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Why There is No Universal Appeal?

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Thinker13
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Posted 05/11/12 - 9:47 AM:
Subject: Why There is No Universal Appeal?
Some of us are entertained by action, some by humour, some others by drama and some others by mystery, suspense or thriller. It's not very easy or wise to isolate things which entertain into genres, because there is no such thing as pure action or pure mystery. However, if you try to determine it for yourself, you will come to realize that some genres entertain you and affect you in a more profound way than others do. For example, I have a penchant for mystery, suspense and thrillers. I also like to watch history, action and humour but mystery has been the favourite genre for me since my childhood days.


What exactly shapes our affinity for genres which entertain us the most? It's not true that a person who is very mysterious would love mystery, neither I feel that a martial man;-a man of action is most likely to love action movies. What then, is actually the crucial factor which determines the distinct proclivity of a person as far as entertainment is concerned? I don't have an answer to it, therefore I would like to speculate for a while and would love to hear your ideas about it.

To decide about the genres, in TV and cinema, which entertain people most, all you have to do is to get an inventory of all the movies and TV shows released in recent years. This inventory is very likely to suggest you about the demand of genres in recent years, more so, if you concentrate on what has been liked by the public, i. e. most highly rated shows and movies. In order to decide it for the whole twentieth century however, you would have to make an exhaustive list with painstaking and meticulous effort, which is not a very difficult task to do.

Depending upon what has been a general trend over here, in India, especially in Bollywood, it's my conjecture that action packed dramas and humour mixed with musicals has had the most powerful share in the production. But TV is ruled by the drama because most of it is consumed by the housewives. A certain fraction is devoted to the detective or horror stories.

Does it mean that there are very few who really like mystery, suspense, thriller or horror, compared to other genres, for entertainment? Such a conclusion would be too far-fetched with such a petty analysis in my humble opinion and that is why I need to think more about it before coming to a conclusion and I also need to take help from empirical data. Your ideas are most welcome, feel free to share.
libertygrl
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Posted 05/14/12 - 12:00 AM:

It's an interesting question, Thinker. I would say that our values, and tastes in art, govern our preferences in entertainment.

Consider the following possible values:

1) Valuing a story that makes you feel.

2) Valuing a story that makes you think.

3) Valuing an intense visual experience.

4) Valuing a strong moral or ethical message.

5) Valuing the exploration of taboos.

6) Valuing romance.

7) Valuing sexuality.

8) Valuing athletic achievement.

9) Valuing music.

And so on and so on. This list of values and the prioritization of the various items would clearly influence our tastes in certain directions.

Another thing to consider is that individuals are naturally seeking balance. So a person who seems to always have a cheerful, positive outlook, may be drawn to entertainment that is dark and gothic, out of a subconscious desire for balance. A person who feels depressed may be drawn to comedies. But again, it depends on the values. A person who feels depressed may actually like being in a dark psychological space and so may be drawn to tragedy.

Another thing to consider is cultural values and how these influence individual tastes.

Why is there no universal appeal? I would say that anything which is universally true no longer requires exploration. It is the contrasts and polarity in life which shed light on existence.
Thinker13
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Posted 05/16/12 - 11:29 PM:

libertgrl wrote:

It's an interesting question, Thinker. I would say that our values, and tastes in art, govern our preferences in entertainment.


It's slightly ambiguous lib. When you say 'values and tastes in art' do you mean that we are talking about artists or art lovers only. If you go and speak an average person, he would love entertainment but might not have enough of discretion to distinguish between Science and Art. If I get you right, people need not be aware of artistic ingredients which act in making their preferences but when we observe them, they're pretty much there.


lib wrote:

Consider the following possible values:

1) Valuing a story that makes you feel.

2) Valuing a story that makes you think.

3) Valuing an intense visual experience.

4) Valuing a strong moral or ethical message.

5) Valuing the exploration of taboos.

6) Valuing romance.

7) Valuing sexuality.

8) Valuing athletic achievement.

9) Valuing music.

And so on and so on. This list of values and the prioritization of the various items would clearly influence our tastes in certain directions.


It's true and I reckon that some of those values overlap or include each other; for example-an intense visual experience might make you feel and think about ethics or romance.


lib wrote:

Another thing to consider is that individuals are naturally seeking balance. So a person who seems to always have a cheerful, positive outlook, may be drawn to entertainment that is dark and Gothic, out of a subconscious desire for balance. A person who feels depressed may be drawn to comedies. But again, it depends on the values. A person who feels depressed may actually like being in a dark psychological space and so may be drawn to tragedy.


It is interesting and it needs more thinking on my part. In a culture which prefers comedies, are most of the people sad? If I am drawn to mysteries, does it tell that I am a very 'open-book' type personality?

lib wrote:
Another thing to consider is cultural values and how these influence individual tastes.

Why is there no universal appeal? I would say that anything which is universally true no longer requires exploration. It is the contrasts and polarity in life which shed light on existence.



How eloquently expressed!
libertygrl
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Posted 05/18/12 - 10:53 PM:

Thinker wrote:
It is interesting and it needs more thinking on my part. In a culture which prefers comedies, are most of the people sad? If I am drawn to mysteries, does it tell that I am a very 'open-book' type personality?

no, as i said, it depends on the values.

If I get you right, people need not be aware of artistic ingredients which act in making their preferences but when we observe them, they're pretty much there.

indeed. they may not always be obvious, either. but with enough observation, i think the core values can be distilled.

How eloquently expressed!

thank you smiling face
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