I've been recently informed that it's literally been 2 years since I joined Fanpop! As such, I have decided to talk about a subject that's been on my mind and wanted to share with you guys.
I know this is a very weird subject to talk about, but this idea hit me when I watched a speech about perfection. I began to form my own opinion on the matter, and I thought it would be nice if I shared with you. Plus, as an anniversary article, I think it's a fitting subject.
In my honest opinion, perfection is a dead-end; and impossible concept that none of us can ever comprehend. Here's what I mean: The dictionary describes perfection as "the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence, as in some art", but really, do we humans even have the right to declare something as perfect? When we humans ourselves are quite possibly the most flawed beings in existence? I doubt it.
I think perfection is an arrogant concept. We can't declare something as perfect when we humans aren't perfect ourselves. Sure, I myself am human and call many things perfect, but are they really?
For instance, one of my favorite songs of all time "Let It Go", is a song that I personally consider perfect, but many other people called it decent at best, or just flat-out awful. (Though most of those haters are immature trolls.). Many people hate Idina Menzel's high-pitched singing, others are sick of the song's popularity. Seeing how so many people have solid and justifiable reasons for not linking it, can I really call the song perfect? However, "Let It Go" is art, and art is subjective; I can love the song and call it a masterpiece, while others can hate it and call it garbage.
But if there are both sides are right, both sides are wrong, then how can we declare something as what we believe it is, when there are other who believe otherwise? Is it perfect, or not? Well, it's not really the fault of the product, much as it is a fault of the people who critique and analyze it. I'll come to this topic later.
When I mentioned "Let It Go", it reminded me of a comment that a friend of mine here on Fanpop, who goes by the name of Wavesurf (She formally went with "8804".); in which she said that I perfectly pulled apart her problems regarding "Let It Go" and introduced her to a new way of looking at it. I'm always flattered when I read her comment, as it feels like I've done something good. Though, the article itself isn't completely perfect; it has grammatical errors in some parts, plus I didn't put any space after the commas and periods. There were grammatical errors in some parts because my English wasn't really perfect, plus, as you might have noticed in my previous articles, that I didn't leave any space after commas and periods.
The reason why that is it's because back then, I was just a beginner and didn't really pay much attention after the commas and periods, so I always forgot to put them. Later, I noticed the spacing, but I still continued to write that way is because I wanted a distinct style of writing, to know that I was the one who wrote it. It's the same thing with most of my previous articles too (From 1 through 35.).
However, I realized that my "style" was wrong, so I decided to leave space after the commas and periods from now on.
So no, my articles, as well written as they were, weren't perfect.
Back to "Let It Go"! Much as I love that song, I do have a minor nitpick with the "Let it Go" sequence in the movie that I need to address; much as I love that scene.
If you remember "What I want the sequel for Frozen to do" article, than you remember my rant to the imaginary Jennifer Lee/Chris Buck, that I talked about Olaf's birth in that sequence, as well as a fan-made video about Olaf's birth.
My problem with the sequence is that Elsa builds Olaf this early, when the writers could've let Elsa build Olaf much later, while singing a reprise of "Do you want to build a Snowman?", where she sing about how much she would love to build a snowman with Anna, while also remembering all of the fun times they had together, before their separation. But because of what happened, they can no longer be together, so she builds Olaf outside of her palace as a way to say goodbye to her sister, forever. That fan-made video moved me to tears because of how beautiful it was. It was so touching that every time I re-watch Frozen, I pause the movie at a certain point after the "Let It Go" sequence, and watch that scene.
I mean, I know she build Olaf first because he represent all of the fun memories she had with Anna, so she's saying goodbye to it first, but I think it would've been better if they leave Olaf's birth for later.
But, that's just one example. There are countless movie moments that I consider perfect, and many others do too; but again, if we humans aren't perfect, why should we declare them perfect?
Movies aren't the only art form in which perfection exists. There's music, TV shows, painting, drawing, literature, cooking, science, etc.
A few weeks ago, me and my class watched a documentary about art and beauty. The documentary talked about how we humans put useful things over useless things, and art is useless. But we humans need useless things too. Things, such as: love, entertainment and friendship are useless to us, yet we cannot live without them. Same goes for art and beauty. However, modern times seem to pay attention to usefulness than uselessness, which resulted in most things nowadays like our architecture, movies, shows, music, etc, to have no effort or beauty put into them.
This honestly intrigued me. Maybe the reason why we love enjoy art so much is because our world is so devoid of anything beautiful that we seek beauty and perfection in how we express our points of view. However, many "artists" like to rely only on focus-groups and statistics rather than themselves, thus many things in the medium are devoid of soul and effort.
I'll be talking about this at the end.
Let's talk about perfection in other art forms.
