Your Tastes Should Always Be Evolving! – Post-Midnight Pontifications

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The game played in this video is Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, which you can buy here:

More often than not, it seems that when someone doesn’t like a kind of media, that dislike is less the result of the person’s natural taste, and more to do with their patience. I posit that most people can learn to like many more things than they expect to as their patience expands–and while this is just my opinion, I feel that media consumers should always be striving to expand their patience as much as possible, even if it comes at the cost of having way too much media to consume.

I’m not saying that everyone has to like everything, and I perfectly understand disliking things that offend your sensibilities, but I also think it’s important that we recognize all offense taken as our personal bias. Even if we feel that something outright shouldn’t exist, we must recognize that in being against it, we are acting on bias, and not on any objective standard, as none exists. But that’s neither here nor there–my point is that even though I think it’s okay not to like something, I also think that anyone is capable of liking, or at least appreciating, anything, if they have the patience and desire to do so.

The concept of “taste” to me is almost like a challenge. Our taste is built through our experiences, as who we are as people and the way our lives play out are largely what shape our personalities and thoughts, which, in turn, inform how we consume and interpret media. From this base, I posit two extensions: firstly, that the more experience we have, the more our taste can expand, and secondly, that because art is a form of communication, being able to understand and appreciate more art gives us the means to communicate better. That isn’t to say that all media communicates something worthwhile, nor that all of it succeeds at what it attempts to communicate, but I do think that even in being able to understand and appreciate failure, we also grow in our ability to communicate successfully.

Any time we deliberately limit our taste by saying that we’re only interested in certain mediums or genres, we’re essentially forfeiting certain forms of communication. We’re saying that there’s a limit to what we can and are willing to appreciate. Again, this is perfectly understandable and not necessarily a problem, as most of the time we consume media explicitly for gratification, and not so much in an effort to challenge ourselves. However, and again this is just my preference, I do think there is great value in every attempt to challenge oneself. I think we should constantly be pushing our boundaries and learning to understand new things and communicate in new ways. I can fully appreciate the catharsis in disliking and criticizing things that don’t fit our sensibilities, or even choosing deliberately not to appreciate something. However, I think that sticking to one standard, one set of expectations, or one set of tastes, is a sign of weakness. Taste needs to constantly evolve and to grow so that it can become more well-rounded, powerful, and capable of understanding.

If you agree with me, then take this as a challenge. Broaden your horizons and try new things–not with the expectation that those things will conform to your pre-existing tastes, but with the expectation that your taste will evolve into something you may not have known it could be. Watch patiently and attentively and seek ways to appreciate new things. If you’re lucky, you’ll learn more about yourself and about art at every turn.

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