I prefer Brittany to Christina, am I Dionysian, Apollonian or just sad?

Posted by: Jame on March 8, 2004 01:11 AM

You raise an interesting question, Jame. Should anybody who says they prefer Britney but can't even spell her should even be commenting on MemeFirst?

Posted by: Felix on March 8, 2004 01:54 AM

Maybe it was Britten Jame was referring to.

Posted by: Stefan Geens on March 8, 2004 07:26 AM

maybe he's comparing vacation spots between the north coast of France and Norway. Although I think Oslo used to be called "Christiania", so he misspelled it anyway

Posted by: mike on March 8, 2004 02:48 PM

Intellect vs. emotion. False dichotomy. Esthetic appreciation is instinctual, with our interpretations being influenced by our experiences and upbringing.

Listening to Beatles and Rolling Stones music is ecstatic, the difference lies in that one is quietly ecstatic, while the other is noisily ecstatic. Compare Paul McCartney's Helter Skelter with Richard & Jagger's Lady Jane sometime.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg on March 8, 2004 08:34 PM

No kidding, it took me this long to figure out what you're talking about.

For those of you who are still confused, here's a handy guide for us south Georgia public school grads:

Upon seeing a hot girl (or guy) at the club. . .

Applolonians: take her out for coffee and conversation.
Dionysian: take her home

Posted by: Emcee Fleshy on March 9, 2004 03:09 AM

hey, don't make fun. People that win spelling bees don't take her anywhere.

Posted by: Emcee Fleshy on March 9, 2004 03:28 AM

And I prefer The Magic Flute. What does that make me?

Posted by: Ron Mwangaguhunga on March 9, 2004 05:53 PM

cocaine addict?

Posted by: emcee fleshy on March 10, 2004 02:27 AM

In the movie "I Met Happy Little Gypies" my fathers movie; Aleksandar Petrovic 1967 I won best supporting actress, Cannes Film Festival. There are THREE Tisa; the part I played was the Happy singing and dancing Tisa. I am not the love role Tisa. Movies always use three to five women who look alike. I was my mother; Audrey Hepburn double for closeup work and distance work. I am 24 years younger than her and 30 pounds lighter. It hard to notice I am also 6 inches shorter than her in a distance. The starring male role is my brother.

Posted by: Beatrine Caroline Hapsberg on March 11, 2004 12:36 AM

Princess Diana did movies before she married Charles. There are seven Diana's. They all look like each other. Ask at the French Rivera and Northern Italy they know her. They know Princess Caroline Rainer and others. Ask what kind of movies they did. Bee

Posted by: Bee Caroline on March 11, 2004 12:46 AM