Has any of you ever wondered; is it possible that Avatar is overrated or underrated, all these discussion about what we like and what we don’t like, what do they all amount to, does my opinion have any meaning in how good a work is?
I have here written something that hopefully will answer these questions and put all these conflicts to rest:
There’s no such thing as overrated or underrated as saying so would suggest that there’s such a thing as an ideal or perfect work. There isn’t. Most people say that a work is perfect if it does everything right. Well; “The Room” did everything right at being a bad film, and people don’t call it perfect, and then there are all those critics who say that “Amadeus” is perfect and yet my sister and mom hates it, and then you have all those art house fans who say that “The Tree of Life” is glorious whilst almost everyone else says it’s awful.
The fact is, if something is perfect it means that it can never be changed or it would become imperfect, so really perfection is a dead-end. A work can only do so well in one regard, it can never work on every level. But working on every level is the definition of perfection, but it’s disproven at every turn, why else do most people today go with Batman instead of Citizen Kane or the other way around, why else do some complain that Mozart pieces have to many notes? In other words the true definition is this: a work is perfect if it pleases everyone on every level.
You don’t need to be genius to understand that’s impossible.
The world of creative arts just like nature do not follow by any written rules, it just evolves into whatever it can be, there’s no ideal or goal. I mean just look at us humans for example; we are not a perfect life-form nor the goal of evolution, we are just another mutation that’s survived, and in most natural environments we are at a huge disadvantage due to our frail construct. Similarly in the world of arts; no work is better than the other, they are just different.
Different artists have different methods of how they approach creating and distributing their work, to varying degrees of efficiency. Most hardly gain any success at all, but some are luckier. The important thing to remember though is that quality is measured by popularity and impact, not by individual opinions. All of these discussions and arguments are just a bi-product of misusing language. We all to often make the mistake that language is a mirroring of the human condition, it’s not, just like the thought and feelings of an animal the human condition can’t be explained or put in words. The only way to access the human condition is to experience it for yourself. Language is a string of ideas that subvert the human condition into something more commutable, but these ideas can mean anything to anyone, and as more people gather around one another the different subjectives are taken as universal and so the arguments begin; an ever spinning web of meaningless ideas where people try to justify their subjective experiences.
The reason why quality is measured in popularity is because that shows just how well an artist’s methods worked, it touched a large number of people in such a way that they become invested. “Overrated” and “underrated” are just words invented by the minority to try and justify their position when really they don’t have a say in the matter. It’s all a matter of tastes, voicing them is irrelevant, what’s relevant is the investment. If you say a work is bad or good, it just means that it’s good or bad for you. But what you feel individually is only important for you, the true value lies in the investment of the masses, not the voices of the individual.
You can’t truly communicate how you feel about a work in language, only in actions. So really, all these arguments, debates, opinions are meaningless. You either join the cheering crowd or shut your mouth and leave, it all depends on how you feel. But remember; the bigger the crowd is, the more effective the art is, and that is the true measurement of quality.
For that reason I dare to say that Harry Potter is a masterpiece, even though I don’t like it.