Monday, April 28, 2008

Man of taste

In conversation (and blog exchange) with John at EclectEcon, I found myself wondering about taste, refinement, people of quality, and precisely what that all means.

The plan of one state legislator to outlaw a form of vehicular adornment amused us at first, particularly as we consider the, um, appendages in question. I have seen a pickup truck so decorated, here in flyover country, and it did not shock me, nor did it particularly raise or lower my spirits. I have heard, in fact, that the inexpensive little bauble has cost the truck owner a small amount of marital strife, but no trouble beyond the doors of his 4X4.

In fact, out here in farm country, we don't rightly need to add such stuff to our transport, because it's already implied...

But I digress. This is about class versus crass, and whose is the power to draft the definition. In the comments of the WaPo article, a couple of readers drew the line themselves, and yet, of the two, the one I felt had the more valid claim to real quality of thought and understanding of polite society was not the one with the preference for opera and wine. A truly refined individual would find it in poor taste to point out the perceived lack of refinement of another.

This, of course, condemns me to the unrefined, unwashed bib-all wearing hick brigade, for having pointed out the faux pas of the latter commenter. But then, I'm something of a freak, in my own right. My library is chock-a-block full of prose and poetry, from John Milton and John Donne to Robert Service and Ogden Nash. My music collection runs the gamut from Allegro ma non troppo by Beethoven to Z.Z. Top's "La Grange", with a little Buddy Guy, Buddy Holly, and Buddy Knox thrown in. I've reached the point in my life where I stop to breathe a moment and am forced to ask, "How can anybody not like music?" There really isn't a "better than the other" type -- there is only different, for different occasions, different moods. Mozart kicks hindquarters, and Joan Jett rocks... and they're often both on the same subject (smut! smut! smut!).

Vanilla, Chocolate, Rocky Road, even Garlic... it's all ice cream, and it's all good, if it's made by the best. Why is it presumed to be otherwise when the treat goes in the ear?

1 comment:

EclectEcon said...

What? No Buddy What's His Name and The Other Fellers? I'll see if I can scare some up before July.