I really need to see more movies of his

"If something freaked me out, it wouldn't mean that I would be less likely to do it. I'd be more likely to do it. I think that is what the artistic compulsion is, that you don't accept reality as it's presented to you, either socially or even physically. You're always wanting to know what's really going on, so you're going into the ceiling, you're going into the walls, you're digging under the floor. You don't feel as if you've necessarily gotten the real version of life on earth and the human condition, as it's presented officially by human society, or by art. So you're constantly looking for that....

[Y]ou're looking for those moments where things go wrong; usually when things go wrong is when you see how they're put together. You don't bother about the engineering of your car until something goes wrong. Then you want to know how it works. Not to be too mechanistic about it, but that to me is the impulse.

I don't really think of myself as someone who's driven to push things to the edge. I just seem to be naturally drawn to those things. I just think it's a very common artistic impulse to do that. If you're talking about censorship, and what things should be shown and what things shouldn't be shown, I've said that as an artist you have no social responsibility whatsoever. Once again, it's a willing amnesia. You have to forget for the moment what the effect of what you're doing might be, or what the revelations that you come up with might suggest, or what the implications of them are. Of course, no artist works in a vacuum, you're working in a social context ultimately. So you have to balance those things. You have to deal with the consequences of what you've done.

It's so easy to destroy yourself by being responsible -- what I mean is that an artist who's worried about being politically correct, to me, is dead as an artist. And on censorship, the ultimate triumph of any totalitarian state has always been to create the internalization of censorship, so that the state doesn't even have to worry about it. The citizens are so self-censored that they have reduced themselves to impotence. It's very easy to do that, even in a place that's not a totalitarian state, but that has gentle, right-minded political movements. You could make a case that the origins of political correctness have a certain validity, but if you incorporate that into your nervous system, and that is there when you're trying to create art, you're finished. "

David Cronenberg (via GreenCine via Jim Emerson)