As I'm preparing to write the book with the active help of other people, I thought it would be a good idea to take stock and think about why I'm writing a book at all. What do I have to say, and who am I that people should listen to me anyway?
To answer the second part first, I don't think I am anybody in particular. It would be false humility to say that I don't take pride in my abilities, as I see them. I do believe I've a certain knack for seeing things and for putting them into words. I partially have this opinion of myself because it's the opinion of people I trust. But, I don't think I'm special in the sense that what I say has value because it comes from me. An argument or observation should be persuasive fundamentally because it is true, and that rests on the thing argued or observed, not the person expressing the argument or making the observation. It seems to me that, primarily, the skills of the writer are like the skills of the sailor. A good writer knows how to harness forces that are already there in order to help his readers (and himself) get somewhere worth getting, even if that's just to the middle of the lake and back on a Sunday afternoon.
Now to answer the first part: what do I have to say? My thesis is pretty simple. Really, it consists of sharing a framework for thinking, or helping people notice what I think is our common framework to begin with. Specifically, it has to do with the nature and purpose of art that is made and appreciated in itself and it's about pop-culture because... well... I like pop-culture, and there really shouldn't be any difference between stories and drawings and music that are part of "pop-culture" and stories and drawings and music that are part of anything else, at least not in essence. There are several less than essential parts of pop-cultural things that are very interesting and important to take note of (the whole second part of my book is dedicated to taking those notes), but what is to be gained from art made by human beings is the same, regardless of where to comes from.
So there you go, you shouldn't listen to me particularly, but I think if you do you might just learn something about art. Why don't you read my book when it's done, and tell me if I was right?
© 2015 John Hiner III