Tag Archives: Television

Creative Juice #64

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Creative Juice #64

A dozen articles to spice up your creative life:

  1. Ursula LeGuin on the difference between cats and dogs, among other things.
  2. Taking Zentangle to the next level.
  3. Sorry to be punny. Food memes.
  4. Seeing this wall of mini-quilts is making my fingers itch. I want to make a couple dozen so I can have a wall like this one.
  5. Here’s a fun Halloween face-painting
  6. I want to go on a guitar retreat like this one!
  7. I was afraid this article was about manipulating people. It’s not.
  8. This is the best short story I’ve read in a long time.
  9. This new television series looks wonderful.
  10. A different kind of patchwork.
  11. Everything I know about Richard Feynman I learned on Big Bang Theory—until now.
  12. Check out these awesome mask kits.

ICAD Day 12: TV

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ICAD Day 12: TV

The television set I remember from the mid-1950s was a monstrosity with a tiny screen. The cabinet was painted grey and pink, with a scribble design. Of course, the picture was black and white. I sat on the floor in front of it usually watching westerns or cartoons, or maybe I Love Lucy if nothing else was on. Only two or three channels, and only a few hours of programming every day.

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I am participating in the Index-Card-a-Day Challenge. During June and July, I intend to do something creative every day–a little something, just big enough to fit on an index card. Visit ICAD 2016’s Facebook page if you would like so see what other participants are doing.

The Dark Arts

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The Dark Arts

Stephen King is a master storyteller. I have read many of his books. But I can’t read them all.

Stephen-KingI started The Stand twice. The second time I was determined to finish it, because a Christian friend told me it was one of the most spiritual books he’d ever read. But halfway through, a particularly violent image sickened me so much I couldn’t go on. I like King, but I worry about someone who can imagine such evil.

We live on earth, and it’s a fact of life that we are surrounded by darkness. If we’re honest, we admit that evil lurks within us as well. But when evil infiltrates art and popular culture, are we infecting our society, inspiring epidemic vice? Sometimes I wonder which art is a response to evil, and which is a cause of it. Are we giving ideas to susceptible minds, turning them into opportunistic perpetrators?

For example, look at the images in 50 Breathtaking Examples Of Surreal And Dark Artworks by An Jay. Many of them move me in a positive way, but a couple make me feel as though I’m looking at the face of evil.

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The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch

Our lives are filled with horror like never before. We are bombarded with daily news of computer espionage, of massacres of children, of people fleeing from certain death. Art rightly addresses human tragedy; but does it sometimes cross the line into glorifying horror?

I am concerned that when a culture is saturated with violent images, society is desensitized to it and accepts violence and cruelty as normal.

Sometimes my children, knowing my reservations, question my taste in popular culture. I like to watch Bones and NCIS. I read Patricia Cornwell’s series about Kay Scarpetta, a medical examiner and forensic investigator who solves serial murders. What I like in these shows and books are the people who devote their lives to apprehending criminals. But I can’t stomach Criminal Minds any more—the crimes and the perpetrators got increasingly more bizarre and horrifying. I watched one season of House of Cards on Netflix, and decided I couldn’t continue–it threatened to take away my faith in the democratic process. I also dropped The Blacklist–nothing in it redeems Red’s character for me.

And I think our world has become more bizarre and horrifying as well, although I concur that evil has been with us as long as there has been a human race.

Detail of The Garden of Earthly Delights

Detail of The Garden of Earthly Delights

And so, I ask if art can change the world for the better. If we memorialize the beauty of nature, the innocence of children, the courage and kindness and excellence of human beings at their best, can we encourage and promote and increase those qualities in the world?

One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things (NIV).

And make art about such things.

What do you think? Do you prefer dark art? Does it have its place? Does it influence people in a negative way? Can art change the world in a positive way? Share your comments below.