Monday, November 21, 2016
Art and Politics
I'm sure there are those who will mock me, saying I spent the time crying into my pillow because I'm a woman and the 19th Amendment will be revoked and etc. Those insults aren't the whole truth either.
The reason I didn't post is because I wasn't sure how the election outcome would affect my writing (I haven't been self-censoring, whew!) and my business (ironically it's up).
There's always going to be those who reject my work because my personal beliefs don't match theirs. I hate to inform the most recent haters, but this is nothing new. People I don't know are more vocal about their displeasure with me, but I really doubt you would have read my books before the election results.
If anything, I've seen people twist their hate, the hate deliberately flamed by the politicians this last election cycle, into self-defeating behavior. Even Kris Rusch, the most knowledgeable person blogging about writer business interests today and the most politically neutral of commentators, ran afoul of at least one reader. The topic was how a writer needs to plan for all scenarios, regardless of personal feelings.
That's being responsible on the business side. I've known too many people who've let their personal feelings get in the way of objective business decisions. You can't stop them, and I'm too old to try at this point.
But what about your art?
I hate to say this, but art has always been political. Art comments on the things we often dare not say aloud or even directly. Even something as simple as Star Trek: The Original Series was political. It often addressed the ongoing Vietnam War and the volatile race relations that were happening as it aired. And the other series of the time that played it safe by ignoring those very issues are no longer remembered, or if they are, they are considered relics of an unenlightened era.
Many people would find Alter Ego's books objectionable because they include polyamory and BDSM. Even the books under my own name would be questionable because of interreligious relationships (the Egyptian prince and Jewish-American princess in Blood Magick, which I swear, no one seems to get that's what happened in the damn book!), interracial relationships (fae and human in a future short story), differently-abled relationships (A Question of Balance) or even an older woman/younger man relationship (Blood Sacrifice).
Invariably, there are those people who are just in a pissy mood, and they decided they're going to take it out on everyone. It really doesn't matter what you do.
Over the weekend, the vice-president-elect Mike Pence attended Hamilton: An American Musical. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway show, about the U.S.'s first secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, is sold out three years in advance. (I know for sure because I tried to get tickets for 2019.)
At the close of the show Friday night, cast member Brandon Victor Dixon addressed Pence. Dixon also chided the audience for booing the vice-president elect. Yet, all the major news outlets and president-elect Trump are calling for the Hamilton cast to apologize, and they totally ignore Dixon's call for civility. I strongly suggest you watch video of the incident without the commentary and decide for yourself. The thing I find funny is Dixon plays...
...wait for it...
...VICE-PRESIDENT AARON BURR!
Yes, I have a very perverse sense of humor.
By the way, if you're totally offended by what happened at Friday night's show and you already bought your Hamilton tickets, I'd be more than happy to save your delicate sensibilities by taking them off your hands.
As a commenter on Facebook said, if the cast had said nothing, the Saturday headline would have been "Hamilton Cast Snubs V-P Elect".
For me, I just going to keep writing.
Instead of listening to Lady Gaga's new album ad nauseam for the last two weeks as I'm wont to do when she drops a new one, I've been pulling out a lot of hip-hop and rap I listened to in the '80's and early '90's. They were the protest acts of my generation, just like Bob Dylan was for the previous generation.
So to my fellow artists, keep writing what you're passionate about and kill the naysayers with kindness, the Hamilton way.
And we'll end today's ruminations with Above the Law's "Freedom of Speech":