A few weeks ago, for Art History class, we were talking about the Italian Renaissance; about its idea of real beauty, its artists, its history, its meaning; which was very interesting.
Later, we had to do a test about the Italian Renaissance, and talk about a famous artist from that time period. I chose to talk about my favorite Renaissance artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti. The reason why he's my favorite was because of his passion for sculpture and art, as well as creating some of the most influential and recognizable pieces of art ever made: "The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel"; "The Marvel masterpiece statue of David" and "La Pieta". (Another reason why he's my favorite is because he appeared in my favorite episode of Animaniacs, "Hooked on a Ceiling".)
The reason why his sculptures were so "perfectly" accurate to the human body is because, in his youth, he frequently snuck out of his house and went to the funeral services to look at, analyze and dissect human corpses. He made sketches and drawings of the bodies, which gave him his inspiration for how human anatomy and physiology works. However, to not get caught, he burned all of his drawings and sketches.
His research on the corpses was a success thought, as it resulted in his sculptures to look incredibly realistic. He even used the same technique on his paintings when he was painting humans, also resulting in them looking very realistic, but also quite muscular. Which is sadly, a nitpick of mine.
Much as I agree with most people and critiques when they say that his sculptures and paintings of humans are incredibly realistic, but I personally wouldn't call them perfect. Mainly because they look WAY to muscular in my opinion. I mean, I get it, he was trying to achieve a fierce and dominating look with them looking muscular, but it's just distracting in my opinion.
When people say that "art is subjective", they aren't wrong. While I myself consider many things to be perfect or perfectly done, there's always someone to point out one or multiple flaws with it. Or when someone tries to create something perfect that they consider perfect, there's always going to be people who will agree and disagree with that vision.
For instance, let's talk about a director whom I highly respect, despite his flaws as a director: George Lucas. While I can't consider him a great director, the reason why I look I up to him is because of his passion for his work. Sure, he may not turn out gold every time, but the man has amazing and interesting ideas that would make for an awesome story, but his main problem is that he doesn't always have the best ways of executing those ideas. He's at his best when he others tell him what's wrong with it.
I'm actually one of the few people who's more forgiving towards the Star Wars Prequels because it's obvious that George Lucas cares for his work. While Episode 1 and 2 were bad (I actually really enjoyed Episode 3.), I see a lot of merit within them. When it's done right, you get Star Wars: The Clone Wars, one of my favorite animated shows of all time. This series made me a fan of Star Wars, and one of the reasons as to why I enjoyed the series so much was because of George Lucas' writing.
I don't want to look redundant and lazy, but in my "Why I'm more forgiving towards the Prequels" article, I said this about Episode 1 which I think reflect my views on perfection in art "perfectly":
"Honestly,in many respects,it's kind of an important movie for that.It shows that artists are flawed and there's no perfect project.Heck,the original Star Wars had a lot of stilted acting and silly dialogue.
For a lot of fans,this was the bursting of the bubble,the ending of the fairy tale,to having to face life.But there's advantages to that too;it tells people "Hey,you don't have to be perfect to make good stuff! You can learn,you can change things,you can make things better." Even your heroes aren't always your heroes.And that's fine,you could be inspired to do good work."
But again, I don't think I have the right to say that it reflected it "perfectly", when I'm not perfect, myself.
Now, let's talk about another aspect of perfection; human perfection.
This in my opinion, is harder to talk about since we're not talking about a subjective term, but rather something that many people, especially perfectionists pursue...absolute perfection.
I'm not going to lie, despite what I said about not deserving the right to call things perfect, I am a perfectionist. In an old article of mine, I said that I'm a very organized and well-behaved person. Sure, I can lash out at times, but I always try to hold it back as to not hurt others, either emotionally or physically, but also because I don't want to become an abusive brute.
I am not perfect, either. I have problems with keeping my emotions; I'm very anxious towards a lot of things; I'm a very emotional person; I sometimes get a bad case of artist/writer's block; I have ADHD; I procrastinate a lot; I can be very grumpy towards others; and I can be overly obsessive.
However, the reason why I'm a perfectionist is because there are a lot of things that I consider to be wrong, so I at least try to make it look good. Like when I make sketches, I always try to have perfectly good symmetry. Or when I write something like an article, I want to be perfectly good and entertaining; though most of my articles ring the opposite.
But, I think I've wasted enough time; it's time to talk about something that's been bothering me...a lot.
A few years ago, I suffered from anxiety, depression, as well as avoident personality disorder. I have two reason as to why. The first one was that I was afraid that I'd hurt them if I let my emotions loose, and the second reason is because it felt like I didn't fit in with others. Plus, because of my emotions and ADHD, I've ended up in a lot of trouble. It often resulted in my mother or father scolding me when I forget something, or having terrible thoughts about hurting them.It makes me feel less self-conscious about myself and my abilities. Especially when you compare yourself to others who did the same thing but better, or achieved things that many of us dreamed of achieving too.
