Thursday, April 12, 2007
Remember the Ricky Nelson song Garden Party? How many artists have made the same logical error as he does in his chorus: "you can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself"? From the standpoint of logic, this is a non sequitur. This says: if you can't please everyone else, then don't please anyone else except yourself. In its pure form, this is the motto of the navel-gazing artist who believes the arts are totally and completely about self-expression, and that to consider pleasing anyone else is to "sell out." There are few who wholly subscribe to this idea, but they do exist, and have existed. But there are other logical: "you can't please everyone, so please as many as you can," "you can't please everyone, so be happy with the ones you DO please," "you can't please everyone, so don't get so bent out of shape about bad reviews..." Well, the list is endless. The point, however, is to avoid Nelson's genial yet deadly extreme.
Posted by Scott Walters at 6:02 PM