I took two ten year olds to see ‘Inception’ over the weekend. I won’t pretend that I understood it all, it moved too quickly for me most of the time but the kids thought it was brilliant and it kept my attention for the whole - which is something that happens rarely for me with visual media. It was ‘Dallas’ that first caused my disenchantment with television in the Eighties. The characters were so wooden and unbelieveable, so far from my daily life that I couldn’t relate to them. Yet I had no problem relating to characters in modern plays or novels of the period. Occasional dramatizations of great writing like Paul Scott’s Raj quartet or the magnificent Brideshead Revisited I watched, I enjoyed some of the British soaps of the time, mainly so I could join in canteen chat the following day but Glenroe and the Riordans didn’t relate to my suburban life either, although I recognised the characters in them, or rather the character types.
I realise of course that televison has replaced religion as ‘the opium of the people’ and like organised churches most ‘shows’ are mere marketing tools designed to wheedle money from one’s pocket or purse. The lowest common denominator will always get the advertisers money and artists are people too and need to eat, pray, love..
This is all my usual roundabout way of arriving at a conclusion that I note many other writers are coming to around the globe. The Internet and the personal computer have at last given back to creative people the ability to express oneself freely, to write/paint/design – whatever - your own truth and throw it out there for the world to see. Without an editor or the marketing department changing your work.
Creative people do whatever it is they do because it is the only way they can express how they feel about the world. Of course churches, states and ‘isms’ have for generations tried to quell that energy or used it to make ’filthy lucre’. But it always finds its way out. Is it not wonderful – truly wonderful to see a genuine talent, something the artist cannot help practising because it is the only thing that makes sense, the only way they can make themselves heard, seen and understood. Great actors, directors, writers, artists, musicians and many, many others. Cream rising to the top, as inevitable and enduring as the sun appearing on the horizon every dawn.
So there’s hope for the movies yet. I suppose we will still have to be subjected to dross to make money for the fat cats but at least smaller houses in all disciplines can then continue to nuture new ideas and talent and let the next wave of creative energy perhaps be a tsunami. A Golden Age approaches – and I’ll be bleedin’ dead and miss it!