The Role of Art in Rebellion
I know it seems dark, but I’ve taken to reading Chris Hedges in the last year. Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and activist. His views about the future are apocalyptic. I like him because he writes about things that interest me – the environment, the absence of the sacred in modern life, and women’s rights – in a sober voice that doesn’t sugar-coat. Why are people so angry? His take, as I see it, is that there’s a spiritual crisis at the heart of American discontent. The old Horatio-Alger-type stories people have told about the U.S. for generations no longer ring true, and a coherent, new story about who we are has yet to form. This idea excites me because it acknowledges spirit. And because it points to art and culture as a possible way forward. If you’re just getting started with Hedges I recommend Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt illustrated by Joe Sacco. Here is a preview.
Here’s a short bite from Hedges on the role of art in rebellion.
There is a ton of Chris Hedges stuff on YouTube and he has a regular column at TruthDig. If you’re like me (left-leaning with an interest in storytelling) some of it will inspire you. Alas, some of it will probably also drive you nuts. I take it in because his words sound real to me in an era when a lot of communication feels manipulative or superficial.
“We are going to need those transcendent disciplines that remind us of who we are, why we are struggling, and what life is ultimately about.”
– Chris Hedges
How about you? What have you read or watched in the last week that made sense to you?