Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Is amusement bad?
In Greek mythology, the Muses were the goddesses who inspired the creation of art. In verb form, to "muse" on something means to allow it to inspire you. In other words, to think about it or meditate on it.
Back to Greek again, when you add the prefix "a-" to the beginning of a word, it negates it. So "apolitical" means that someone isn't political, "asexual" refers to something or someone that isn't interested in sex, and "amoral" indicates a lack of morals.
"Amuse", then, involves the absence of thought or meditation. If something is amusing, it's just meant to be a distraction without engaging the brain in any way. And while I get that that can be attractive, is it ever good? Or should we seek out and lift up art that not only entertains, but inspires us and makes us think as well?