An Exposure to Curiosity

We can turn on the radio, turn on the television, go see a movie. We can idle through this digital age that we live in and yet still be exposed to a ridiculous amount of things, whether they be advertisements or the newest song on the Top 40. With that being said, we’re here to ask: where did our curiosity go? Why is it that people generally don’t seek new experiences, and instead allow them to just come to us willy-nilly as controlled by others deciding our tastes for us?

Take, for example, a typical music listener of today. Perhaps this may come across as a rather “hipster” argument, for lack of a better term, but bear with us for just a moment. One could very easily just listen to whatever major labels and corporations decide to be what’s “in style” in the industry, and continue a cycle of feeding us whatever is selling. The ironic part, however, is that they’re the ones dictating the music we like, thus throwing popular music (and most other aspects of culture) into this industrial and capitalistic catch-22.

It’s saddening to think that the world could be missing out on the next Beatles, simply because it’s becoming a pipe dream to be able to dedicate one’s entire career to making music on a level that people have been able to do in the past. It’s really nobody’s fault in particular either; the culture of the consuming media the way society used to is just gone. Granted, there are plenty of underground and local music scenes where the dream of making music that will truly leave an impression on the world is still alive. However, it’s worth noting that being successful in today’s business amounts to almost nothing more than simply luck and the way we choose to market ourselves. The music itself becomes nigh irrelevant to our success.

The movie industry, as well as the artistic process itself, suffers from such lack of knowledge. We only go to see a movie if we have been bombarded by enough commercials. Even then, we are hesitant, and still just ask our friends to confirm if the film is up to par.
Consider the recent Academy Awards: some of us never heard people talk about “Silver Linings Playbook” as much as others did it the one week preceding the Oscars when Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for her performance. If Jessica Chastain had won for Best Actress, America would have been talking about “Zero Dark Thirty.” In an essence, we are letting the “man,” whoever he may be, dictate our visuals, our taste, our culture in such a manner that we do not even realize.

The choices we receive as media consumers are very small and yet we seek no other form of artistic nourishment. We live and breathe for which movies are the box office sellers; which new show the Kardashian sisters are premiering in; and even the new mainstream book-to-movie adaption. It’s a sad revelation when one can already predict the path that the arts travel on (i.e. clichéd, simplified written book to movie with semi-popular stars in an even more simplified version of the script, with more sex and less intellect). But we don’t have to give in.
We can flow against the current, and decide what really fuels our artistic side: we don’t have to keep up with the Kardashians, we don’t need to obsess over the latest Bieber song, and we don’t have to mindlessly follow whatever the media tells us to enjoy. We can, and will, rediscover our curiosity.

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