Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Opinions vs. Observations

I could give you dozens of reasons as to why metal is better than reggae or techno. I'm happy to tell you why Death is better than Dååth, or why Suicidal Tendencies are better than Suicide Silence. At Governor's Ball last month, I watched Guns N' Roses utterly blow away Animal Collective and Kings of Leon. But in my heart of heart and brain of brains, I know that it's all just my opinion.

Then again, I don't. Consider, for example, that Trent Reznor is a better composer than Winds of Plague. This doesn't seem arguable. Understanding why something like The Downward Spiral is better than Decimate the Weak signifies an intelligent grasp of music, not an opinion. Who could argue that W.A.S.P. is better than Metallica? It would be like claiming that Dan Brown is a better writer than Kafka. I'm sure that some people actually believe it, but I'd hope that someday they'd mature enough to change their minds.

My concern about opinions and observations is where they start and where they end. There's a wide, blurry line between thinking that Nine Inch Nails is better than Animal Collective and knowing that they're better than Winds of Plague. Where does that line start and end? Is it when one artist stands the test of time? If so, how long is that? What constitutes as enough sense to decide what is an observation and what's an opinion? What gives me the authority to decide? Can observations change over time, as standards do?

The answer, my friend, is just your opinion.


M said...

You know, that's a very interesting question and I'm going to ponder that for a while..

It's like arguing about truth. What is truth? There is my truth. There is your truth and then there is the factual truth. The thing is the factual truth cannot exist without a context. You can try to separate all the facts as much as you like but it exists only when people talk about it and where people are involved opinion, emotion etc always get involved. So even that becomes complicated by opinion.

So to take your post... even observation is marred by opinion, even though we both know it's really not ...or is it? hehe.

Ben Apatoff said...

"Even observation is marred by opinion"

I could not have written it better!