I’m not toying with that idea.
However, getting a lot of comments that go, “Arts & Culture are useless! They don’t feed you!” yadda yadda yadda is extremely common, especially in a fast-paced, capitalistic reality like ours. And it’s exactly the fast-paced, capitalistic reality like ours that makes us forget the important roles that the Arts & Culture of things have played in our lives.
So let’s take a quick look, shall we?
Kind of speaks for itself – without Arts & Culture, it means our performing and visual arts will be gone. So you can say goodbye to great sources of relaxation and rejuvenation.
Say goodbye to your songs, your hymns, psalms, novels, stories, drawings, comics, video games, music, television programmes, game shows, plays, recitals. Heck, say goodbye to sending your kids to piano or ballet lessons – these are all Arts & Culture orientated, it’ll be absolutely “impractical” now would it not be?
Food, Clothes, and Architecture
Food is highly dependent on culinary arts and the culture it’s created from. Whenever we head out to eat, we decide via categories like where the food comes from and yadda yadda yadda. Without Arts & Culture, we might as well just pick edibles from the floor and chew on them. After all, no one finds it practical to go through any form of creation – so why bother creating something tastier than grass?
Clothes speak a lot about people – fashion sense, style, and identity. You have to admit this – a person’s wardrobe does in some way, shape his/her identity. All of this made possible through the artistic creativity of the designer. If this didn’t happen, not only do we lose style, we lose identity, since everyone’s probably going to look the same.
Architecture is rather obvious – all you need to do is to look around you. It’s rather ironic that some people who like to rant at the impracticality of Arts & Culture are the same people who like to brag about how nice their apartment or future house should look. Look, if Frank Lloyd Wright wasn’t artistically inclined, would you think that his works will be standing functionally and proudly stably today?
This is probably the most important result from Arts & Culture. You’ll see why:
Verbal Communication – drama, plays, storytelling, singing, music, dance – we all know that visual communication came much later in the human era. So how did they educate and hand down their lessons? Through activities like dance, plays, storytelling, and all that jazz – a great learning and memorisation technique, even up til today. Great philosophers and scholars have emerged from such systems. And without the artistic ability and creativity from these people, would communication actually come to exist?
Visual Communication – writing, drawing, painting – came as early as the cave paintings of Lascaux, where people realised that they could record their stories by creating images that reflected what they wanted to show. The Chinese language came about as the Chinese people developed their written language using the likeness of the items they wanted to reflect on paper. It was not just a tool for a more lasting form of communication, it was their education.
So my point is this – I do hope that people will actually look at the fundamentals in our lives and not diss Arts & Culture as inaccessible and “only for the rich”. No one is stopping you from creating something that reflects your identity and your significance. Regardless of what others might insist, YOU ARE SIGNIFICANT.
Hence, I keep that hope that people will one day accept and understand that Arts & Culture has played a subtle, yet important role in how we live our lives.
“You don’t have a soul. You ARE a soul, you have a body.” ~ C.S. Lewis