Entertainment, the void that needs filling
It’s useful to see the generation born in the 1980s, particularly on Twitter, objecting to and fighting against those who have hijacked their lives
Saudi Arabia was not void of entertainment as some say. In the years prior to 1979, there were means of entertainment. Old newspapers boasted ads for plays, dinner programs at hotels, concerts and music events. They are all part of society’s memory and they reflected societal taste. However, there’s been a disconnect between artistic memory and society and it’s due to an absolute coma and hypnotism - as author Ali al-Wardi puts it - of an entire society.
One rhetoric and preference dominated society during that phase of disconnect, and so an entire generation was born and exposed to this single rhetoric. That generation was programmed to forget the features of what became known as the “beautiful era.”
The single rhetoric succeeded in distorting art, evidenced in the fact that when one concert, out of 1,000 others, is associated with some immoral behavior, it is generalized on all other concerts. When an artist does something wrong or when he, out of 1,000 other artists, falls into addiction, they deem all art corrupt even though the artistic community is a mirror of society!
It’s useful to see the generation born in the 1980sobjecting to and fighting against those who have hijacked their lives for two or more decades, particularly on Twitter. Don’t be harsh on society. Society is eager to be joyous and is driven to this by instinct. Society seeks happiness and cheerfulness. Let society live!
This article was first published in Okaz on Aug. 28, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and Alarabiya.net, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.