Art (And Dirty Words)

I spend so much of my life worried about the predominance of culture that I have no clue anymore why culture needs its predominance. They say that culture is the currency of a people, but what purpose does this currency have if its only purpose seems to be to immortalize the creative. If any goal has ever irked me, it is the goal of immortality immortality. Only the selfish aspire to live forever, it’s a goal that only proves that one’s ego is so large they cannot stand to let it ever deflate.

Perhaps I am too cynical. Perhaps it could be said that the goal of creation is to spur change in the world, and it is almost certain that art has done that. Everything from books, to movies, to plays have shown the world something that it hasn’t seen before; that the shadow of hate still exists, what the future could hold, and what the past did, what life means. From a young age we are raised with stories whose entire purpose is to present to us a moral. Perhaps to a certain extent, Aesop raised us as much as our parents did. But outside childhood, are we still taught by stories, or do we just watch them enjoy the brief entertainment, and continue on. More concisely, what purpose does art serve in culture?

  1. To Teach and Inform
    1. Inciting socio-political change
    2. Moral stories
    3. Informing an individual about the past
    4. Positing a possible future
  2. To Entertain
    1. Absorb a viewer into a world
    2. Base titillation
    3. Incitement of an emotion

The first purpose of art, To Teach and Inform is a well-documented one; touted by academics everywhere who love to believe that art is not just for entertainment. To be honest, a fair amount of art is in fact used for teaching, but in recognizing the only purpose of art as education we overlook the driving force of Art. Entertainment.

It seems like such a dirty words when it comes to art. Why create something that merely entertains when it can hold a breadth of intellectual merit? Why create something that everyone can relate to when one can cater just to the critics? People need to be OK with creating Art that exists for the sole purpose of entertainment.

Why is it suddenly “Selling Out” when something is created just for entertainment’s value. God knows Shakespeare appealed to almost every income class in Britain, and he is still read today by students and professors alike. The problem is, academics try and see beyond the entertainment, reading too much into what they think he wrote into the words. Let me make this abundantly clear, When you are an underpaid writer/actor living in a place where writer/actors are considered vagrants, you don’t write to appease intellectuals, you write to appease everyone possible. Now just because someone writes to entertain the masses, doesn’t mean that they are selling out, it means they are writing to entertain the masses.

While teaching is A purpose of art, its value is determined by its entertainment. Art is only remembered if people actually watched it.


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