Art Is Not Threatening

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Why is art being threatened?

I was sinking into my belly the other evening watching reruns of 2 Broke Girls, you know, that show about a fallen-from-grace socialite who befriends a street smart brunette and together they attempt to stave off poverty? Well, for a show that’s supposed to be mindless, this particular episode got me thinking.

It was just supposed to be about Max’s (played by Kat Dennings) inability to ride a bike and how she masters it in an effort to not be overshadowed by their eatery manager, Han, who she likes to make fun of for his diminutive stature; and in the scene where the bike is introduced, a woman is ‘yarn bombing’ the front of the main characters’ cupcake counter.

There is an exchange of course that belittles the ‘yarn bombing’, with Max saying something along the lines of ‘Why don’t you take night classes and learn an actual trade?’ and more jabs at the yarn-crazy lady, saying her dad’s money is soon to run out and she’ll have to look for a real job.

I’m sure it was all in good fun, but why is art (anyone’s interpretation of it) most often spoken of in that matter?

That it’s only for the rich, that it isn’t a real skill, that it’s something so threatening or alienating it doesn’t deserve a space where people go about their normal business.

While there are certain art forms that need serious bucks to invest in, if you think about, art is just about anywhere: from the design of a simple coffee table to the accessories you choose to put on that day, it’s all a form of art that we engage in at one point or another every day.

Of course, I am well aware of the privilege surrounding me that I can afford to think about art this way, because honestly, it can be the last thing on your mind when your belly is rumbling or you have to think about feeding your kids. But I believe that just like a lot of things, art shouldn’t be degraded just because we don’t understand it.

If it’s a non-violent form of expression that tramples on no one’s sexuality, race, and disability, among other things; then why should we be threatened?

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