Entertainers should just shut up and sing right?
In the past, I would have shared this attitude, but not anymore. First of all, I have no problem enjoying somebody’s art even though their politics may differ from mine.
What I dislike more is being lied to.
That’s right. One of the things I’m thankful for this recent year and a half is that peoples masks are coming off, whether their entertainers, public figures, or my fellow citizens.
I want to know peoples biases. I want to know people’s likes and dislikes. And I want to know whether they hate people like me or not.
You see, there’s a huge difference between a difference of opinion and outright hatred. The former is manageable. It’s possible to coexist with people you disagree with, because you can be civil. And there might even be areas of common ground. But even if there aren’t, it doesn’t mean you have to hate each other.
But if there is outright hatred? That’s manageable to. It lets you know who to avoid or who not to spend your money on.
I’m big into free speech. This is why things like the Hamilton/Mike Pence incident or Green Day once again popping their mouth off or Kanye West ranting and having mental breakdowns don’t bother me in the least bit.
Colin Kaepernick another NFL players want to kneel during the National Anthem and be disrespectful towards this country? Fine. That’s freedom of speech. And if people don’t want to go to NFL games or watch them on TV, that’s freedom of speech too.
If Kanye West of Green Day lose fans, or have irreparably damaged their brands, oh well. That’s America. That’s the risk you take when you stepping into the arena.
Michael Jordan, a Democrat, apocryphally said “Republicans buy my shoes too” when explaining why he did not want to publicly support Harvey Gantt run against Jesse Helms in 1990.
Whether he said this or not, it’s obvious that Jordan’s lack of activism had something to do with his bottom line. Is this good? Bad?
It’s neither. It’s a personal choice. The same way consumers have a choice whether to spend money on things based on politics alone.
I can think of two celebrities who manage to go about their politics publicly without being arrogant asses about it: Denzel Washington and Gary Sinise. Washington, a Democrat, and Sinise, a Republican, support their causes and candidates and yet retain their status as non-controversial, beloved actors because they are respectful to the public at large, who ultimately pay their salaries.
This all goes for the news too, that perpetual outrage machine which purports to be an objective watcher and reporter of events.
To think that the news media is objective is objectively ridiculous.
And again, this is fine! Over the years, my own believe on this matter has changed. News outlets can be as subjective and slanted as they want. Just don’t lie about it!
This is why I can respect a Slate, a Salon, a Breitbart, a Huffington Post.
But I can’t respect a CNN, a New York Times, A Newsweek, a NPR.
Wear your biases on your sleeve, unless you actually want to be unbiased. Just don’t lie!
Every person in any organization should exercise their God-given rights to free speech, and every citizen should exercise their God-given rights to put their money in the time where they feel it is worthwhile.
This is where boycotts come in. It’s all of the personal choice, and if somebody feels strong enough about something, why not vote with your wallet?
Isn’t it good to know which celebrities or companies hate people like you?
If a person or group hates blacks, whites, gays, Jews, Christians, whomever, I want to know! Hatred is actually easier to deal with than lies.
And in a way, being hated is less-insulting than being lied to.
The masks are falling away like never before, and the scales are falling from so many people’s eyes. And it’s glorious to behold.
As America’s never-ending silly season marches on, my only advice is to view our culture a little differently and think about steps you can take if you actually want to change it, if this is your thing:
- Support those who don’t hate you. This is different than supporting those who agree with you. Spend money here.
- Don’t support those who hate you. The obvious corollary. If it’s clear that a celebrity hates you–not disagrees with you but hates you, why spend your time and money on them?
- Support free speech. This sounds paradoxical in light of what I’ve written above, right? Wrong. The idea isn’t to silence other people, or prevent other people from enjoying various cultural artifacts you yourself eschew. The idea is to devote your time and attention towards people and businesses that you choose.
- Boycott if you want. Don’t want to eat at Chick-fil-A or drink Pepsi or shop at Target or watch Hollywood movies based on those entities’ political stances? Fine. Voting with our wallets is one of the biggest powers us regular folk have. I’m as capitalistic as anyone else, but I only trust Big Business slightly more than I trust Big Government (and only because businesses usually just want to separate you from your money; they can’t toss you in jail or tax you into oblivion). The power of the almighty dollar is all we have to hold them accountable.
- Be consistent and admit your own biases. If you’re biased, don’t pretend not to be. Everybody hates liars and hypocrites. It’s a difficult line to thread, and I try to do it on this blog, not sugar-coating where I come from, but not insulting people who disagree with me either.
The First Amendment largely prevents governmental censorship and squelching of speech, but the idea of it, like those in the rest of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, has permeated throughout our entire culture over the centuries. We need to be able to talk to each other, and a big part of that includes knowing where each other really stands.
The age of phony politeness is over. Insincere civility is evaporating before our eyes.
And maybe confronting naked hatred of force us to deal with it by learning how to actually make an argument in a logical, reasonable way, paradoxically creating a culture of true civility and discourse.
That is, if we don’t kill each other first.
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