Whatever power there is in the urban pictures is bound to the closeness with which they skirt banality. For a shot to be good — suggestive of more than just what it is — it has to come perilously near being bad, just a view of stuff.
The great work of art is the complete banality, and the fault with most banalities is that they are not banal enough. Banality here is not infinite in its depth and consequence, but rests on a foundation of spirituality and aesthetics.
Dawn was written well before 9/11. People speak a lot today about the banality of evil, but not all evil is banal. Some of it is carefully structured and well-thought-out. That's where the real danger lies.
Put crudely, one is left with a choice between two unsatisfactory combinations: artistic integrity married to spiritual compromise; and spiritual integrity married to artistic banality-or, worse, art compromised on both counts. Neither one will satisfy those who recognize the fundamental necessity of integrity in both faith and art.
The truth was that I'd been spending years running away from myself. I hid myself in drama, silliness, stupidity, banality. So afraid to grow up. So afraid to involve myself in relationships where I might be expected to give the same love I got - instead of sixth-grade shenanigans. I bored myself with all the when I grow up nonsense, but I was worried it would never happen even as I longed for it.
We live under continual threat of two equally fearful, but seemingly opposed destinies: unremitting banality and inconceivable terror. It is fantasy, served out in large rations by the popular arts, which allows most people to cope with these twin specters.
Billy was fascinated by the television. At its most basic level, it occupied his time and shut out the demons of isolation. This was another irony because, for so long, he had shunned the tube for a similar purpose-to prevent it from bombarding his brain with demons of banality. However, each time he turned the machine on, he began to discover a world of assorted delights, as well as gain insight into the insidious manner in which this medium was shaping the mass psyche. If nothing else, he learned there was nothing innocuous about it.