Thursday, July 24, 2008

What's the Real Point of the Entertainment Industry?

I realize that this post is of a wider scope than animation itself, but it's an important can of worms that somebody needs to open. Why are we paying money to imagine that we're doing something interesting when we're just playing with a piece of plastic, punching keys on a keyboard, or simply staring at a screen? What's the point of periodically deluding ourselves in worlds of fantasy when there's a perfectly good real world that's staring us in the face? We entertain ourselves with preconceived constructs, come up with new innovations for these constructs to better suit or delusions perpetuated by our perceptions of our environment, and animation cinema seems to be one of the forms of entertainment which goes furthest off the deep end.

Animation represents a fictional world that is thrust upon the audience in a way that allows the viewer to knowingly delude their self into believing that it is true and false at the same time. We know that we're seeing something contrived, but don't seem to care so long as it entertains us enough to wish that it were real. Doesn't it take time to adjust to this artificial reality and come back to normality afterwards? On top of that, there's the irony that what we're seeing is somehow based on our environment or we wouldn't be watching it and wouldn't have been made in the first place. When you start getting into the subject of obscure entertainment, the subject gets even more complex.

It's quite obvious that I'm deluding myself while watching animated films, but how does this relate to the entertainment industry as a whole? It's quite obvious, at least to me that in the United States, the desire for profit and other forms of self perpetuated illusions of contentment have overshadowed the desire to create unique films and that the simple minded greed is on both sides of the board, the consumers and the financially motivated entertainers. The self demeaning nature of our industry however, has spread around the world largely thanks to us, and now thanks to greed, artistry has developed where there was none and we've developed fancier and fancier ways of self delusion through animation. But are we really any more entertained than ever before? Since there's an industry selling entertainment, are we working for play?

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