Warhol and Justification

In a famous story, Andy Warhol came up to a man who was intently gazing a painting on displayed at one of his openings. Warhol asked the man what he thought. The man thought for a second and said “I can’t see any art in it.” Warhol looked at the painting for a moment and replied “I knew I forgot something!”

Very clever. And Warhol was very clever. But is it an attitude that takes us anywhere? It does if our aim in life is  to show disdain for standards. But even here, there is a danger. For one can only disdain what one understands.

The more fundamental question — and this is a universal one  — is what is our attitude towards standards? How often are our lives a celebration of raised standards or a wake for violated standards? And how well do we communicate our standards to others? At least one writing teacher tackles this challenge by asking about something really important: what is going on in a video game.

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