Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Writing and Society

Question 1: Is there room in society for both Downton Abbey and Jersey Shore? 

It is curious that as Downton Abbey gains fans, Jersey Shore gets the boot.

 I've been thinking a lot about shows on television lately. Mainly, because of my two young boys, ages 6 and 9. As I am flipping through the guide of channels, there are so many to choose from. So that led me to audience. How and why does a reader, or viewer choose a television show? Is it based on the ratings? The writing? The stars? Violence? Sexual content? The atrociousness of the actions? 

I also wonder today, how much does great literature affect television shows? There was a time when books were a rare thing, and only the wealthy had access to them. That changed, and thankfully so. But has entertainment gone too far? Are we showing too much? Revealing so much that we are now hurting our society, instead of helping it? 

Words are used to teach. And once upon a time, that's all they were used for. Art too. The drawings on cave walls were to help others understand how to hunt, or where to find shelter. 

Jump ahead a few thousand years, like in the show Downton Abbey:

Women wore skirts to their ankles. Men jackets and ties. 

Jump ahead 100 years from there:

And, today, you will find women with g-strings showing, and men in wife-beaters. There's a huge difference. And, is there a link to literature?

One of the best selling books lately was 50 Shades of Grey. Does this say something about our society? Are we proud of this piece of, can we say, literature? Maybe. Maybe it did help some of the people reading it to come out of their sexual shells. Maybe not. Although I have heard pregnancy is up across the US. Hmmmm.

I am curious though, what do you as writers hope to contribute to society? Do you want to stop bullying? Accept gay marriage? Do you want to teach kids manners? What is your agenda, and do you believe it will help or somehow dumb us down on a whole? I wonder if anyone thinks of this as they are writing? I never did, until now.

What do you think of shows like Downton Abby? Or The Jersey Shore? They are both pretty extreme in every way possible. Could there be a happy medium? I wonder. 

So, these were my thoughts today as I flipped through the guide. What are yours?

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