…one is told to question everything.
The purpose of science is to explain the things in our world and beyond; to figure out the “how” and explain it. The process uses the Scientific Method. Through the Scientific method, science is self-correcting. If an observation is not in agreement with the predicted results, known at the hypothesis, the hypothesis is revisited and changes made and a new series of experiments are designed and the process goes on.
But Art, on the other hand looks to answer the question “Why?” But we Artists in all our forms (visual, plastic, music, literary, et.al.) are societies three-year-olds, constantly repeating the one word guaranteed to make each and every parent on the planet roll their eyes. Why, why, why, why, why, why? And it IS never ending. Writers (and all the rest, but being a writer, I’ll stick to using that moniker) hold up a mirror to our moment in time and through the medium of words say, “Do you see what’s happening? Why is it happening?” An example of what I mean is Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. A savagely barbed and unforgiving satire of the US-Soviet arms race in which a petty dictator inadvertently brings about the end of the world.
I love satire. For me it’s criticism in the highest form. It can be hard to read and the stories are not, for the most part, light. It makes one think and in today’s America I think we have become intellectually lazy. I hope I’m wrong. Satire in all of its forms (novels and cinema) asks the question- Why? But are we losing our ability to create satire? Maybe I am missing something but I seem to be seeing less of it. what I am seeing is a lot of ham-fisted commentary by angry writers” that are some of the same people who are screaming talking heads that criticize while foaming at the mouth but offer no real alternatives to societal issues they perceive. In my opinion what is missing at this time is the nuanced written word that points out what is wrong in a style that stands the test of time.
I would like to think that there are writers out there who can deliver, but time will tell.