All Art Is Quite Useless

I come into this collaborative work as a soldier comes home after a long campaign - tired, sobered, yet still armed. I suppose I ought to introduce myself to those of you who don't know me, or what I stand for. You can see my name just above this paragraph, and, well, you'll probably know me best as the author of that abrasive poem Damien mentioned in his earlier post.

I'm not going to discuss that, that's not what this is for, but I can well imagine you probably think I'm a somewhat misguided, controversial, unfriendly and spontaneous kind of person, when, in real life, I generally plan my work, reply to any comments I'm left as gently as I can, and always do my research. My abrasive poem was borne of external stress, frustration at my surroundings, and the different warring factions that make up my character. It was an out-of-character, unplanned piece.

I will now do you a favour; I shall talk no more about that poem. We shall now start afresh, in the assumption that I now speak broadly.

Every time I publish something, I have no idea who has viewed it. Most people will observe the first two lines, and then move on - I do that all the time, to other people's work. I don't know if they read all the way through or read the last paragraph. But I do know that between the red and green flags of love and hate, they found a middle way - that of reacting very little to the work. They were apathetic to the cause.

Is that a fault of the writing? I have no idea, but I know I've read some really good stuff on here, but either haven't liked the genre, or somebody's commented before and already said what I was going to say. Or, it was published ages ago. So I move on.

The best part of writing, and a cause Protagonize was built on, was that of having someone react to your stuff. It makes us all criminally happy when someone favourites, recommends, or fans our own work. That, my friends, is having someone care about your stuff enough to tell you so - and that's special, and what we all aspire to. We've all had that one piece that nobody really reacted to, and it broke our hearts. The entire system of having a book published is to find a large group of people react to your work enough to buy it.

It's true that the most hated books have had a huge audience as well - take, for instance, the popular film Borat. Though the native Kazakhstani felt that they had been misrepresented, tourism increased threefold to the country in the year after the release of the film. It goes to show that even negative criticism can have its benefits, for again, as Shakespeare once said, even if you are loved or hated, you will always be in the minds of the people. 

Therefore I have made my point: that I'd rather have you love or hate my work, adore or detest it, praise or critique it, recommend or talk badly about it, to want to embrace or kick the crap out of me for writing it, but never, ever to take a middle way and ignore it, because nobody deserves that fate. Though I'd personally prefer it if you did the formers, Art, my friends, is not useless, if people are responding to your work.

The End

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