Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Art and Culture
In a future post, I’ll consider in detail the definition of art. In the meantime, I see it as aesthetic work that resonates with the depths of our humanity and connects us to something greater than ourselves- or at the very least causes us to think with a new perspective.
Given this definition, I look at the pop culture of our day and wonder if some of it can be considered art and not merely entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to criticize entertainment- far from- I say bring it on! I just wonder if I also get something more out of the ‘good times’ media all around me.
I think of rock music, that genre that permeates my drive to work, computer time, and leisure. Does it speak to me in some deeper way?
One of my all-time favourite bands, Poison, takes me back to my youth like nothing else can. Listening to Talk Dirty to Me and Nothin’ But a Good Time gives me a shot of adrenalin and a fire in my belly that carries me for hours. But coming down from my youthful high, I realize it’s not art. Talk of partying and getting laid hardly calls me to something more or greater.
On the other hand, Metallica’s One, lifts rock music to a completely different level. The video features footage from Johnny Got His Gun, an anti-war film about a World War I American soldier hit by a mortar shell. He lies in a hospital bed as a quadruple amputee who has also lost his eyes, mouth, ears, and nose. He remains conscious, living a fate worse than death. Watching this video, I am challenged with the horrors of war, the frailty of life, and the power dynamics between doctor and patient. It disturbs me.
Now that’s art.
My point is this: we need to be careful to not dismiss an entire pop culture genre as mere fluff or pure entertainment. Deeper meaning and a mind-opening experience can be found in the least expected places.
The Last Hurrah
That was it. It’s all over now. The roadies are packing up the night’s cause for riotous applause, while the arena maintenance crew runs their industrial floor waxers. The local hired help takes down the last of the lighting racks as lead hand Joe yells out orders to whoever he can get in front of his face.
That was it, the last concert Memphis Sky will ever play. Sullivan’s done with life on the road, Pink is settling into family life, and Rufus is seriously off to join the circus. It had been a good run, a crazy seven years full of smashing performances, gusto, life, and outrageous levels of energy. And now, it’s all over.
Slowly, the boys migrate over to the edge of centre stage, as if pulled together by a magnet…
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