I've recently realised a simple and deeply rooted assumption I've had regarding the value of music. In brief, I used to believe that what gave music its value was its complexity, the technique. To make good music was to make complicated, technically demanding music, despite the fact that most of the music I listen to and enjoy is really rather simple melodically. As you might imagine, that view has changed.

I'm not sure exactly where this assumption came from, but if I had to I would say it stems from the Catholic guilt which has stalked me throughout my life and has only progressively given up its chase (though it still lingers on). It is the guilt that beset me when I stopped going to church and eventually stopped believing in God. It is the guilt of generally not enjoying museums and which even now forces me to visit them every so often. And it is the guilt of not finding fine art, classical music and literature particularly enjoyable.

I say guilt because I've mostly held on to the belief that my dislike of these things is a failure, a moral lacking on my part. Looking back, the John Stuart Mill's idea of higher and lower pleasures crystallises this feeling I had (and still have to some extent). Even though I'm a good example of someone who has "tasted" higher and lower pleasures but still prefers the lower pleasures (like Jump Up).

Anyway, to keep things short (since it's late), I now think that there's no reason to for this to be true. To believe that the value of music, or art in general, lies in its complexity is a subjective choice. That doesn't mean that anything goes and that we need to start appreciating bananas nailed to walls or jumpstyle. However much fun it might be being a snob from time to time, it is just that - being a snob and depriving yourself of enjoying anything that doesn't meet some arbitrary standard.

Re-reading this again roughly 2 weeks later (17th of August 2022, Grav doesn't seem to date these entries properly), this piece is absolutely awful and the last time that I will write anything while under the influence. I will also stop referring to Catholic guilt from now on - I'll leave that to Graham Greene, coming from me it sounds incredibly pretentious (which I promised myself I would avoid).

More generally, I think that my writing is better and more compelling when I don't take myself seriously. Ernest sincerity doesn't become me apparently. This style of writing is more in line with that of Charlie Brooker and Ben Goldacre, both personal heroes, and I will focus on writing like that from now on.