Snobs and Cretins

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Snobs and cretins. In the artistic world, you'll encounter both. The trouble is, how do you know who is the "snob" and who is the "cretin"? It often depends on who you ask. One person's "snob" might be another person's idea of a "cretin."

It sometimes happens that when a person disagrees with us, (and refuses to be swayed to our viewpoint) that we want to label them either a "snob" or a "cretin." They are too stupid to see things "our way." Or, they are too stubborn and "uptight" because they refuse to appreciate something we admire. But are these people really snobs or cretins? Maybe, maybe not.

All people are entitled to an opinion.

It's true, some opinions are more informed than others. For instance, some people discover that after they've been exposed to some art education, paintings that they originally considered to be pretty bad all of a sudden start looking pretty good. They start to understand the history behind the painting, and begin to appreciate different styles of artwork. But even so, these people will still have definite tastes and opinions, just like everyone else.

And, some people have distinct tastes, based on their personality, cultural, or family background. They have strong emotional "ties" to certain things. It doesn't matter that some of these personal tastes are considered "plebeian" by certain factions of society. They enjoy it, they have their opinion, and that's the end of it.

Pigeonholing others

It's not right to be so hasty in pigeonholing other people. Is a person really a "snob" or "cretin," or, are they just unwilling to see things your way? And if they refuse to see things your way, are they being rude about it? Are they insulting your opinions, or are they just sticking to their own opinions?

Is a person really an "ignorant cretin" if they are enthusiastic and passionate about a form of art, even if they are relatively uneducated about it? Are they somehow inferior compared to a well-educated person who is well-versed in artistic culture, but has no real love or passion for any it?

And, what about people (usually art enthusiasts or artists) who are so firm in their personal tastes that they are painfully inflexible? They know what they like, they know what pleases them, and that's that. They KNOW what they know, and there is no discussion or debating with them on the matter. Are they snobs? Or just people who have decided opinions, and aren't afraid to hold firm to them?

Dissenting opinions, and how to deal with them.

The bottom line (for me, anyway) is that we all should be civil and respectful with each other. We shouldn't be insulting to each other, or ungracious. We have to realize that everyone has different tastes and sensibilities.

Even when we encounter dissenting opinions, we need to "live and let live," and not harangue or insult someone else when they don't see things our way. We also need to have confidence in our own opinions, and not worry too much if someone else thinks we are a "snob" or a "cretin." As long as we are always gracious, that's the most important thing.

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