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Bad taste

Parent categories: bad - taste

Related: camp - kitsch - "low culture" - trash - taboo

Connoisseur: John Waters

Dixie Evans

"In order to acquire bad taste one must first have very good taste." - John Waters

Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing. [Good] taste is the enemy of creativity. -- Pablo Picasso [Source: Strength to Love, 1963.]

National Lampoon

Everywhere a teen turns, he is assaulted by an avalanche of filth that lurks in many forms --- pornographic movies, obscene novels, indecent plays, lurid magazines, prurient snapshots, seductive television commercials, suggestive song lyrics, immodest dances, salacious paintings, lewd advertisements, coarse poems, smutty radio shows, depraved newspapers, indelicate lithographs, perverse sculptures, shady stories, gross cookbooks, tawdry cocktail napkins, ribald postcards, libertine bumper stickers, provocative buttons, meretricious gestures, licentious operas, pandering food labels, and shameless zoos. --http://www.nationallampoon.com/flashbacks/nancy/nancy.html [Jan 2006]

National Lampoon
National Lampoon is a humor magazine that began in 1970 as an offshoot of the Harvard Lampoon. Harvard graduates and Lampoon alumni Douglas Kenney, Henry Beard, and Rob Hoffman licensed the "Lampoon" name for a national publication.

After a shaky start, the magazine quickly grew in popularity during the 1970s, when it regularly skewered pop culture, the counterculture and politics with recklessness and gleeful bad taste. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Lampoon [Jan 2006]

Films considered in bad or poor taste

La Grande Bouffe/Blow Out (1973) - Marco Ferreri [Amazon.com]

A fantasic franco-italian orgy comprising of four middle-aged gourments fed up with the mundanity of life, who embark upon a suicide pact- death by indulgence of food sex and alcohol. Bouffe is synonymous with "comic opera" --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Grande_Bouffe [Mar 2005]

Bad Taste (1987) - Peter Jackson

Bad Taste (1987) - Peter Jackson [Amazon.com]

Bad Taste is a low-budget 1987 cult film, one of the first directed by Peter Jackson, in which aliens invade an isolated New Zealand village in order to harvest human beings for their fast food franchise but are repelled by a three-man paramilitary force. Part of the film was shot in Jackson's home town of Pukerua Bay, north of Wellington, New Zealand. It was shot primarily on weekends over the course of four years, at a total cost of around $11,000, and Jackson himself plays at least two roles. Careful editing makes it possible in one scene for one character played by Jackson to torture the other character played by Jackson.

The rest of the roles are filled by friends of Jackson's who were co-workers of his at the time. Jackson also created the over-the-top gory make-up effects, which emphasized absurdity. The film secured international distribution (quite unexpected even by its director) after playing at the Cannes Film Festival.

This film may have established the exploding sheep concept in the computer gaming subculture. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Taste [Mar 2005]

Foute cd, foute muziek

In search of bad taste.

The Belgian radio station Q-music, a subsidiary of the Vlaamse Televisie Maatschappij has launched a new trend in Belgium: foute muziek. In English, foute muziek translates literally as "bad music" but it is probably much better to translate it as "bad taste" music or "guilty pleasures". Most foute muziek appears to be popular music. There is a significant overlap with kermis-muziek (funfair music) as can be heard on local funfairs such as the Sinksenfoor here in Antwerp.

A typical selection of this genre:

Papa Chico - Tony Esposito * The Carribean Disco show - Lobo * De allereerste Keer - Rita Deneve * That's The way I like it - KC & The Sunshine Band * Rock You World - Weeks & Company * American generation - Ritchie Family * Follow me - Amanda Lear * Verdammt ich lieb'Dich - Matthias Reim * You're the greatest lover - Luv * Can't Take my eyes off you - The boys town gang * Una Paloma Blanca - George Baker Selection * Que sera mi vida - Gibson Brothers * Born To Be alive - Patrick Hernandez * Your love - Lime * Do ya Wanna funk - Sylvester * Disco Samba - Two Man Sound * So Many Men, So Little Time - Miquel Brown * San Salvador - Azoto * Happy Station - Fun fun * Please Don't go - Double You * Dolce Vita - Ryan Paris * Tarzan Boy - Baltimora * You're My Heart. You're My Soul - Modern Talking * You're a Woman - Bad Boys Blue * Yes Sir I Can boogie - Baccara * I'm In The Mood For Dancing - Molans * I Will Survive - Hermes House Band * Live is Life - Opus * Gigi L'Amoroso - Dalida * J'aime la vie - Sandra Kim * Together We're Strong - Mireille Mathieu & Patrick Duffy --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jahsonic/Foute_CD [Jul 2006]

