Altered

Yesterday, I fell into an old trap- Reading the comments following a *political post* on social media. As usual, I disagreed with more than half of those who felt they needed to vent their opinion about the topic at hand. I’ve learned to leave these comments alone, not respond, and allow my anger and frustration to gradually dissipate. The next step is learning not to read these comments at all. Baby steps…

The post in question was about artists, and whether or not they should be allowed to share their personal opinions about the issues of the day. The idea was these artists existed to entertain, period. And somehow, that entertainment precluded them from talking about anything at all. “Just sing and act,” many said. “You are here to be a distraction from reality, an escape.”

One comment in particular stood out, and actually caused me to lose sleep last night. This person claimed he had never, not once had a song or film impact his life or teach him anything. I kept hoping that his statements were hyperbole, meant to drive home the uselessness of the artist more than art itself, but he continued to press about the triviality, banality of music and films. Mindless entertainment, pure and simple. He could live without it.

I felt a wave of sadness. How unfortunate for this person, how tragic. Imagine, never having your heart stirred by a song, never having that moment when you knew  the singer, the musicians understood you on a level no one else ever had, when you felt that connection to something, someone outside of your small circle. Imagine no film ever impacting you, making you want to do more with your life, be better. Or no work of art ever inspiring you to see the world differently, or bringing you to tears.

I could list moment after moment where art has made my life infinitely better, where someones words or music helped me understand the world better. So many films and stories have exposed me to ideas, ways of living and thinking that otherwise would remain beyond my ability to comprehend.

I was up last night trying to construct how different my life would be without a passion for art. I didn’t like how that world felt. It was an empty place, one with less love, compassion, understanding.

I don’t want to think about that sort of world anymore. I think I’ll go listen to some music, and later, read a book. music

 

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About fenster

There are some who call me, Tim?

2 responses to “Altered”

  1. Liesbet says :

    Art in its many forms shapes one, inspires one, entertains one, teaches one and so much more. I understand that music, literature, etc… is more influential and important to some than to others. Just like travel, I believe art stimulates knowledge, a critical mind and so much more to help the intellect, if you catch my drift. I recognize the trap and it has the same effect on me. Every day, I say I should stay off social media and focus on more important things in life. Sorry to say, but I feel that the world is a sadder place right now, but at the same time, I hate how everything is turning political, so should I even mention that sadder world? Also, we know from the past what dictatorship can do to the arts… But, let’s not go there. Thanks for sharing your feelings, Ryan. I can say so much more about this topic of division on so many levels, but I won’t…

    • fenster says :

      I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this topic. Art does stimulate, it inspires and it drives. It was beyond my comprehension to encounter someone so adamant about the uselessness of it.

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