Shock value and the responsibility of artists

Many times I have watched a movie and seen the effect over done, too much gore or lack of story made up for with some shocking event, or overtly contrary personality that doesn't really push the story forward, or action so shocking that it runs over the plot that should be there and replaces it with just something shocking for attention.

 We've all seen it and many of us later recognized it for what it was.

 Shock value will never replace or compensate for real creativity.

 Something original and honest.

 When you take the time to create something, never settle for just what is shocking or sensational.

 Ask yourself: "Is this is necessary to push the story forward?"

 You may at first think your story is too dry or not exciting enough, but give time and due diligence with your characters.
Honestly look at the growth of them through their experiences.
You will find that real characters may be less sensational but more believable and help your audience immerse themselves more readily into your story.

 There is a responsibility in this.

As an artist seeking only to "One Up" the next story is beneath you.
You can take the higher ground and dig from your consciousness a truly original thought or idea.
 Try thinking to yourself of what effect you are trying to create in your audience.

What would you want them to go out and do after seeing or reading or listening to your art?

The world is not really impressed with how tough someone is or violent.
Think of the really inspiring people from history. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for instance. He never raised his hand to beat anyone down, never shot anyone to prove his point. He inspired millions of people around the world to see each other as equals. To treat your neighbor as a brother regardless of the color of his skin or the religious beliefs he had.

Sure he was tough, but he showed it through the courage of never backing down, a nonviolent movement that was not a shaking fist in the face of tyranny but a flag of peace shaken with the same zeal.

 There is insanity and darkness out there. There are horrific things done to innocents every day. There are also beautiful things that happen and could inspire someone to give, share, or contribute along that line.
 I'm not saying here that the only way to be responsible as an artist is to make another "Pay it Forward". But what I am hoping here is that you will look at your story, film or song and think from the viewpoint of what effect it will have on your society.

 The song "Wonderful World" is known to all of us and carries a positive message. But "The Matrix" also permeates our social consciousness with standing for what is right seeing the truth around us and self sacrifice, and inspires us to look deeper into the world around us.
To watch for the agents that would slay us to keep things going to the benefit of that and those which enslave us.
 If more artists would seek the positive effect and less the desperate cry for attention, we may in time witness a shift toward sanity as a global society.

 What effect are you creating with your art?
Do you shock or can you inspire?

I leave it to you to decide who you want to be.


  1. "Responsibility of artists"

    The forgotten purpose. To show the truth of us through the lens of of art.


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