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Gray Suit Epidemic

Added: Friday, May 4th 2012 at 9:42am by ChristopherMcDonald

People of The United States of America live in a society poisoned by the misconception that art seemingly isn't valuable.

To elaborate, American society dictates that residents attend school, pursue some sort of degree or trade, and contribute their skills some “greater good.”  Often, authority figures will encourage children and young adults to "follow their dreams."  Meaning that one can be successful doing whatever their heart desires.  If this is true, why are those involved in the arts often struggling to make ends meet?

Unfortunately, the rational falls on the "value of the arts" perceived by the American people.  Frequently, in economic turmoil, any money delegated to the arts is the first to be cut.  Yet, it seems that the United States is one of few "civilized" countries to practice this ideology.  

Even ancient civilizations that were focused on expanding their empires by any means necessary, held art in dire importance.  In ancient Rome (an example used simply for their role in ancient civilization) it was perceived that art was a necessary balance to science and philosophy.  Artists were often used to interpret or record events of importance to their culture.  

In conversation with a man who was one of the original founders of the university I attend, I learned about his perspective regarding the arts.  He said that the first two buildings he opened for the university were the science building and the art building.  He stated that there has to be balance between the two.  

So why is this relevant?

In American society today, people are focused on results.  Efficiency is valued highly over creativity because many have a hard time discerning beauty from the blur that consumes a person's daily activity.  Forests are being destroyed for the purpose of industry and expansion.  The air we breathe is full of toxins and chemicals that are unnatural and unhealthy to our bodies.  Generationally, this problem is getting worse.  Students are discouraged from fields surrounding the preservation of beauty and are encouraged to pursue jobs in industry and business.  

America seems to be fighting for some award that few countries care about.  We identify ourselves as the greatest nation in the world, yet we seem to be the only ones who care.  

How does this all correlate?

American's are slowly pushing away the arts.  Value is often held on competition rather that appreciating our surroundings.  The problem is that children, who are artistically inclined, have no incentives to becoming artists.  Therefore, the government cuts the arts due to "lack of interest."  Yet, artists are the people who value imagery, sounds, and motion.  They seem to be the only people who value the natural beauty of our nation enough to want to save it.  If we continue to push away art, we will continue to feed the machine that is industry and wealth.  The only beauty in life will be the day we receive our paycheck.  America isn't falling apart because of anything regarding the political spectrum; it is falling apart due to lack of balance.

What can we do?

Take an art class; learn about performance, drawing, or painting.  If anything, it will make you think twice about following a path that will destroy the beauty around us.  You are being controlled by the manipulation of your greed, but you don't have to be so weak.  Learn to appreciate and value the arts, because it is the only tangible cure to the gray suit epidemic.

User Comments

The "Arts" are being cut in schools---the USA is the only government that doesn't support/fund theatre--Americans NEVER saw Arts as important as business--they don't recognize it as a cultural landmark--the Internet has made going to the theatre, movies, museums passe--and make sure plays/musicals don't last too long and better have a lot of action in movies--books are now a tech thing not holding one in your hand and reading for pleasure or to learn.

'America live in a society poisoned by the misconception that art seemingly isn't valuable.' That is not a misconception but a reality--sadly.

Isn't it awful?  However, I do believe that art still has value, my concern is that the value is decreasing.  It holds great value to you or me, who believe that art is important.  I appreciate your feedback and am glad you share my concern. 

I would be lost without art--in all its forms!

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