"This is the great irony in the popular art of the last sixty years. Its forms thrive on rebellion and the overturning of conventional limits and expectations and even of morality. Popular art often seeks to break conventional patterns and to ignore what society expects. Singers cry out for personal freedom. Painters disregard normal rules of color and perspective and form in order to transgress a boundary. Writers sketch narratives that investigate the immoral or amoral, or sometimes abandon standard narrative altogether.
But the irony is that for such art to work, in order for it to make a statement, such rules and boundaries and markers have to be in place. If one wishes to deface a wall with graffiti or some other outrageous markings, the wall must be there to be defaced… If one wishes to scale a barbed-wire fence marked "no trespassing" and wave his arms and say, "Look at me," there must be a fence to scale. If one wants to sneer at conventional rules of behavior, there must actually be rules that govern how most people act…
Those boundaries and rules are increasingly absent in today's society. But without such restrictions, popular music and art more and more become a rebellion in search of something to rebel against."
I'm not sure I fully agree with the entirety of this author's analysis - surely some conventional patterns and expectations are worth challenging - but I find his broader idea thought-provoking. What happens as the rebellion against all the moral walls created by social, moral and legal boundaries becomes increasingly successful? After all, there is more than one kind of wall. Some keep us prisoner; others keep us safe. We may think we are destroying our captor when we are actually destroying our protector.