Culture: So What?!? Each week, we’ll be asking thought leaders from all walks of life to answer the question: What is Culture and Why Does it Matter? In our opinion, the concept of Culture gains new importance every day. We’d love to know what you think, too. – The Editors
James Morrison: Actor, Musician, Playwright, Filmmaker, and Master Yogi
As we all know, culture can be, as the dictionary suggests:
1. the arts considered collectively
2. acquired knowledge and sophistication through education and exposure to the arts
3. the shared beliefs and values of group: the beliefs, customs, practices, and social behavior of a particular nation or people
They’re all very different, as I see them, and yet they have one underlying commonality: How those who’ve gone before, those who control the message, train us, and what society and its messengers, the different mediums of delivery, teach us. We can’t really define culture and what it means without first examining the means by which it is communicated. And in this day and age, it’s impossible to escape someone else’s opinion of what culture is before formulating our own; in other words, our conditioning.
As an artist, and no matter what medium I’m working in at the time, the importance I place on culture has always been directly attached to my ability to think for myself through exposure of what society calls “the norm” – or, my conditioning – as I possibly can. When I’ve had enough, or reach my saturation point, I rebel. I regurgitate my feelings, my creative alternatives to my conditioning. Whether my observations work for anyone else is immaterial – though I know from experience that it does speak to some – but the most important thing is that knowing what culture is and constantly examining it matters because it keeps me observant, thinking freely, creative, sane, educated, productive, growing, questioning, rebellious, and yet always striving to stay connected to those around me.
To learn more about James Morrison, visit his website today.