Thursday, April 15, 2010

On Freedom of Expression

Man reaches his full potential when he no longer has to sell himself as a commodity.

~Ernesto Guevara

What is your favorite song? Or book? Or any work of artistic expression? Why is it your favorite? For me, it seems every song, movie, poem or sculpture that I have found enlightening, inspiring or just entertaining was made as a tribute to artistic expression itself and not to sell X amount of units to an audience determined by accountants in terms of demographics.

I'm sure mindless entertainment/escapsim will always be with us, and damn it, sometimes it even has a purpose I suppose, but when you really need to FEEL something, there must be more than a beat you can dance to. As for music, it needs to hit your heart, mind and soul as well as your ass. The song lyrics are as crucial as the beat in those songs that I can really feel and groove to in spirit.

There are many things I detest in this for-profit society and one of them is the lack of artistic expression for its own sake. This seems to get worse every year. Just like speciation of living things, artistic expression is at its peak when there is a new niche to be filled. As the niche gets filled, innovation is stifled. This evolutionary process is hastened by the demands of the marketers, who quash artistic innovation almost immediately by applying the lowest common denominator.

Now imagine a society where the profit motive or state apparatus does not control artistic expression. Where art is created not to be sold or to sell a state-sanctioned point of view but, free from all forms of censorship, was created to exist soley as artistic expression. What a brave new and perhaps ethereally beautiful world that would be!