Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Falling Off a Log

As I mentioned in my previous post, the screenplay for Help! is included in the groovy deluxe version of the new DVD.

Talking about it with friends over the past few days, I've had three or four relatively intelligent people say to me, "I didn't think there was a screenplay. I thought they just made it up as they filmed it."

I suppose they may be getting Help! confused with "Magical Mystery Tour", but after pondering it, and the fact that more than one person made the comment, I think it has more to do with a general ignorance the public has regarding the Beatles and popular culture.

It reminds me of the many times I've heard people say Beatle albums were made in a marijuana haze. It's the same bunch who think Stephen King is just a sick nutter and his horror stories just write themselves or that Jackson Pollock just dripped paint on a canvas and tricked people into thinking his art was good.

Why is this kind of ignorance and disregard for the hard work and talent that goes into creating popular art so prevalent? That it's like falling off a log? Isn't it in fact actually difficult to do anything well?

And while the ill-informed public would never assume that their favorite car mechanic or family dentist just "make it up" as they go along, and don't work hard at what they do, popular artists are fair-game to be dismissed and disrespected. It may have to do with the fact that the work is "trivial" (songs, ghost stories, etc.) But I think it's something more sinister. The squares love the bland and safe, but have a strange contradictory combination of emotions (jealousy, resentment, fear) of the truly talented who at times steer their art in an edgy direction.


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