1. the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.
2. that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc.
3. a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period: Greek culture.
4. development or improvement of the mind by education or training.
5. the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture.
6. Anthropology. the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.
When I think of culture in the United States, I unfortunately do not see this as much as I’d like to. So much of our time is spent arguing about things we don’t like when we should be building things up that we do like.
The term art, the term artist is thrown around so easily these days, just like the word love. What does love really mean? Love is not simply a feeling, but an action. Art, the idea of art, the art society has been ruled by people telling us what art should be. While, I’m a firm believer that “art” should still be held in high esteem, it doesn’t mean that you need the stereotypical schooling to be an artist, but you have to value what it is you are doing. I know there are many people that create in spit of creating. Almost poking fun at the idea of creating, at the idea of putting soul into products. Soul is what separates art from creations to me. Putting life into your creations makes art for me. There needs to be a palpable presence of care, a presence of vulnerability to make something human. Why do we create? Who do we create for?
So much of our media and world is focused on the fame, the culture of fame and money. Where are our artistic traditions as a society? Appalachian music and art, Creole music and art, blues, jazz, grunge, rock n roll, hip hop. But if it’s not selling, we don’t invest in it. If we can find the profit, we will invest.
Is being a well rounded, open minded individual important to us?
Arts Education is being taken away in schools so quickly? Why? More and more we are removing our humanity. What makes us human? Our ideas, or thoughts, our creations-and yet, these are the things they are taking away from us. Some might say, and I might agree, that we are trying to be pacified. That if we just keep by routine, never explore, never question, never up end, never nurture difference. Why can we not love? Why can we not appreciate differences? I believe we cannot because we are not encouraged to think, discuss, be vulnerable, be wrong, appreciate those who are better, different, worse or in different circumstances. And I believe that all of these human actions come from the arts. When we lose them, we lose ourselves. When we lose ourselves, we will buy what they sell. When we buy what they sell, we are their slaves. When we become slaves without knowing it, we don’t believe in ourselves or any better.
You want to change things? You want revolution? You want acceptance? Have the conversations, create, work through your ideas, create based on how you feel and what you understand, then listen to others and how they work through their thoughts and art. But…. if all we are worried about is money…
We’re already enslaved.