See also: popular music - bad taste - music

Kitsch in Sync: A Consumer's Guide to Bad Taste () - Peter Ward

  1. Kitsch in Sync: A Consumer's Guide to Bad Taste () - Peter Ward [Amazon.com]
    While it commences with a somewhat weak prehistory of kitsch in the 19th century, the light style and deceptively glib analysis of this slender volume are a perfect complement to 20th-century trash culture. In what is essentially a history of mass-produced tackiness, Peter Ward provides insightful commentary on how good taste becomes officially bad when its audience changes. He also catches the sense of humor of Jeff Koons, who appears just a few pages past the Bay City Rollers, a juxtaposition I'm sure Koons would enjoy. Kitsch in Sync is worthwhile for its novel take on '80s new romantic music and for the illustrations of the postwar culture of disposable and ugly home furnishings. --Amazon.com

Encyclopedia of Bad Taste (1990) - Jane Stern, Michael Stern

Encyclopedia of Bad Taste (1990) - Jane Stern, Michael Stern [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

From Publishers Weekly
Lava lamps, Hawaiian shirts, accordion music and outlandish performer Charo are among the kitschy or lowbrow people, places and things affectionately featured in this entertaining, colorful reference book. Illustrated. $50,000 ad/promo. (Oct.)no PW rev Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal
Pop culture mavens and authors of 15 books, including Elvis World ( LJ 10/1/87) and Sixties People ( LJ 1/90), the Sterns have assembled a directory of American "ersatz culture" that would make Roseanne Barr proud. Their goal is, "to catalogue bad taste, define the standard masterworks, and inaugurate the annals of the world's favorite faux pas." With entries running the gamut from Chippendale dancers, Tammy Faye Bakker, and the jogging suit to Jello, nose jobs, and tattoos, the result is a somewhat humorous and whimsical volume that celebrates lowbrow culture more than berates it. This encyclopedia offers trivial information aplenty, most of it from secondary sources: the origins of bowling, the invention of the Lava Lite. It might make a good gift item, but as a library reference purchase it is not recommended. Perhaps for pop culture or humor collections. - David Nudo, New York, Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. via Amazon.com

Taste (sociology)
Taste as a sociological concept is expressed in the idea that certain personal preferences develop as the product of social pressures. The notion of taste in aesthetics is often associated with manners and good habits that are of innate nature. The main critic of this idea is French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, whose main argument is based on the claim that individual tastes and preferences are socially produced. According to Bourdieu, individual tastes are shaped by certain aspects of social practices and position within society. People aspire towards "higher" cultural forms and produce their identities accordingly they want to be associated with those who are considered to be more developed intellectually and artistically and therefore tend to consume corresponding cultural products. In this sense the notion of taste is closely linked to consumption and consumerism: the viewer or reader consumes various artistic products and then interprets them by the means of criticism that rests upon the idea of taste.

Bad taste is generally a title given to any object or idea that does not fall within the normal social standards of the time or area. Varying from society to society and from time to time, bad taste is generally thought of as a negative thing, but also changes with each individual.

Some varieties of black humor employ bad taste for its shock value, similarly some artists deliberately create vulgar or kitsch works of art to defy critical standards or social norms. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste_%28sociology%29 [Aug 2005]

See also: taste - sociology - aesthetics - bad taste

Bad Music; The Music We Love to Hate (2004) - Christopher Washburne and Maiken Derno

Bad Music; The Music We Love to Hate (2004) - Christopher Washburne and Maiken Derno [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
"There are only two kinds of music: good and bad", said the late and great Ray Charles. This book explores his instinctive opinion.

Why are some popular musical forms and performers universally reviled by critics and ignored by scholars-despite enjoying large-scale popularity? How has the notion of what makes "good" or "bad" music changed over the years-and what does this tell us about the writers who have assigned these tags to different musical genres? Many composers that are today part of the classical "canon" were greeted initially by bad reviews. Similarly, jazz, country, and pop musics were all once rejected as "bad" by the academy that now has courses on these and many other types of music. This book addresses why this is so through a series of essays on different musical forms and performers. It looks at alternate ways of judging musical performance beyond the critical/academic nexus, and suggests new paths to follow in understanding what makes some music "popular" even if it is judged to be "bad." For anyone who has ever secretly enjoyed ABBA, Kenny G, or disco, Bad Music will be a guilty pleasure!

Simon Frith gives three common qualities attributed to bad music: inauthentic, [in] bad taste (see also: kitsch), and stupid. He argues that "The marking off of some tracks and genres and artists as 'bad' is a necessary part of popular music pleasure; it is a way we establish our place in various music worlds. And 'bad' is a key word here because it suggests that aesthetic and ethical judgements are tied together here: not to like a record is not just a matter of taste; it is also a matter of argument, and argument that matters." (p.28) --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesthetics_of_music#Bad_music [May 2006]

See also: bad taste - music theory - popular music

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