The title of this post refers to a song that has been viewed on Youtube nearly 400 million times (more than Beethoven or any other classic, even rock). The song is famous for being terrible. Just like when people stop or slow down down to view a terrible accident, people are drawn to terrible things. This song even has parodies -one of them has been seen by nearly 10 million people. How can one parody something that is already terrible? I leave you to figure out.
This song made me think about about levels of creativity and what it does for the creator’s popularity. Creativity can be of a low order, be mediocre or it can be brilliant. It attracts an audience at either ends- terrible things are popular and beautiful things are popular too. Both expressions set a standard for the creator, i.e. if you can created a song called ‘What does the fox say?’, the people will expect a worse song next time otherwise they will be disappointed (this might explain why the parody is doing so well). On the other hand, if you have done something wonderful, people expect something even better the next time. But not mediocre things. No one cares about anything in the middle. No one talks about mediocre things. So what does the fox say? It will agree with Martha Graham who said, ‘The only sin is mediocrity.’
PS- Between being known for something terrible or mediocre, I prefer to be at the other end of the scale, i.e., making beautiful things for its own sake (although if it attracts popularity, I shall not complain!)