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The Ribena test

If I prefer Ribena to Château Lafite, does that make me a fool? No. It's just a matter of taste—as it is for art. That is John Carey's thesis, and it's wrong

By Erik Tarloff   July 2005

What Good are the Arts? by John Carey (Faber, £12.99)

For the sake of argument, let’s say that your drink of choice is Château Lafite, ideally the 1961 vintage. And let’s further say that I regard this drink as unadulterated swill and would always reject it in favour of a tumbler of room-temperature Ribena. You feel superior to me, of course—you regard me as a philistine with an infantile sweet tooth—whereas I regard you as a social climber who prefers to impress others rather than take pleasure in a tasty and refreshing beverage.

And what could an enlightened and disinterested…

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