This must be the first time in this decade long blog that I have been terrified to say anything. And oh, what a hellish place that is to be for any writer, for any artist for that matter, to be afraid to express yourself in your own cozy artistic choice, in the place where you’re able to find your own freedom. When cautious of your craft, you find yourself locked in a cell of censorship and fear. You grow hesitant to pick up your creative tools, you feel locked into silence….
There is this half baked notion running around right now that says in order for one person to express themselves everyone else must shut up and listen. No one else may speak, then you must agree with them. And if you don’t….you’re going to pay heavily.
And I was first going to write that I simply can’t afford that price. I’m a broke nobody. It’s easy to have an opinion now….when you have money, the media, and a mass of social media bobble heads at your disposal. I don’t have those luxuries. As a matter of fact, my face in the arena does me more harm than good. Or, rather, whatever words of peace I have ever written are glossed over when you take a look at my matte face.
I already look like the enemy. I reek of Southern tradition. I smell of it.
I am an apparition that haunts those still clinging to stereotypes. I look of moonshine and confederacy. I appear like a ready attendee with ticket in hand to a big, muddy truck event. I stink of men who say “ma’am,” and cause a wretch with my offering to hold a door open for a lady. (“I’m a feminist! I don’t need a man’s help!”)
I make knitters vomit when I tell them I love my president, and cause crocheters to keel over when I proclaim a love for my country.
I look like I should smell: covered in a haze of mud and musk, perfumed in the aroma of working the land and of the sweat of labor. I look uneducated….therefore, forced to live filthy and rural.
I look like the man everyone is hunting to make an example of right now. I look like the middle aged, southern white man we’ve been shown pictures of and told, “This is the face of the man you are supposed to hate…..”
So, you can see why an artist like myself would be so hesitant to say something, anything. One false move, one poorly written blog post, one dig into your past for the something that was socially acceptable at the time, but is disgraceful now, and you’re done for.
I have never made decisions that would further my career if it meant I had to sacrifice the talents I have to even MAKE that living. I don’t sacrifice these words for commerce. God knows I struggle daily just to keep a roof over my head and my life would be helluva much financially better spent just “complying.”
But, I somehow chose this road as an artist, instead.
I cannot imagine ANY artist siding with a group of people that wish to SILENCE ANYONE. How on earth can you claim to be even noble in your creative endeavors? How could you ever even empathize, nor even understand art if you keep dismissing it, banning it, and even removing it from view???
You’re only interested in art if it’s a party approved, propaganda poster. So, I refuse to comply with this absurd notion that what you really want is equality…
You’re all tyrants masquerading as liberators. You want superiority. You don’t want a level playing field, you want complete domination of the entire course of human history. You want to erase reality and scribble in fallacies. You want to decide who should economically live or die. You want to determine who society will accept and whom they won’t, and all under a warm, cuddle of a mob mentality that has already predetermined who will survive based on ancestry, race, geographic traditions, and social media presence.
That goes against all human rights: the pervasive crackdown on anyone who says ANYTHING the mob disagrees with.
My face is like a mugshot for some. The now determined middle aged, white man. Nabbed, convicted, most wanted. My face tells the story of a million men that have committed atrocities, but, none of whom are me. Doesn’t matter. I fit, deservedly, the profile of everything wrong with someone else’s life.
In some strange (and even acceptable) fashion, society has forced me to question sins I did not commit, from people I never sinned upon.
So, I guess I do have something to say. I’m going to be more honest in my work, more honest than is “socially” allowed. I’m going to be louder about your censorship and vile definition of equality.
And I urge every single artist to do the same.
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