It is impossible to write a captivating fairytale when forever cast as the scurrilous villain.
From the constriction of that perspective, the script inevitably shifts into blandness. The story gets muddied beyond what could ever be considered reasonable. Or inspiring. And that fatal miscalculation breeds a lasting contempt for not being free to tell an honest story.
Mediocrity reigns supreme on a stage built to never offend. Sterility has somehow become the baseline for accepted artistic integrity and the swing of that cultural pendulum causes a cookie-cutter motion sickness of repetition, leaving us grasping for an elusive artistic anchorage.
Always pandering to the lowest denominator. Always dumbing down the sharp edges of controversy because uncomfortable voices are no longer welcome in a society clamoring to wake itself up- although from what, people can never quite seem to clearly say.
But art at its core is intended to spark a response- good or bad. Visceral or logical. Appreciation or disgust. Whatever the outcome, the simple experience should flourish long enough to allow for consideration of a viewpoint different from what was expected.
Artists help guide a journey to places you have never been before, places you never even knew existed within the rigidly defined parameters of suburban predictability. They strive to hold your attention for as long as you allow them that privilege, teasing out emotions and a genuine reaction amongst the choking tides of the ordinary.
The chosen medium is insignificant, be it words, painting, or picture. Artists still manage to reach down into the muck of past traumas to salvage the meaningful shreds of humanity still clinging to life. Then repackaging what they find into something more universally approachable.
There is the artist. And there is the art. One creates in frenzied bursts of raw energy. The other stands as a tangible testament to a particular moment in time.
And it is impossible to have one without the other.
If only supposedly “decent” people made music…or films…or art, the world would be a terrifically bland place. Because art thrives inside controversy. It teases something beautiful out from a confusing place starving for connection. Admittedly, sometimes it fails. But the only path to improvement is by constantly pushing the boundaries of what is considered acceptable. Or polite.
Humans by their very nature are flawed and damaged creatures. There is a universal thread of tragedy and abuse running through the commonality of this existence. We all carry blemishes and quirks that can sometimes make us appear unpalatable to others.
Everyone is culpable.
Bad people occasionally achieve remarkable accomplishments. Good people often carry the capacity for the mundane. To outright dismiss something based solely on its pedigree, without taking time to process the context from which it sprung, is like blaming the sins of the wayward son on the father. To intentionally holster expression by dialing down the bite is at best disingenuous. At worst, a hidden tragedy robbing the world of something significant.
Art should be a solitary oasis of truth in a riptide of shifting acceptance. And sometimes, the journey to that enlightenment is fraught with uncomfortable emotion. But it is almost always worth the effort.
You just need to keep an open mind to appreciate it.