Leave the politics at the door.
I was initially hesitant about writing this one, running the risk of being ironic, so I’ll apologize in advance if any of my own political beliefs make their way into this post (I am trying hard to prevent it!)
Now what do I mean by this? Well put it this way… have you ever gone to see a musical artist or comedian who stops right in the middle of their act and starts talking to you about how they hate (insert politician) and how people who don’t agree with/like the candidate they do are (insert misogynist/racist/lacking in nationalism/or is some other way prejudice)?
Sadly I have… a couple of times and it happens whether you’re on the left or right side of the aisle. I remember the entire time thinking ‘Shut up and play! I didn’t pay to listen to this crap!’).
Another good example is the Cracked.com Facebook page. For a few years now, I have tagged that page so that it shows up on my Facebook news feed… however I’ve been considering changing that recently given the large level of one-sided political viewpoints that have begun to show up on the page (which claims to be Comedy with a college education.) since it’s popularity picked up.
To me, this is like buying an awesome book about dragons, reading a few chapters, getting hooked, and then seeing that right in the middle, the author stopped writing the story in order to voice their opinion on a specific issue having NOTHING to do with the story.
Now does that mean we can’t put our personal/political beliefs in a story? No, not at all! If writing politics is your medium, or if your songs/jokes are about politics, all power to you. The rest of us who write on specific topics also include our personal beliefs in their books, but we do it in a different way.
Magnifica tackles racism and violence against women in a few chapters, but it does so by including those themes into the story and I made a special effort not to sound preachy when I wrote it.
The stories of the X-Men deal with prejudice and they do it in a very clever way as well. Marvel is famous for its low-key political commentary.
My point is, if you want to put your opinions and beliefs in your medium, please do so, but do it in a way that incorporates it into your medium. People who go and listen to you sing about love and life don’t care who you vote for, people who come to hear your comedy routine about crazy Sci-Fi themes don’t care about who you think they should vote for, people who buy your book about dragons REALLY could care less about your opinions on Bush or Obama.
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have an opinion or voice it. Anyone who knows me and is a Facebook friend, knows that I am very outspoken when it comes to politics, but would you know that by looking at my book’s Facebook page, or this blog (before now)? Nope. Why? Because people don’t come to my blog or page to read about that. They come to read about elves, romance, angels, and other fantasy.
Anyway, that’s just my two cents. Take them for what they’re worth.
As always, I’d like to encourage discussion on blog, so please feel free to post a rebuttal, or a reinforcement, etc.
Catch you all on the flip side,
Posting a reinforcement. A strong one. One-sided political views are discriminatory and loaded with prejudice and nobody’s is interested if they are thrown in your face in the middle of something u r enjoying ( unless of course, they r cleverly woven in the theme). I guess people get desperate the moment they see audience, anywhere anytime.
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“Marvel is famous for its low-key political commentary.”
Until recently anyway, where they made Donald Trump into MODOK and had him destroy the world in Captain America. or the creator who turned one of his critics into his villain in the pages of Moon Knight.
Our politics are part of our world view and some of it will seep into our writing generically. The problem is when you turn your story into a propaganda machine, especially if you’re taking over a property not known for being used for propaganda.