April 03, 2006

Mistakes Conservatives Make in Art & Entertainment

Great Article below, even though I don't see them as synonyms you could replace the word "Conservative" with the word "Christian" and its still very true.

Mistake #1: We try to improve art and entertainment from the top-down and the outside-in. For example, when well-meaning people, flush with cash but bankrupt on talent, attempt to “show Hollywood” by creating films that go around proven creative methods, the result is always the same: direct to video, a waste of time and money. Enduring change, meanwhile, comes from the bottom-up (working your way up from the mailroom) and the inside-out (working within the creative industries).
Mistake #2: We don't quite understand common grace – the idea that the good, the true, and the beautiful can be found in the most “unlikely” of places (Broadway) and people (liberal artists). Without a strong belief in common grace, we will either get angry at the culture or withdraw from it entirely.
Mistake #3: We discourage our children from pursuing careers in the creative spheres. Fashion designer or film editor, stage actor or singer-songwriter, these are not safe or stable careers. Then again, these days neither is business, politics, medicine, or any other traditional career. Be bold: fan your teenager’s creativity.
Mistake #4: We don't give money to artists. Focus on the Family? Fine. A high-profile U.S. Senate race? Of course. Helping a singer-songwriter finish her album? A filmmaker complete post-production? A magazine get off the ground? Forget about it. A lot of great art – the kind that offers the culture recreation and re-creation – remains underground, stuck in studios, floundering in film editing rooms, gathering dust in garages because the artist has no money to finish the work or get it noticed. Millions of dollars go to bloated organizations that do little more than send out chest-thumping and finger-pointing press releases condemning popular culture. Instead, fund the redemptive artist and we will change the world.
Mistake #5: We champion prescriptive art. In other words, conservatives prefer art that shows the world as it should be, not as it really is. Curing rather than diagnosing. Descriptive art, on the other hand, tells the truth about the human condition, while offering the audience glimpses into a “world that should have been otherwise.”

For the last five go HERE.


First Apostle said...

Dan, this is a very insightful piece. There really isn't much that annoys me more now than unsophisticated people tampering with art. It's a sad fact that a Christian like me has to essentially ignore anything with the label "Christian" on it - music being the most glaring example in my view. I like to use examples like Michelangelo or Bach - the height of Christian art. They demonstrated true creativity bearing witness to God. Why can't people look at true creativity now and see God's truth and grace...whether the artists themselves acknowledge their art to possess such things or not? We are at an extremely low point in cultural history, I believe.

DanBuck said...

I hear you!!

It's one of the battles I face daily.

For what it's worth, I think we're waking up out of the lowest point in cultural history.

It's only uphill from here!

CM said...

Great article Dan. Glad you pointed this out.