American art is at a standstill. Sapped by commercial capitalism and ipassive entertainment, our present culture seems inspirationless. As we work harder to governmentally control family values and personal lifestyles, we lose the individuality that once made America the breadbasket of cutting-edge art.
When there is a flare of artistic emotion, it emanates introspectively from anger or confusion. Seattle was for a short while a progressive new-wave city, but as alternative music became mainstream slop, the Seattle grunge scene dried-up, quickly and quietly. Today's inspiration lies in the hotbeds of crime, where pain explodes into angry music and literature. Thus, the rise in the art forms like the spoken word and rap become relevant.
Where's the San Francisco of the 1960s, or the Harlem of the 1920s? Is it possible that the growing easiness of the American lifestyle has drained us of passion? There is nothing left to fight for, thus introspective reflection has experienced a rebirth. While externally today's artists appear indifferent and cold, their passion for self-exploration has somewhat made up for the lack of strife.
But in retrospect with everyone trying so hard to be different,
individuality is sometimes lost when the majority attempts to become "alternative." ?
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.