“Society does not value artists. Society values entertainers.”
Words above are from Frankie and they moved me to tears by their simple truth.
I’ve always (like the media) lumped arts and entertainment into the same camp. They do seem to go together. If they were animals, you’d find them in the same habitat at the wildlife park or zoo. They’re closely related. Like lions and tigers, or horses and zebras, there’s enough genetic similarity for them to breed. When kept in unnatural conditions of captivity, they do breed. Their generative equipment matches sufficiently for them to try without any need for test tubes. Modern humans and Neanderthals were similar enough genetically to reproduce; that said, even today there are plenty of folk who will screw anything if it has remotely the right shaped holes and lies still long enough.
Arts and entertainment are close enough to mix; you get entertaining art and you get artistic entertainment. Sometimes it’s hard to be sure which is which. But society has always favoured that which entertains; as far back as Juvenal’s rather biting Satires, the understanding has been that you need to keep the masses entertained to keep them from revolt (panem et circenses~ bread and circuses) so the hybrids that succeed are the ones that have a higher percentage of entertainment in the mash-up.
There’s another interesting parallel to do with hybrids in the animal kingdom. The vast majority of the ones created in forced environments like zoos are sterile. They cannot breed. The offspring is the end of the process; there are too many differences for the genetic reproduction to go any further than say a Liger, a Tigron or a Zorse. I wish this were the case with the analogy I am using but these extreme hybrids between art and entertainment seem to spawn a whole new genre of soul destroying rubbish. Eventually though, they run out of steam and go back to find something to bring new blood into the arena.
In the animal kingdom, if you allow a domestic cat and a wild cat to breed, do you know what happens? Logically, you would assume you can breed for domesticity but in this case, you’d be wrong. The wild cat (by which I mean the real Wild Cat) cannot be tamed. The offspring can’t either. If you breed a wild cat with a house cat, the kittens will always turn out to have as wild a nature as their wild parent, but physically they will be smaller and lack many of the characteristics and strengths of the breed.
If I want my art to be strong, it needs to stay wild. It needs to stay away from things that might tame it, producing weaker and weaker offspring.
It’s no wonder the Wild Cat is an endangered species, but unlike many such species it’s not doomed to extinction by the elimination of the species but by etiolation.
Don’t let’s have that happen to Art OR Entertainment, eh?