Friday, February 3, 2012
Politics and your image
Here is the question: Should you post political thoughts on your blog?
What about in your writing? Your poems? Your songs?
Should your paintings or drawings or photographs be politically motivated?
The answer is simple: Only if you mean to.
If you insert your beliefs into your writing, do so with panache and subtlety and a great deal of intentional intent.
As an example, in the movie Blind Side, the character played by Tim McGraw makes this remark, after meeting the ultra-liberal Kathy Bates: "Who would've thought we'd have a black son before we knew a Democrat?"
I personally wasn't sure what to think about that line. I'm still not sure what to think about that line.
You might believe I am against bands who are anti-establishment, but there is one key rule they all follow: They are politically neutral in that they hate or love the country, not the people in it.
They do not force their audience to choose sides!
Green Day and Marylin Manson, for example, hate the system. Toby Keith sings songs about patriotism and the American way.
They express opposing beliefs without forcing the audience to choose sides.
They do not attack individuals, or specific groups such as Democrats or Republicans, Liberals or Conservatives.
You as the author (or artist) should always be on the same side as your reader. The person reading your blog, listening to your song, inspecting your artwork, watching your movie, has signed a silent contract that states you will not attack them.
Never -- NEVER -- force them to choose sides!
As an example of how ~not~ to express your political beliefs, I give you The Dixie Chicks and their attack on Bush. When they singled out Bush, they alienated their conservative fan base.
It only takes one post, one line, one concert, to ruin your career.
Be careful during this election year. The blood will boil. Resist the temptation to blog on politics, and certainly don't force your audience to choose between you and their beliefs. That's why we have Political Pundits (PP).
How about you? Are there political biases in your writing/artwork? Should authors/artists avoid becoming too politically polarized? Do you have more good or bad examples?