Here are a good example:
About a year ago, on a November evening, me and my mother we're studying for my final Math exam for the semester, and I barely remembered and knew anything. I remember that my mother was screaming from the top of her lungs to get me to remember, but because of my ADHD and anxiety, I didn't remember much, and got a lot of exercises wrong. I was confused as to why I didn't know them, especially since me and my mother were studying the same things for almost two hours.
After that, my mother couldn't take it anymore, and walked out. After she had walked out, I was crying incredibly hard, though I didn't want her hear me, so I tried to keep it as quit as possible. I was begging for characters that I loved, like Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Rose Quartz from Steven Universe, and N from Pokemon Black and White, to be real and comfort me.
I wanted to kill myself, since what use do they have for an incompetent fool such like me. That wasn't the first time I was thinking of suicide, but it was one of the biggest. My friend, Dan, calmed me down through a message he sent me, and it enlightened me too. By killing myself, I probably would've caused more pain and suffering for them; plus there's literally no turning back from the dead. That would've been the most selfish thing I would've ever done, but thanks to my best friend, and because I'm a selfless person, I didn't commit suicide.
While I'm still suffering from all of the things I mentioned, and I'm still a perfectionist, I learned that I shouldn't always try to be perfect, but to be good. Though, there are instances, where my drawings pale in comparison to much better pieces of art that others have made, and feel humiliated and dumb. But, like I said with George Lucas, artists are flawed and there is no perfect project. Even if you sometimes make a mistake, the best thing to do is to learn from your mistakes and try to improve yourself.
People always strive to be perfect, or to create something perfect, or do something perfectly, but because we're such flawed and complex beings, perfection is a dead-end and is rarely achieved.
Things like tests, jobs, and plans can be done/executed perfectly with the right talent and mind, but only if we strive for perfection.
While I'm a perfectionist myself, when I'm preparing for a test, I don't always want it to be perfect, but instead good. I want a lot of things to be achieved "perfectly" but tests are things that I can almost never write perfectly due to my ADHD and anxiety. However, that doesn't mean I'm not trying to be a good student or artist, but rather that there are things that I can't always be perfect at, but I can be perfect at other things.
I know what some of you might be asking:
"But, if we don't have the right to call things perfect due to our imperfection, why do we still call things perfect and try to achieve perfection?"
Remember what I said about people seeking perfection? I believe the reason why so many people consider things perfect, or pursue perfection is BECAUSE we're such flawed beings! We're not perfect ourselves, but we crave perfection. It's as if we're trying to fill in a missing part of ourselves.
Our flaws and imperfections drive us to create what we consider perfect. Both our flaws and talents play a big part, as both of them contribute to what we consider perfect and what we consider imperfect. However, because people are different, they're going to have different views on what they consider perfect and what they consider bad. I consider a lot of things perfect, but I know there's going to be a lot of people who will disagree with me. And I know that I won't always get things right, but that just means that I can learn from them and become perfect that way.
It's a goal worth chasing, but because everyone has a different view of such a concept, to claim that anyone has unconditionally achieved such a level means they are deluding themselves. People are fickle and constantly changing, so their perception of what is truly perfect will never be the same anyway, so even attempting to get anyone to agree on what is perfect is equally pointless. Therefore, striving to reach greater success is not only a much more attainable, desirable goal, but also one that everyone can agree on.
To finish off this article, I'll leave a quote about perfection from Bleach, which was a contributing factor to my views on perfection:
"The perfect being you said? Well, I have to tell you the honest truth as I see it. In this world, nothing perfect exists. It may be a cliche after all. But it's the way things are. That's precisely why ordinary men pursue the concept of perfection: it's infatuation. But ultimately I have to ask myself: What is the true meaning of being perfect? And the answer I came up with was: nothing. Not one thing. The truth of the matter is I despise perfection. If something is truly perfect, THAT'S IT. The bottom line becomes, there is no room for imagination. No space for intelligence or ability or improvement. Do you understand? To men of science like us, perfection is a dead end. A condition of hopelessness. Always strive to be better than anything that came before you, but not perfect. Scientist agonize over the attempt to achieve perfection. That's the kind of creatures we are. We take joy in trying to exceed our grasp, and trying to reach for something that, in the end, we have to admit may in fact, be unreachable. In other words, you may think that we operate on the same level, but you are wrong. The moment you started talking about perfection, you embraced an impossible concept, and had already lost to me. That is,of course, if you are a indeed a scientist at all." -Mayuri Kurotsuhi.
As always, Smell ya' later!
You're no prize yourself, either.