Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Topic for Discussion

I love quotes and collect them, but every once in a while, one gets under my skin and I just can't shake it.  This quote from Steven Soderbergh has been haunting me for months now:

"What tragedy has [art] kept from happening?  Tell that [that art makes the world a better place] to the 13-year-old girl from Somalia who got stoned to death last week after being raped by three men and then convicted of adultery, buried up to her head, and stoned in front of a crowd of 1,000 people.  If the collected works of Shakespeare can't keep that from happening, then what is it worth?  Honestly?"

What do you think?  Do you agree with Mr. Soderbergh?  I love the humility in that quote, but at the same time, I respectfully disagree.  I think we couldn't possibly bear to live in a world in which a 13-year-old girl is stoned to death, in which hundreds of thousands die in an earthquake, unless that world also included the collected works of Shakespeare and Mozart and Monet.  Somedays, it's only the collected works of Shakespeare that keeps us all from flinging ourselves head first out the nearest high window.

Your thoughts?


Robin Thomas said...

I saw a quote the other day on a blog and it was something like 'I create so I can breathe' which of course I fully understood. We seek beauty exactly because there are children starving to death or that hideous incident in Somalia. We must seek art to stand life.

Zen Mama said...

I think art has prevented many tragedies. Dance, music and theater classes have proven time and time again to bring children up and out of their impoverished inner city lives. Shakespeare can't stop what is happening in Somalia but the collective writers who bring these stories to the world's attention perhaps can.