Definition of the Day 11-16-16 — Experimental

Posted: November 15, 2016 in Humor
Tags: , , ,

EXPERIMENTAL, adj. In relation to the arts, obscure, incomprehensible. A term applied to the works of those who invent new and startling ways to demonstrate their incompetence.

This is not to suggest that all experimental works are artistically worthless—far from it. Only 90+ percent of such works lack merit, a percentage in keeping with the historical record. When most people contemplate even the second-rank masterpieces of the past, in the fields of music, visual art, or literature, they tend to forget that they’re only seeing (or hearing) the tip of the iceberg; they don’t give a thought to the huge, indeed astounding, number of execrable—and now mercifully forgotten—works produced in past centuries.

Many years ago, a relatively enlightened optimist estimated that “Ninety percent of everything is shit.” While we sympathize with his generous sentiments, we disagree with his overly optimistic assessment. The true percentage is about nine points higher.

* * *

–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary, the best modern successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover

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