I just want to share one of the many functions of art, as it came flying out of my mouth quite unexpectedly the other day. Some of the ideas you have posted are exemplified by this.

I have been teaching a high school class in book-making--no, not gambling, silly! Now this particular class was in collectively bad mood, so when it was made clear to them that the contents of their books, (words and pictures), would refer to the books they'd read in class, there was the hum of dissent, grumbling, and general disapointment.

I assured them, "It is possible to find, or make, something interesting, no matter what the subject matter. Think back to a scene or character in one of the books that makes a strong impression on you."
No, nothing.
They say it's all boring.

Then I started to panic because, as I tell them urgently, "There are people who spend their whole lives with the attitude that everything is boring and nothing means anything to them. How sad! That is why we have art...to enhance our perceptions of life, and of other peoples' ideas and experiences and art. If you do not see anything interesting, you are not looking hard enough, (or you haven't learned how). You must find something that you care enough about to let it come through you. The more the better!" I had shown how much I cared, and it surprised them. I suddenly felt as though my zipper were open.

Later, thinking I may have made an impact with my words, I felt gratitude towards my old sculpture teacher, who urged me not to become one of those people who "walk around with a little piece of shit under their nose, wondering why everything stinks". And I felt some of that intense love, not for just lines, shapes, and colors, but for people, and for the people, like the feeling expressed by Van Gogh in his letters to his brother.