Sarah, whose TCCI is 58%, now writes to say that I’ve “created a monster.” I certainly didn’t expect the Teachout Cultural Concurrence Index to spread so cancerously throughout the blogosphere. I’m trying to keep up with the scores posted to date by those bloggers listed in “Sites to See,” but it isn’t easy (I can’t even begin to keep up with the non-blogrolled responses). So far, here are the ones I’ve seen:
Banana Oil, 70%.
Bookish Gardener, 57%.
Brandywine Books, 67%.
Collected Miscellany, 68%.
Crescat Sententia, 40%.
Elegant Variation, 47%.
A Fool in the Forest, 64.38%.
Mixolydian Mode, 52%.
Rake’s Progress, 59%.
The Reading Experience, 43%.
The Rest Is Noise, 55%.
Return of the Reluctant, 54%. (Don’t miss Ed’s parody!)
…something slant, 58% “or thereabouts.”
James Tata, 49%.
Tingle Alley, “60%ish.”
(More than a few bloggers have posted answers but no score. If you want to make the roster, do your own math.)
God of the Machine appears not to have taken the TCCI, but he does make an observation about it that had already occurred to me, which is that it would not only be possible but interesting to apply factor analysis to everybody’s answers:
Interdisciplinary clusters will be best of all; if we find, for example, that nearly everyone who prefers Astaire to Kelly also prefers Matisse to Picasso and Keaton to Chaplin, then we might be on to something. We examine the clusters, looking for commonalities. Looking for rules, in other words. Although Terry’s taste, or the taste of any educated person, cannot be explained by one principle or theory — this is a reasonable working definition of “cultivated” — I would wager that it can be explained pretty well by several…
Speaking of rules, a regular “About Last Night” reader writes:
In general — and with all exceptions duly noted — I think your preferences reflect a taste for lightness over heaviness, for charm over depth (as conventionally understood). As I grow older, that is the direction in which my taste is headed. Do you agree that aging has something to do with it?
Very perceptive. But while I think aging may have something to do with it, I think the effects in my case are limited. My taste has always run more or less in those directions: French over German, “comic” (broadly speaking) over tragic, short over long, color over line. In the best of all possible two-kinds-of-people divide, that formulated by Schiller, I tend to opt for “naive” over “sentimental.” As Sir Isaiah Berlin explains, “naive” artists are those “who create naturally, who are not troubled by the burden of the tragic disorder of life, who do not seek salvation in art as some people seek personal salvation in religion or Socialism or nationalism.” He cited Verdi as the quintessential example of the naive artist of genius. For me, it’s Balanchine.
And a close friend writes:
The only thing on this list that surprised me is that you chose Daffy Duck over Bugs Bunny.
UPDATE: The indispensable Sarah now proposes a major new taste-measurement paradigm:
I suppose I could add some of my own questions to draft my own CCI, but prior to Terry’s post, I’d given some thought to what I call Immutables–those elements of individual tastes that will never be swayed, never be altered no matter who tries to do so. And to take things to perhaps an extreme level, if you attempt to be friends with someone who doesn’t agree with your Immutables, then the friendship is doomed….
OGIC and I will get to work on this one right away!
P.S. Rumor has it that Supermaud is about to make a TCCI-related announcement….