The importance of art in trying times

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Co-News Editor

It is extremely disappointing that the Kennedy Center would furlough hundreds of employees days after receiving a $25-million bailout in the recent government stimulus bill. That money was easily the most controversial part of the bill, as many of the pseudo Libertarians in Congress opposed it. Ultimately, even if the Kennedy Center refuses to actually support the arts, nothing is more important in times of peril than art.

In these trying times where we are trapped inside, television, movies, music and even video games (for some, especially video games) have become some of the most important parts of our lives. 

This year, my Intro to Broadcasting professor said that there would never be a show that everyone in the country watches again. One quarantine later and pretty much everyone in the country has watched a docu-series about a meth-addicted, attempted murder for hire committing, private zoo owner. Without media like Netflix, we’d all be dying of boredom, and the case can be made that we all are dying of boredom and that’s why “Tiger King” was so successful.

Television has become an even more powerful medium in these times. It’s perfect for binge-watching, and what better time to binge-watch than now? If you aren’t currently watching a show, I’d recommend picking one up. “Community” just got added to Netflix, and that’s a perfect lighthearted comedy with enough depth and character development to occupy your time.

With movie theaters shut down, it’s going to be a bleak year for movies. Studios are releasing their movies that were already in theaters to On Demand services, as an attempt to not have those films flop. Marvel was supposed to come back into full swing with “Black Widow,” after almost a year with no new movie. Now that film has been delayed until November. In addition, other upcoming films have also been delayed. At this rate, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie is going to sweep the Oscars. 

With all this time, however, it’s a great time to watch movies you’ve never seen. Are you one of those people who think that saying “I’ve never seen Star Wars” is a personality trait? Now’s the perfect time to finally see what you’ve been missing. The same goes for those “never had time for Marvel movies” people. For those of you that only watch “Star Wars” and Marvel, well, there’s a lot of movies out there. Some recent movies I’d recommend checking out include “Parasite,” “Uncut Gems,” “Knives Out,” “1917” and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” (you can see our campus in the movie!)

Lastly, in my opinion, the most important art: music. As a certain cartoon dog that shares my name would say: “Music is powerful, man. It speaks to a primal pit in our brains.” Music has the ability to spice up a generic day. Lately, a lot of musicians have been holding DIY shows on live streams. AJJ’s Sean Bonnette has played a set every single night for the past three weeks, and every night the comments are full of people thanking him for the music. As a big fan of his music, it’s personally helped me to destress about the state of the world, and I’d recommend that everyone find a musician they love and see if they’re doing any streamed concerts.