Sunday, April 13, 2014

MBWS: Obstreperous

The value of artists is in being obstreperous, outlandish and obscene. Their business is to ignite a revolution of insight into the soul.
 - Anonymous

 If artists were quiet and reserved, they could hardly ignite any revolution, let alone one of personal insight. Obstrepery must then be the reverse: noisy, uncontrolled, and the like.

I'm crass, contemptuous and crude, obstreperous, obnoxious, rambunctiously raw and rude. 
 - Mario Cantone

Again, rambuctious and collected don't go together. Nor do contemptuous and polite, raw and smooth, obnoxious and considerate. So obstreperous can be none of these things.

A lunatic may be "soothed,"... for a time, but in the end, he is very apt to become obstreperous. His cunning, too, is proverbial, and great.... When a madman appears thoroughly sane, indeed, it is high time to put him in a straitjacket.
 - Edgar Allen Poe

If EAP doesn't know what being obstreperous is like, then no one does. While I would hesitate to equate artists with lunatics (in regards to the first quote), they must have some degree of lunacy within them, to be able to see the world in an unusual or off-kilter light.

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