Friday, August 8, 2008

Violence and Art

Violence and Art
orignally written on: Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I think it's happened to all of us. Whether it was a part of a movie or a scene of a book, we have all reached that point where we want to turn our heads in disgust or set the book down for a moment. Sometimes it leads you to question the inspiration behind such a despicable act. Why did you have to witness what you just witnessed? Why was that information entered in your brain?

There is people who are for the violence in entertainment and many who oppose, to the point of parental or religious asking for an all out ban and protesting anything they feel is wrong. The freedom to stand out against something is a person's right, but I also believe the actions made in the form of art have their own level of justification.

Quentin Tarentino (director) explained the violence in his movies by making a comparison to a car parking and car blowing up, one of the two is just a lot more entertaining to watch. Kerry King (guitarist for Slayer) believes the evil side of things is just "cooler". These may be the reasons that make the artist sound cool, and each does have reasoning behind it, but I firmly believe it goes deeper than that.

As an author who has wrote my first dark fantasy I realized the need to create an antagonist that the reader would feel satisfied when the protagonist delivered justice in a lethal form. By coming up with the proper offensive acts and violence, I think I achieved this. It wasn't my message that violence is the right way, but if you create an antagonist who follows all of your beliefs, he's probably not going to be all that threatening in the end. I went as far to write scenes that I just wasn't comfortable with after, almost leaving an uneasiness, but I realized it was steps to getting the bigger message across.

You can create art along the form of something you love, and it can be some beautiful art and your message can be brought to others. If your message happens to be against something a little more harmful, then you need to bring this ugliness to light in the process of creating your art. The members of Black Sabbath described their lyrics as "a warning" and not as much as the band embracing the evil. To bring attention to the darkness, it had to be a topic of the lyrics.

That's the other reason why violent acts have a place in art. When people are exposed to this they talk to others about it. Even if it is a negative reaction, their is still conversation inspired by the pieces and it's possible the conversation would never of happened if the art form didn't bring the subject to light.

I think the biggest thing to me is the power of expression. When I write, or you make music, or paint, or draw, or sculpt or whatever, there has to be a level of emotion that exists amongst the art or it lacks the passion that follows greatness.

Art is one of the greatest means of expressing emotion. When I write it takes a lot of the stuff I feel inside and gets it out there. While it is nice to be able to express the happiness, I found there is a greater need to let the ugly shit rise in art and just share the happiness with others I care about. You have options of beating the hell out of something, releasing your anger in a destructive way, or the anger can be turned into art and be turned into something that can be seen in a more positive way (even though there may be some people who protest and say what you are doing is wrong).

Why let anger destroy when it can be used to create?

Save the violence for the art world and keep it out of the real world.

Turn off the fucking television and go read a book.

Be the one who decides what's right for your kids, and don't leave it to some advisory group. Take some responsibility.

Have a nice day and go kiss a loved one!

Corey J. McKenzie

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