Sunday, December 9, 2012

What is Entertainment?

 What is entertainment?
Why is it so popular?

Entertainment is not simply one's reaction to an event any longer.  The concept of entertainment has been severed from any reference to a mere personal reaction to some instance.  It no longer means, "I am amused by this.". It has become it's own beast. 

Etymology of Entertainment:

late 15c., "to keep up, maintain, to keep (someone) in a certain frame of mind,"
  from entre- "among" (from L. inter; see inter-) + tenir "to hold" (from L. tenere; see tenet).  (source:
Entertainment as we know it in Empire America, is best characterized as a presentation intended to distract, isolate and pacify the audience. That is the "frame of mind" in which you are meant to be held in, or "entertained".  While consciously unknown to many, this is done for reasons that will be made clear in this essay.

Mainstream parties, sports, film, music, and of course the ubiquitous TV are all designed specifically to accomplish the aforementioned goals.  Rather than creating thoughtful, inspiring art, the most successful producers of such entertainment are those who distract.  Identical to the old Roman "bread and circus" model of pacifying the public, modern entertainment seeks to keep all individual thought at a superficial level.  Now, there's nothing wrong with a little bit of superficial satisfaction every now and then- but when these distractions become dominant traits of the personality, problems arise.

Establishment music & film in particular isolate & stupify the audience to an extreme.  Viewers laugh without understanding why jokes are funny, spawning the cliche, "Explanations kill the joke."  denying any engaging or enlightening discourse on the inner mechanisms of one's self & one's companions. Curiosity and reflection is strictly prohibited.  "Why, exactly, do you enjoy The Jersey Shore?" is a question indubitably brushed aside by the mantra, "You're being overly analytical."  If they do bother to explain, only the most obvious, shallow interpretations are given.

Music plays the same role in these subcultures.  Music is transformed by the entertainers from a complex cerebral experience to a sort of sensual body high.  If the music doesn't strike you, then there's no helping you! "If dub step isn't your cup of tea then don't expect me to explain why I like it!" you might hear upon any serious inquiry.  This is evinced by the global hit, "Gangnam Style", for instance, which has gained extreme popularity in spite of the fact that the lyrics are almost entirely Korean.  All the mainstream wants is a cue to flip their brains into a literal "environmental sync" mode.  They aren't looking for inspiration, but rather the comfort bought by self-erasure.

Mainstream parties and events too, are constructed with this in mind- whether consciously or unconsciously.  The main event of most parties is the consumption of alcohol.  Alcohol is an inhibitory drug which suppresses one's personal thoughts and values.  Alcohol is extremely popular for that reason alone.  Apart from the alcohol, parties are typically massive in population, allowing guests to migrate from person to person since the basic assumption is that having only one person for company is unbearably boring.  The mainstream understands on a subconscious level that they do not enjoy certain company for any extended period and so they structure their events accordingly.  This is the same reason why many concerts are as they are: ear numbingly loud music, large dance floors, and lot of drugs.  This is the lubricant necessary for individuals to slide from person to person, unnoticed.

Why do people enjoy this type of phenomena? The answer is clear, most people have absolutely nothing in common.  In fact, many people have no personal interests of their own whatsoever.  Without the understanding required to fill the gaping void left by their childhood, the individual is left with no choice but to distract & trance themselves out to make the isolation bearable.  They might even learn to call that isolation "engagement". Or they might learn to call their distractions "interests".  This paradoxical thought, this twisting of the mind against itself is a plague to our species.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to be amused or wanting to just relax, but when one's superficial distractions become dominant traits in their personality, then there is a clear problem.


Post a Comment