John's been posting notes here n' there to educate younger folks as to what made classic 2D animation, well...classic. Some folks, though, have a problem with what could be labeled as his curmudgeonly statements about a living "in an age when knowledge and skill is completely out of fashion". Me, I couldn't be more thankful. No matter what kind of art education you've had, you never stop learning.
I scrolled down to see an entry on Buster Keaton, which I thought was dope, because I've loved Keaton's work since childhood. In that, he stated that only the truly gifted should be
entertainers, not average folk:
Nowadays we have cartoons by people who can't draw (or write), "voice actors" by people who don't have distinct voices or acting ability, "songs" where people talk instead of sing and tell you how great they are without having to prove it to you with skill and talent.
I agree with him to a point. While it'd be great to have more Jackie Chans and Busters, I kinda like being able to see the average schlub do something that makes me laugh or causes my jaw to drop. That's what makes YouTube so great...in moderation, of course. I read further:
Is there anybody alive that couldn't write or draw Family Guy? Anyone looking at that or listening to a rap "song" can easily imagine himself with a couple weeks practice and some luck being able to be a big star.
That caught my attention, and the attention of a few others. To see where his head was at, I thought I'd make a comment:
I highly disagree with your digs at supposed lack of talent in accordance with rappers...to a degree. The majority of what's touted in the mainstream variety of rappers and/or rap groups, well, they suck ass. Putting out less than memorable, filler-saturated albums is no way to get my entertainment dollar. And that goes for the "underground" indie emcees, too.
And I fully understand that rap music (and hip-hop culture as a whole) isn't everyone's cup of tea, either.
I hear you as far as Buster goes. I've been a fan ever since I saw The Railrodder when I was a kid. We could use more folks like him nowadays.
And for the record, I totally appreciate the notes you post here. You can never learn enough.
Someone named the clownninja followed up with:
you can't dismiss a whole musical form that offhandedly...
John shot back with:
If there was any music in it I wouldn't.
Music requires a melody.
That's where I got my dander up. I'm fully alright with someone not liking rap music, but disregarding it as a form of music altogether? Yeah, I've got a problem with that.
So I responded:
"Music requires a melody."
I never saw eye-to-eye with that argument. I can't find melody in a Gene Krupa drum solo, but that's some of the finest music around, to me.
...and his response:
listen before and after the solo. You're supposed to play the whole song.
I thought about what I would say next and came with this:
"listen before and after the solo. You're supposed to play the whole song."
And I have. The drum solo happens to be my favorite part.
I can actually hum the odd rap track, even if it's based on a borrowed/re-recorded/cobbled together melody.
Does your distaste for spoken vocals extend to CW McCall and Phil Harris, or just this genre? Not tryin' to bust your balls, just curious.
I think he got angry after this...
To compare Gene Krupa's superhuman skill, talent, charisma and taste to anyone in rap is beyond arrogance. It's really stupid too.
Krupa, like all instrumentalists of the time knew that they were part of a bigger thing called music. They took their turns soloing amid the beautifully and intelligently arranged and scored melodies and rhythms.
No comparison at all with anything today.
Anita O'Day was Gene's main vocalist btw and could actually carry a tune - unlike rappers.
For a second, I was like, "did he just call me or my argument stupid?"
Gaining my composure, I responded with...
I wasn't comparing Krupa to anyone, really...I just brought him up as an example. And not that I was trying to change your mind (now THAT would be stupid), but I'm sure we can agree to disagree. I'm inspired to listen to The Drum Battle.
And I left it at that.
I don't know why I decided to dwell on this for so long, but I tend to obsess over trivial shit. I guess not seeing eye-to-eye with someone I respect affects me a lil' bit.
At any rate, I gotta say that John K.'s blog is still worth frequent visits. His wealth of knowledge makes it a must for any young animator (or illustrator, for that matter)...despite the crankiness.
Bill Wray • William Wray (Bill and William are the same dude, but stylistically different) • ASIFA