So I've noticed that the concept of "changing people through the media" has been a topic of frequent discussion over the past few days. This interests me. Slightly. Like anything else, you can overanalyze and obsess over this one aspect and still miss the main point. So can media have an effect an audience? Probably. You have to keep in mind that American culture is consumed with media, so it's only natural for it to have some kind of impact. Furthermore, the kind of media that a person consumes reflects their personality and distinct tastes. In a way, I see it as a connection that bounces back and forth. So why does this matter?
Because the impact of media is never neutral; it either blesses by telling the truth, or curses by distorting it. Again, we're back to this whole "good witness' thing. As creators of media, we have the responsibility to create content that is wholesome and edifying. However, I think there comes a point when you have to let go, and actually engage your medium of choice, rather than speculating about it. If you have to have a clear meaning and motivation behind your work, it will never get made. I love the way Co Hoedeman put it, "I like to make things move."
It doesn't get much simpler than that. Take your art and run with it. Your philosophy on cause/effect should guide your work, not dictate it. The thing that makes Hoedeman's work so magical is his sense of freedom and creativity. So whether or not our work makes a change, we should create to the best of our abilities and live our lives to make a difference.