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Culture Lust by Angela Carone

From High to Mid to Low Culture: Is There a Difference?

I am now in the midst of acclimating to the world again.  I'm going slowly, hoping to not get the bends as I move from Comic-Con submersion to street-level life.   Culturally, I'm moving from this:

To this:

July 30, 2008 at 05:26 PM
I often had to remind my peers when they uttered the disdainful reply of "comics!!??" when they asked where I was headed as I ran out of the office during the day to that humankind's first written expression were drawings on cave walls and comic books are merely an extension of that -- a hybrid of the most basic forms of written human expression. Over the weekend, my wife experienced her first Comic Con and was reluctant. But she discovered the graphic novel "Exit Wounds", the brilliance of "Short Comings" and Lynda Berry's new tome "What It Is" -- which according to my wife, says exaclty what she has been trying to say to her students for years. She will now be bringing comics into the classroom as she understands now how they serve as a bridge to those who are reluctant readers. Comics are no longer Batman and Superman but can also be literature just as much as that Calvino or Murakami book on my desk is considered literature. Although I'll admit it, those slave girl Princess Leia outfits never do get old. ;-) Comic Con brought us Repo! The Genetic Opera which by definition, style and form IS indeed an opera in the same way that Tosca, Rigoletto or Madama Butterfly is an opera. Is it aesthetically similar to Tosca, not by a long shot. But it IS an opera and I for one would love to see it produced with the same sensiblities as Grand Opera (and perhaps there will be a future when I will. The Fly -- -- was just turned into an opera). I used to think that high and low culture were more or less the same except that high culture costs more to experience. Opera (considered high culture now) was the low culture back in the day and people attended to opera to mingle, meet, drink and eat and yes, even mate. But walking around Comic Con and seeing $300 toys I'm not sure that one can make that monetary distinction anymore. So I've just rationalized as "Culture" -- high, middle or low -- it doesn't matter. All we need to do is experience it and we're richer because of it. And because of that I love Opera and Theatre as much as I love Comic Con. Besides, where else can one find limited edition GI Joe toys (beginning at $20) and original Egon Schiele sketches (beginning at $18,500 for a signed lithograph) ten steps from one another?