Love this video, excerpted from The Mindscape of Alan Moore (Amazon US and UK):
I think Moore nails it in the section from 5:00 to 6:10. For those who struggle with bandwidth, here’s what he says:
Writers and people who had command of words were respected and feared as people who manipulated magic. In latter times I think that artists and writers have allowed themselves to be sold down the river. They have accepted the prevailing belief that art and writing are merely forms of entertainment. They’re not seen as transformative forces, that can change a human being, that can change a society. They are seen as simple entertainment, things with which we could fill 20 minutes, half an hour, while we’re waiting to die.
It is not the job of artists to give the audience what the audience want. If the audience knew what they needed, then they wouldn’t be the audience, they would be the artist. It is the job of artists to give the audience what they need.
All said in that wonderful Moore drawl of course, giving it so much more impact.