Making quality & sugary into a binary seems elitist to me. What of Britney Spears or Pepsi or all the essentially “accessible” but still “quality” entities that have value? I don’t like decoupling what is accessible or mainstream from what is valuable. It feels esoteric and loaded to me. I know what he’s saying and academically-speaking, I sort of agree, but culturally it feels like a hipster trap.
Popular doesn’t necessarily = valuable, profitable doesn’t necessarily = valuable
I agree with this notion and it’s very provocative as it opens up a whole social commentary on what can be profited upon — as a meme, as cultural capital, etc. Popular things become popular for a reason, even if that reason is circumstantial to an A&R guy that likes a band or a particular single being selected on an album. But I also think there is something to the whole notion that cliches become cliches for a reason — they hold some kernal of essential and perhaps timeless, accessible truth.