Gallery I
Civilization In Decline
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Critic Laments Lack Of Creative Thought In The Arts


By James Donahue


Not long ago we noticed with interest why a fine arts critic believed people were slacking off buying new music and videogames and going to movie theaters.


The writer noted “a curious form of creative paralysis” sweeping the nation that was resulting in a loss of creativity among song writers, performers, book and screen writers and all other forms of creative art. Except for one or two exceptional films, which we notice were produced by new and unknown artists in other countries, and a couple of amazing singers that popped up almost accidentally in television talent shows, the void has continued.


The writer said: “creative executives in the TV and music business are being hammered by their bosses, who are asking why the machinery for producing hits seems to have broken down.”


How strange that they are only now noticing something is wrong. We believe something has been going amiss in the creative arts in America for at least the last decade or longer.


Perhaps it has something to do with the sliding mental state of most Americans and the subsequent ease by which the arts writers and producers could crank out useless and unexpressive junk that continued to have a following. As for me, I have not been compelled to purchase a newly produced music recording in several years. I haven’t heard many new “pop stars” out there with a sound that rises above the noise you hear when you turn on a kitchen garbage disposal.


The film industry has been drawing folks in with the help of dramatic new computer-produced visual graphics, but after watching a few of these “blockbusters” on the wide screen, we have the sense that we have been there and done that, and want to go back to watching creative new drama. You can only have a certain number of super storms, volcanoes in the heart of Los Angeles and giant meteorites striking the earth across that full color screen. Where do you go after that?


Unfortunately, I fear that the new and upcoming writers lack the mental capability to produce the good creative drama that some of us desire. Most of the potential writers are graduating from college these days without the basic skills that people once acquired by the time they got through the eighth grade.


Just pop into a contemporary Internet chat room for a few minutes and notice how poorly the young people spell or build sentence structure and you will get a sense of what I mean. Check your change at most stories if you have a youthful clerk working without a modern computerized check register, and you will discover that people can no longer add or subtract numbers in their head.


Perhaps it can be blamed on flaws in our education system. There also has been an abundant use of “feel good” medicines that tend to make people think the world is rosier than it really is. Consequently there appears to have been a general breakdown of creative thinking by Americans who have traditionally been at the forefront of the arts.


Indeed, the media arts have been turning out such poor quality material that even the comatose masses are beginning to lose interest.


Americans should be especially alarmed by this development. History has shown that the loss of the ability to produce creative arts is always a prelude to the fall of a nation.