Yes, it’s one of the few posts I’ll ever do on this topic and in it’s inspired by the many, many posts I’ve seen on social media telling authors, actors and all types of creatives to just stick to that and shut up about the politics because no one wants to hear these things. I’m sorry, but that’s bull shit. We might be of a certain profession but we exist beyond our craft, whatever that craft might be. We are human beings with concerns and fears, with hopes and dreams. And, just like everyone else, we have every right to express our thoughts. Often, especially in some creative fields, people look at us to be their voice for them, to be some sort of representation. This is because our audiences tend to be much larger than what most will have in their lifetimes, even if you only end up with a minor following. Social media might have made the world smaller, but that gap still remains. This isn’t to say that creatives should look to take up a banner or sword, or be constantly charged with taking that banner or sword up in every discussion. Simply that the need might be there and just because someone works in a creative field doesn’t mean they don’t have these passions or ties to a charge. There might be a deeply personal reason why people feel the way they do and discount that because of a career path is disingenuous.
To be frank, to tell creatives that they shouldn’t voice their political thoughts is counter intuitive. The United States just elected a President who’s start might be in the business world, but I can almost guarantee his status as a household name came from The Apprentice. See the double standard forming here? Ignore the portion of this discussion over if you agree with his plans or not, this is just wrong. And encouraging the silence because you don’t agree with what’s being said, or that it’s said at all. is downright scary because now is the time we need these conversations. Discussion needs to happen and not just discussion, but informed discussion. This can happen whether you have formal education or not; one just needs to recognize information for what it is (a discussion for another post).
And for a moment let’s also consider the fact that just because someone is in a creative field they might not have their formal schooling in that field. Take myself for example, I’m an author, but just completed my Masters in Political Science. For me personally, that’s studying for about 8 years (due in part to breaks) about politics in some way, shape or form. Does that make me an expert in the field? No. But it does give me an edge others might not have because I have studied it for so long. Just remember that the next time you go to rant to your favorite creative to shut the hell up about politics, or any topic for that matter. Even though they might be doing something else for a living, they might also be hiding away Masters degree you never knew about.
Now I know people don’t like political discussion, or too much political discussion. Even I needed to step back from the flood during this past election. This is completely understandable. However, to insinuate what some of these posts do- that creatives should just stick to what they know or that doing even this type of post is grounds for career suicide is wrong. We don’t live in some separate world that these things don’t matter in, we live in reality just like you. We’re all human, we all have to share this country, this world. And while yes, like I said with the audience differences, there is no more a gap between creatives than any other segment of the population. So let’s stop pretending this like the old saying “men are from Mars and women are from Venus”, because it’s not. We don’t all live in some golden palace on a mountain, in fact most of us don’t. We have mortgages, we have families, we have rent and we have bills. Some might have more of a financial cushion but if that disqualifies you than why doesn’t it disqualify the muli-millionaire business owner or the doctor down the street. Bluntly put, if these are your reasons… If because a creative isn’t an expert, if because you don’t want to hear it or agree with it is why these posts have been rampant as of late, than these posts should also apply to those I just mentioned. Because I’m sorry, we’re all more than the sum of our careers.