Doing things for "shock" or "pushing the envelope"

is a dumb reason.



For years, and even today, I hear people talk about doing things for shock value.

They want something edgier, something more shocking, just for the sake of shock.


This is a very dumb reason - it is a dumb reason to do anything.


You should express your art a particular way because that is the expression you want.

If it is more expressive, shows something more intimate or detailed, then thats okay if is proper for your whole artistic piece.

If it is just to be edgy - well, what's the point?


There are old expressions which apply toward this same theme:

- You should live your life as you want, not as your parents want.

- You should marry because you love that person and want to be with them, not because you are afraid of being lonely or afraid they will leave you.

- You should always run toward something, and never away (That is - toward a goal, and not just heading randomly to escape your past).

- Success is the best revenge. (That is, focus on your own success, not on doing something just to get even)


And so it is with art:

- You should create your art as you want, expressing the best you you know how, and never do anything just for a shock reaction.

Shock art is not art, there is obviously no soul in it, no reason behind it.


This brings us to the next level - decaying culture.

Creators and promoters of shock art continue to erode our civilization. They lower our art in all areas - tv, movies, music, paintings. They do it for shock and shock only, not because they think it is good art or because it is what they want to say.

They claim it sells. This is partially true, partially a lie.

Yes, there are many who do listen to this bad music, and watch these bad shows. Many of them are young. And yes they are influenced.

You can do all the studies you want and think you are objective, but I will tell you the truth. I've taught in public schools for many years - and most of these schools are inner city schools. This shock art has a definite effect. It takes only a day or two in any of these schools to see that.

Because of bad music and tv, these kids do not know how to be civilized and relate to others.


Also this idea of "shock sells" is really a lie.

There are far more people who are revolted and find this art repulsive than those who buy it.

If you really want to make more money, then go where most people are interested.

And its not found in shows like Anna Nicole or Fear Factor. It is not found in rap music.

Your greatest number of customers are watching the Halmark channel, Discovery, and TV Land.

Your greatest number of customers are listening to Country, Easy Listening, and Classic Rock.


My friends, coworkers, people I know... no one watches this bad stuff on tv, no one goes to movies anymore, and rap is hardly considered music.

Hence, lots of bad stuff is on tv, but no one is watching anymore. Lots of bad things are in the movies, but a lot of people skip the movies.

So, rather than the artists actually selling products, and rather than expressing themselves, all they have done is just annoyed lots of people.

Most of America still holds onto our values, but we just don't want to see or hear the garbage you put out. Is that too much to ask?


So, shock value really does nothing.

You are not expressing yourself.

You are not creating art, just using an excuse to put something out there.

And the kids who watch and listen... you are creating a terrible influence, and affecting the way they behave toward others. Because of your bad examples, they do not know how to be civilized and relate to others. Bad. Very Bad.

Most of America doesn't want it. Trust me, you will make a LOT more money, sell a lot more products, if you DON'T do shock value.


Create art for expression, for saying something.

Shock or pushing the envelope is just a waste of everyone's time and just lowers the common level of our society.