Monday, September 05, 2005

Mass entertainment

Too much of what passes for art has the function of deadening or debasing one's consciousness - it attempts to appeal to what is base in man since this is far easier and more lucrative than appealing to what is noble. To consider art as merely an entertainment, something with which to keep people occupied, or as a relief from the strain of modern life is to give a low task to a sacred activity. "The state of art is such today that the worst of duties and the most mischievous of missions is (given in its hands)." (Ali Shari'ati).

But if much of art is a false and pointless or egotistical enterprise (fabricated around the feeblest and most self-indulgent whims of the "artist" and the profit-making ambitions of the media institutions), it is also true that "...if there is a forged coin in the market, know that there has been a golden one which was a true means of exchange." (Rumi) Misuse of art, truth, religion etc. is no reason to cast these things aside - it's an estimable if difficult endeavour to discover their true use and worth.


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