Tuesday, December 31, 2013

thinking about artists and identity politics

(in the wake of the Ani DiFranco fiasco starring Buddy Wakefield, Toshi Reagon and Saul Williams)

ultimately, the product of real artists is our heart and soul.  it hurts when people don't like our work.  it's akin to hearing, 'I don't like you.'  the journey of the artist whose product revolves around identity politics is even harder. we know that the system we challenge is filled with people who don't like us and we are okay ~ even proud of ~ of that.  but, the product we bring to market is also wrapped up in hope. truly, the audiences we have worked so hard to earn demand that our hearts and souls to be stronger ~ wiser ~ smarter.  because we have stood up and said no to a system to which so many of us are still bound.  

our audiences are not like our close friends and family who pardon our frail humanity. those dear ones who know us to be good people even though we fart precisely at three o'clock every morning.  and when we deliver a truly faulty product, they will come at us.  

this is the time for us to rise to the occasion of our higher selves.  this is the time we peel back our rib cages and expose our hearts to their knives.  say, 'see? I am broken also. help me.' and then allow them to put down their knives and stitch the aorta back. for too often, our hearts have grown weary of placing plastic bandages on something that has grown rigid and brittle in the light of market share.  

this is the time we invite them in and allow them to help us become again to them what they have hoped we have tried to remain all along.  this is the time of a true and meaningful repentance. the time for action. the time to to put the match to hope's kindling and let them relight all of us.

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