There's that comparison between the best you can find in your tiny community versus the best you can find globally. Thanks to globalisation and technology, we're easily exposed to some of the best writing, art, visual stories (TV :D), and games the world has to offer. It's hard for a village of 700 or a single country of 30 million to compete against the 7 billion in the world.
But even then, expensive, premier content often disappoints, like the Last Airbender movie (alright, sometimes it even offends), and sometimes local work shines (like my favourite Guelph artist), a diamond in the rough.
|by Katherine MacGregor|
Part of the reason, I suppose, is that I'm surprisingly not the ultimate judge of quality. It's not quite objective. Something might be objectively more colourful, but "good", or "better television"? How is Sherlock better than Elementary, or how is Jimmy Fallon better or worse than Conan O'Brien, or Lord of the Rings better than those awful Dungeons and Dragons films, or the Ender's Game book versus the film, or Hemingway's work compared to the barely coherent texts of a twelve year old narcissist? They don't try to be the same thing, and they register differently with different people, with their different priorities and values. To some people, especially less discriminating children, Voltron Force probably seems awesome.
I watched a lot of television when I was a kid and I enjoyed a lot, but if I looked at it now, the animation in particular isn't smooth, it's rough and inconsistent and doesn't represent its subjects well. But I loved it then. It reverberated with me for different reasons. I hadn't learned standards yet, learned to criticise things and dismiss them. I was impressionable.
I miss that, a bit. I've been working for the past couple of years to be able to enjoy things more broadly. To accept limitations and appreciate the limitations, appreciate the choices that had to be made, find meaning in flaws. Other people still appreciate these things, and I don't want to create my own barriers to enjoying life. I've done that enough.
Ultimately, we're often stuck with the best we have. In a small community, if you want to have a poetry night, you have to accept that a lot of contributions will be "amateur", and not professional. Even the professional stuff won't necessarily have the depth or broad appeal that something attaining global fame might. (Of course, a lot of stuff that obtains global fame has questionable depth or quality, though it succeeds in delighting people.)
I'm sitting here watching Vision network's Tribal Trails, which focuses on Christian spirituality in native communities, because my dad is watching it. Even if the sound quality isn't great, or the speakers aren't the most eloquent, but in many ways, it's about the best they can do given their resources and skill, so they're trying anyway, and it is meaningful. People's choices, their values, their intentions are visible despite the cracks. I don't want to be distracted by the cracks. I don't want to dismiss someone's thoughts or value or arguments because of negligible typos or awkward grammar (ideas are still successfully communicated; I'm not about to start proof-reading my blogs, after all). When I'm at a martial arts seminar, I don't want the highlights afterward to be the amusing mistakes a sensei might have made, I want it to be fundamental message, though I've heard it before, the particular emphasis from this instance.
I want to still appreciate 'high quality' work, but not at the expense of my enjoyment of the most awful and wretched creations we produce. I don't want to be the source of my own displeasure.