How We Value Art

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the way we value art. We watch movies and play games, and then assess their value by assigning a number. It’s like saying, “Your work, effort, time and creative vision are worth this number. Next.”

Too often, we outright dismiss something without even taking the time to consider everything that went into making it. We’re all guilty of it – I know I certainly am.

Can you imagine pouring your heart, soul and mind into something, only to have some snot-nosed twerp or pretentious neckbeard on the internet blow it off – without even reading the actual criticism – because some reviewer gave it a less-than-stellar score?

Something just feels inherently unfair about judging creativity in this way.

I realize that a numerical score is what the lowest common denominator will best understand, but as a general standard, creators, artists and content producers deserve better than that. They deserve a real, honest critique.

Now, I understand that not everything – be it a book, song, movie, game, poem or whatever else – is truly created with expression/experience in mind. There are many, many works that are vapid and made only with the intent to cash in on a fad in the most lucrative way possible.

But that doesn’t mean our criticism has to be just as flat and one-dimensional.

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I’d rather giggle.

The word “giggle” is one of my all-time favorites. It’s not an onomatopoeia, but it still carries a rhythm that makes me grin just for saying it. It’s juvenile in the best way possible. I’d rather giggle than just simply laugh. Giggling is sillier and more joyous. It’s genuine, pure and entirely visceral.

Adults laugh, guffaw, chuckle, chortle, snicker, smirk and sneer.

Kids giggle.

I’d rather giggle.

Pete van Wieren, a Braves broadcasting legend

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He’d been on my mind a lot lately, and now, I guess I know why.

Pete van Wieren, a stalwart of Braves broadcasting for 33 years, passed away this morning at the age of 69. His long-fought battle with cancer had come to an end.

But it was never just Pete. It was Skip and Pete. That’s Skip Caray, of course — the son of longtime Cubs announcer, Harry Caray. Continue reading