CHENNAI: To start the column with a sentence that serves no purpose is Artistic License. Every artist, be it a writer, or a filmmaker, carries one such license. It is a tag that allows an artist to break structure and not play by the books. However, the beauty of artistic license lies in the fact that it has a counterpart: the viewer’s license; a license that is unheard of with such a label.
A reader is allowed to interpret an ending that the writer probably didn’t mean, and that is essentially a subset of viewer’s license. The power to interpret is a democratic way of letting the reader know that he, or she, is allowed to interact in a medium that is dominantly passive. Therein lies the beauty of art.
But then again, the license to interpret isn’t restricted to art alone; it hovers over everything from fundamental to sociological concepts, from psychological to trivial phenomena. Your blue is my red. Your authority is my anarchy. Your belief system is my mythological fantasy.
Perception, as a quality, is quite subjective. Curiously enough, the world is ruled by it. It is nearly impossible to ever be a final authority on anything abstract, for concepts are like good books: the subtext of the text in a book is free for all to interpret, and to infer.
Picture this, though — what if your ability to interpret is taken away? What if your opinions are formed only based on facts that don’t allow you to infer? You will have to see the world the way it is. There will be no two sides to anything. For instance, your opinion on anything capitalistic would have to be formed on the basis of advertisements; which could definitely be manipulative.
In a nutshell, I am talking about a totalitarian thought process, where in a totalitarian government, democracy would be a mere fantasy and freedom of speech would be colonised. In such a scenario, your rationale will be hijacked and authority will not be open for interpretation. All art would become objective and they would all just be products of propaganda. We would be in need of vigilantes of the artistic kind...rebel artists with the power to create outside of the status quo. I am still not sure about the logistics behind this. The thought hijacking could either be the result of a sci-fi tale coming to life, or it could just be brilliant copywriters bought by a rich group of people.
In a world where capitalism is already king, thought process under hostage will be the perfect fodder for an economic concept that is already abundant with manipulative synecdoche. No, don’t feel free to interpret that last pair of words. What this would essentially mean is that you would not be able to make the concept of creationism a literal narrative in your life. On the bright side, we wouldn’t have scintillating arguments or debates anymore. Not much light there. It would make for a boring life if the freedom to interpret were gone. The beauty in co-existing in a democratic environment is your power to interpret.
(When he isn’t writing, the creative producer with The Rascalas watches a lot of ‘cat videos’ on YouTube)