Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"Creative" Isn't a Political Viewpoint. Got It?

A brief word. 

PLEASE, if you run a group, newsletters, or such to which I subscribe and/or belong because of my trade, HEAR THIS and hear it well:

I am a creative person. That being said, however, let's also  talk about what I am NOT: namely, wringing my hands in agony and/or embittered, angry, or terrified  over the direction the country is now taking.

In a word?  Um. No. Much to the contrary, in fact...I'm dancing-in-the-streets DELIGHTED, actually.

"But how can this BE?" you wail. Simple. 

I'm a creative. I'm also a conservative.  And yes, Snowflake, they can go together.

It is extremely prejudicial to assume that because someone is an artist, a writer, or a musician, that he/she is also allied with the mindset of so many of you who consider yourselves cultural "elites."  I'm from one of those "flyover states" you're so fond of either ignoring or disparaging...and I'm proud to be. I hold to traditional values, unapologetic religious faith, and a worldview that  seems to either scare or repulse many of you. I'm also an award-winning fiction writer who's helped countless people realize their writing dreams, a singer and performer who loves to be onstage, and a proud parent of a young lady who is truly gifted in ceramics. Among other things. 

If you hate the first part of my description but love the second, and wonder how those two can coexist...? This is just a guess, but...maybe because ARTISTIC ABILITY is a totally different sphere than POLITICS?

I know. It's a wild and crazy idea. But...imagine for a second...if it's TRUE. (Spoiler alert: it is.) Pretty darned progressive notion, isn't it?

This isn't to say that both of these things aren't part of me. Of course they are. The WHOLE is what I am. But one does not preclude, cancel out, or negate the other. I'm not "stupid" or "uncreative" by being a conservative, and YOU're not "wise" and "enlightened" by NOT sharing my views. We just differ. Period.

This should not be difficult to understand.

Intelligent people know what you DO doesn't constitute the sum total of  who you ARE; it seems to me that creative people should be able to separate, and appreciate, the dichotomy of those aspects better than almost anyone else. How many of us wait tables before that "big break"? Are we career food service people? Nope. Had we better make sure we're GOOD food service people while we ARE doing it? Well, yeah, unless we want to be living examples of "starving artists." 

Just as we're not deemed  "less artistic" simply because part of us is engaged in keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table,  I should not be considered "less creative" or "less intelligent" for holding a worldview that's different from what you might expect. I'm being truly, authentically me. Which is what creativity also hinges on, if I'm not mistaken. 

Creative people don't like being pigeonholed, no matter how comfortable and reassuring you may  find the particular hole in which you'd like to think you can stuff me. :- ) Stop trying. Because, I promise ain't gonna work.

More to the point, however, it's just not right.

So if I'm supposed to "live and let live," then I should be treated with the same courtesy. Yes, even if I'm (gasp!) conservative. 

Go on. Try it. It'll be a good creative exercise for you. And I promise, it won't hurt a bit. 


No comments: