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|One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche|
June 14, 2012
Entertainment or Culture?
When bored and suffering from free time and a lack of interests, entertainment offers a predictable product to consume. Let it take you away to a fantasy world of hilarious formulaic situational comedies or wild adventures with explosions and violence. Maybe even saccharine sweet romance unlike anything anyone will ever experience. Things happen on the screen that never do in actual world. Take them in as ideas and truths, resolving situations with magic perfectly each time. Empty promises and falsity are ready to fill your consciousness.
Entertainment is cheap amusement like junk food is to real food. It imparts no wisdom, is disconnected from timeless meaning, and has a purposeless existence -- created only to make money, and then can be thrown away.
A society could have cultural standards consisting of creations of great insight, artistic conception, and articulate emotional expression, or go ghetto stripmall and offer yet another hack product from an industry force-feeding contentless junk and promoting it as profound and important, making trite diversions the new standard, to the sole benefit of the entertainment industry.
Selling soda and cigarettes is legal in most countries, and though harmful, skilled marketers can get people to purchase superfluous products that have no benefit and promise decline.
Great literature, music, philosophy, and intellectual standards used to dominate for hundreds of years until just two generations ago. Would you rather have something good that will inspire and stimulate for centuries, each time opening exploration that goes farther and deeper, or another product that takes up valuable time and will be forgotten as soon as it is consumed?
You will never have a great society if no one is familiar with great works and only has references to vapid television shows and movies. Simplistic music as an end point only pacifies minds and spirits, and a lack of skilled art means still more waiting until we can have living artists among us.
But if a society wants to once again share accumulated wisdom, common goals, and sensible aspirations, they're going to need a healthy culture -- requiring an approach not based on a menu and diet of empty calories.
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