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Ugh, stop twitching
not-porn porn
life Posted 2009-05-11 00:37:50 by Jim Crawford
There might be an extant word for the concept, but I've been repurposing the word “porn” to describe media that people like for reasons other than that it's good. For instance, somebody might go see a movie simply because it has zombies or gun-kata or Natalie Portman in it. Somebody might listen to music because it has a lot of square waves in it, regardless of whether it's “well-made” or has “artistic value.” So when I say I've been repurposing the word “porn,” I mean I've been using terms like ”zombie porn,” “gun-kata porn,” “square wave porn” and “Natalie Portman porn.” These are a bit misleading, which is one reason I'm looking for a better word.

Another reason I'm looking for a better word is that “porn” has negative connotations. Which, full disclosure, is one of the reasons I originally chose it. But lately I've been wondering whether the only difference between the people who like “well-constructed plots” or “interesting character arcs” in their movies, and the people who like zombies in their movies, is their preference in bullet points.

Examining the kind of media I personally am snobby about, the consistent pattern I see is that its consumers enjoy it because it has a certain pattern, despite it being otherwise execrable. So while I love a good chip tune (for instance, this incredible 6/8 mixolydian chip rock porn), I'm irritated to see NES-nostalgics fawning over a song just because it happens to have square waves in it, regardless of the quality of the music itself.

It's becoming clear to me that my concept of “good” basically consists of patterns that I enjoy without knowing why I enjoy them. Which is not to say that once I've figured a piece out, that I stop enjoying it -- that might be the difference between porn and art. Art, you enjoy without understanding. Porn, you know exactly why you enjoy it.

And that's okay! Maybe I'll keep using “porn.” Maybe the word itself could do with some rehabilitation.
[link to this] [See more on “life”]

comments
no subject
Posted by Anonymous (phetus) on 2009-05-14 01:51:09
Yeah, there should be a word for that. "Porn" isn't a bad idea. It'd be neat if that caught on.
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