Thursday, April 12, 2007

Games Smart People Play

Recently, in some circles, a question has been posed.

Aren't we taking ourselves a little too seriously in our blog posts? Can't we appreciate the more prosaic things about the world around us without having to apologize?

The answer to both questions is a resounding YES.

What lies beneath the surface is the unfortunate fact that those of us who are more intelligent than others often feel misunderstood and out-of-sorts from the rest of society. It stems, first and foremost, from insecurity. Deep underneath the surface, our own deepest secret fear is that we really do wish we could be average---whatever average is. We wish we could appreciate what we often decry as banal and shallow.

Yet, if we have a refined intellect, we also recognize the effort that goes into making quality art and have a tendency to be harshly critical of those who we perceive are running in place rather than pushing the envelope.

This is why we play games with each other. This is why sometimes our banter with each other is tantamount to a huge game of "King of the Hill"--all of us trying to push the other off with the best repartee or enlightened comment.

All people have guilty pleasures and I've come to understand that guilty pleasures are okay. Furthermore, they shouldn't be guilty. Life is too short to be deadly serious all the time.


In other news, Kurt Vonnegut died late yesterday. I certainly am glad that Slaughterhouse-Five, Breakfast of Champions, et al existed in my late teens. Vonnegut was an unintentional young adult novelist, because when you get right down to it, his books are loved and adored by very intelligent teenagers. This is not to detract from the brilliance of the books or the fact that they exist---just to say that his books appeal most to the sort of alienation and angst present in at least this generation's intelligent young adults.

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