I’ve been listening to Tom Rosenthal a lot recently and I think I’m falling in love with his music even more. I really adore the way he treats the themes of his songs in the lyrics, in the way he sings and in the clips that go with them. It’s at the same time quite generic (lot of love-centered themes) and completely original, at least to me, and I love it. I just can’t get enough of his universe! :D
That reminds me -no idea why but here you go anyway- of something I wanted to talk about a little. The subjectivity of enjoyment. Relax, it’s not that complicated (I hope so, at least).
What I mean by that is the fact that each person has things they enjoy and things they don’t, like tastes, types of music, genres of movies or books, et caetera, et caetera… and that these things are proper to each individual (some interests/likes are common to a majority but not all). It’s really fascinating to think that every human on this earth has a different set of likes and dislikes. But what fascinates me even more is how we start to like things, the process that goes into becoming a ‘fan’ of something.
There are different ways that this can happen, there are different factors that come into play to like or dislike something (I take myself as an example as well as what other people told me, no real scientific process here, no real study, just thought process), I think I can number three or four here.
The first one is your innate taste, the thing that helps you decide if you like, dislike, enjoy or completely utterly absolutely hate something, which probably comes from your childhood, what you associate with good times, good feelings. I don’t really know but to give you an example, take the first cartoons you watched when you were a child, don’t you still love them? I know I just can’t help being marvelled each time I watch an episode of those old Scooby-Doo versions, I loved it in my child hood and I think it has shaped my sense of like and dislike today. If I am asked if I like Scooby-Doo I instantly know that “YES, YES I DOO!” (see what I did there?). That means I would watch any movie made on that franchise at least once without even caring if it was good or not. Usually that’s also what happens when I listen to music, -which is the point I sort of wanted to make- I very quickly know if I like or not a specific song I’m listening to.
The second one is the ‘long way around’. Mostly when you (or, more correctly, when I) discover something new (a song, a movie, a new style…) and you can’t say if you like or dislike it immediately. It’s like coffee I hear, the first time is horrible and then, as you keep drinking it, you start to like it. That happens with movies or songs or other things, but let’s take songs as an example. Let’s say, specifically, the song A Horse With No Name. I listened to it for the first time quite some time ago, almost a year now I believe, and after listening to it once I was pleasantly surprised, it was quite nice, but nothing much more than that. Then, over time, I decided to listen to it again, and as I did I began to know it better, to understand the lyrics, to form a picture of the scene in my head and I started to like it more and more. That has happened with a few others, thought I don’t have any titles in mind, with some movies too or even with some books or parts of books.
Then there’s also the environmental factor, as I like to call it. By that I mean the mood you’re in when you watch a movie, listen to a song or read a book, or even talk to somebody, but also the things that happened in your day, what you’re thinking about at that moment, the people you are with. Basically anything happening around or inside you. this plays a lot on whether you end up liking or disliking something. Like a song you enjoy so much because you have had the chance to see it live and it made the whole experience so much more awesome or a movie you got to see exactly when the time was right (like Star Wars VII after waiting for so long for example) and you were smiling and dancing and running all over like a little kid at that moment… (No, that definitely wasn’t from personal experience I swear…). Or that song you like/dislike at first because you saw a remix in a movie and then you hear that same song or the original version somewhere else and you completely change you point of view.
The fourth one is a bit more minor I think, but I believe it remains important anyway. That would be the novelty of the thing you are watching/reading/listening to, to you. If it is entirely new and fresh to you mind you might fall in love with it or hate it but the effect/decision will be a lot definite and influential than if you already have something to compare to it. There are a lot of examples with movies which are remakes/adaptations/reboots/copies/etc. of other, older, creations and that you, as a person that is knowledgeable about the source material, don’t enjoy but that, to your great aberration, younger generations or people who discover this style of thing end up loving. Just know that by discovering something new, it makes the whole experience a lot more interesting. Which is why some people wish they could rediscover things anew to feel what they have felt the first time once more. That’s also why, nowadays, going to the moon is not as exciting as it was to our parents/grandparents because to us, now, it seems almost normal… It all depends on the previous references one has (like me for example, who has a lot of internet references that I can’t share with my family or many of my friend. It is extremely frustrating at time, just know this!)
And then there is the association of one or more of these things, like when you find an association between a great song (you knew or not) and something you love since your childhood, or you discover a new detail on the internet that makes you love a movie/a song/a character differently (a lot more, a lot less) like (and you may scream, horrified, at this but I don’t care) myself when I read the whole theories people post about Harry Potter lore based on a few words on a page in one of the books, or the songs the fans made about the universe. It just makes the source material even better in my mind. The most fulfilling thing in life is when this kind of thing happens to you and you realize you’ve just discovered it on your own (and then you’re “sooooooo Xcited, omgomgomg you have to shrae ti wthi erybody on Tumblr!!!” [no, no link to actual event of my life, I told you already…]) and then you can’t stop being excited.
So yeah, liking and disliking, to me, and as complicated and difficult to understand as it may have been, is a bit like that. If I had to give you a last, perfect, example of all this, it would be this video of Halo, which simultaneously made me fall in love with Halo, its universe and characters, the awesome music and T.S. Elliot and his poem, The Hollow Men in an instant. I had barely finished watching the video that I was already grinning like a madman, deciding to watch the entire play-through of each game, to immerse myself in its universe, its lore for days/weeks/months, to listen to the music over and over again and to read Elliot’s poem which would later become one of my favorites and also a great source of inspiration to me, both for my stories and my poetry. This is what I call falling in love.
Okay, here goes nothing. I hope you understand what I meant or even what I wrote. If you do, awesome! And if you don’t then sorry, I’m bad at these kinds of things, it’s hard to take time to write when I’m excited like this…