The imagery that surrounds us today are all worn-out, played-out, out of touch. It feels the same every time—every visual, every texture, every sound—to the point that we don’t even blink anymore. We just go through the motions because we know exactly what to expect.
And we start loathing it and we stop caring.
Today whether you go to the movies, you listen to the radio, you turn on the TV, or turn to speak to the person next to you, it seems like they are all saying the same thing—the same stale and sterile, tried and tested, mass produced and mass consumed opinions.
Twenty-first century media might have brought light to the world, but it doesn’t bring fire. Cautious objectivity is the job of machines and scientists, but we are a different animal. Light may illuminate. It may even bring peace, clarity, enlightenment; but light doesn’t bring fire. Fire is different. Fire burns. Fire is passion. And just like the fate of the rebel Titan, Prometheus, fire is something that is forbidden and something you can get punished for. Simply put, fire is truth because fire is risk.
This is what the world today is lacking—epic thieves, lightning thieves, thieves of fire. Instead we have crooks, criminals, burglars, bankers, scoundrels, swindlers, pirates, pickpockets, punks and panderers.
“This is what they’re buying because this is what we’re selling.” —David Milch
Fake—Safe—Guilt-free—Without fire. These are the characteristics of modern day censorship, the nature of self-imposed millennial guilt-trip.
You can show blood and gore while someone is being chased by a decapitated zombie, but the person better not be yelling, “OH SHIT! OH CHRIST! HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK!” otherwise you’d just be corrupting children (so you better bleep that shit out or else).
You can show ass and titties, twerking and jiggling on TV, but you better not utter words “bossy” or “cunt” otherwise you are a rape-apologist (better stick with “bitch” instead or else…).
You can show war and violence, but we better not see child casualties; you can blame politicians and executives, but you better leave out the masses that support them; you can have meteor strikes, alien invasions, cataclysmic disasters, and vile racism (as long as they’re portrayed by white people ’cause y’know minorities are never the R-word), but whatever you do, just remember that shit better pass the PG-13 rating system otherwise we won’t fill up those seats!
Content without context is futile art.
And just like Kurosawa once said, “In order to write [well], you must first study the great novels and dramas of the world. You must consider why they are great.” From ancient mythologies of incestuous and infanticidal gods to modern world classics of a double-suicide love affair, one needs to understand why these works of art stood the test of time. It is important to know that the disruptive nature of subversivity (not for the sake of shock value alone) is a key ingredient in awakening, poking, provoking and nourishing the human heart and mind—the sound and fury of emotional intellect.
Living dangerously conventional is a threat. Playing it safe is a disease. It fosters the urgency for self-censorship—the elimination of words and the dependency in uniformed failures and risk-free successes, ie being a pussy. It renders a person immobile when the threads of his life suddenly run together and form a knot. It makes you think that the world revolves around a universal MPAA rating system when the truth is life is X-rated whether you’re a man, woman or child.
Stealing ideas is criminal and cheap, but stealing fire is an act of courage and art. Don’t look to the common and fashionable because we are not here to maintain. Our job is to steal flame from the top of the mountain and light the world on fire.
“We want you to take from us. We want you at first to steal from us, because you can’t steal. You will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice, and that’s how you will find your voice.” —Francis Ford Coppola