Commentary / Writing

ARTIST RESPONSIBILITY

An aside, I use the term artist interchangeably as an individual who works in the creative mediums, whether they be visual, performance or written.  For the purpose of this, I am going to specifically be talking about writers and our responsibility to our craft.

Throughout history it is the artists who have provoked change.  Where would we be without the works of:

Walt Whitman ~ Henry David Thoreau ~ Henrik Ibsen ~ Franz Kafka ~ William Styron ~ William Faulkner ~ William Golding ~ Mary Wollstonecraft ~ Thomas Paine ~ Simone de Beauvoir ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky ~ Upton Sinclair ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe ~ to name a few.

These are writers whose work have transcended time.  Their words were criticized, challenged, reviled and censored.  Yet they have endured long past many other popular works of their time.  As they should.  These works were written for a larger purpose than mere narrative or amusement.

I find it troubling that today the bulk of our entertainment is one-dimensional in its purpose .  Books are read, television and films watched and nothing of value remains.  Although there are hundreds of television channels, there is not much to instigate change, nor elevate the human condition.

Instead, the masses drink in the drugs of oblivion:  FX to dazzle, 3D for awe, and violence for the shock value alone.  The more violent the film or show, the more popular it is.  Films are relying on special effects for story momentum.  Even our music now has an in-your-face attitude.  The louder and more stimulating the better.

I say:  Where is the CRAFT?  What happened to the MESSAGE?  What is the PURPOSE?  Where is the VALUE?

My corporate website states:

“CINEMA PROFOUND believes in thought-provoking film and television entertainment.  Art that is culturally responsible while remaining relevant and timely in its message.  In the new globally interconnected world, we need entertainment that contributes to the greater good, says something meaningful and is truly transformational.” ~ Sidney Peck

The time has come for people to awaken from their media-induced slumber and make lucid decisions about what we as a public will choose to leave behind as our legacy for future generations.  Being “entertaining” shouldn’t be the benchmark of a project’s success.

What’s your take on this?

In the meantime, always remember to…

>>>>>>>>  Live and Wʀɪᴛᴇ Aᴜᴛʜᴇɴᴛɪᴄᴀʟʟʏ.  <<<<<<<<<<

© 2011-2014  Sidney/Cinema Profound  All Rights Reserved.

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12 thoughts on “ARTIST RESPONSIBILITY

  1. When each view, click, purchase, tweet, etc. is a vote, which it is in a capitalist society like ours, the numb masses will continue to determine the standard and, unfortunately, that standard will continue to slip.

    So it’s up to the unbenumbed then, isn’t it?

    • No doubt! This must be of everyone’s paramount concern. The constant diet of superficiality, sex, violence and body image being fed to children (and adults) today is not only disturbing, it is dangerous. We haven’t seen it’s long-reaching effects yet, but I suspect, they will be catastrophic!

  2. Cree hip hop artist Eekwol has a line in one of her songs:
    “I always said to myself if I had the chance
    to be up in the spotlight I’d have a conscious dance,
    not speaking nonsense just to make you dance,
    but really to stimulate with the seed that I plant.”

    It’s pretty much become my theme song because I agree with you that we have a responsibility to create art that isn’t mindless entertainment. I know it can be hard to stay true to that when the rent needs to be paid, but that’s why I live in a cheap apartment!

  3. A somewhat provoking post. Why were the writers you listed revered? Make sure your audience knows the why. It wasn’t so long ago that writing of any kind was being consumed by a fairly sophisticated audience. These days…I’d put the bar down there somewhere at an elementary school level of comprehension.

    Things are a bit wordy…and changing passive voice to active voice is easy to do once you sit down and change sentence structures. It’s a constant effort once you’ve “gotten away” with using passive voice on a regular basis. That’s my experience any way.

    I do agree with the premise of what you’re saying. Shock and awe is the collective mission statement of being American these days…doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s politics, culture, couture…or whatever. The more shocking the better. The more fear we instill the more the mainstream participates. That, is a very sad realization.

    • Your first sentence literally made me laugh out loud, but since you know me, this is probably no surprise. The fourth paragraph gave the reason why I was including them. In any case, isn’t that what search engines are for?

      Good point, and well taken. As we discussed this morning, I am about to revamp all my sites and that will include content. Thanks, Janet. Again, helpful criticism. Let’s see how I integrate it.

      One out of three. There’s hope for me yet! Indeed it is, and it’s a fight I’m committed to. Thank you for taking the time to write this, Janet.

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