I’m a fan of Josiah Bancroft. You’ll notice I didn’t say I’m a fan of Josiah Bancroft’s work, which I am, but this isn’t about that. Here’s a Tweet from Mr. Bancroft, in response to the attempted coup last Wednesday.
“As someone with a broad audience whose livelihood depends upon a certain ambiguity when it comes to political matters, I respectfully suggest that the people who are carrying Confederate flags into the Capitol are dimwitted treason weasels who stan their mother’s panties.”
I mean, sure, I could write my own blog entry; but, I’m not going to top that, so why try?
I will say this—the topic of whether or not an artist has a duty to address politics (or to avoid it, for commercial sake), is an important one. As Scott McCloud says in Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art: “…when art becomes a job or a matter of social status the potential for confusing one’s goals goes up considerably”.
In that way, as one might achieve success (or even mastery) one can also become detached from their true self. Having two non-writing careers in my rear-view mirror, already, I know something about this.
Make no mistake: You can be ‘doing something you love’, while simultaneously finding yourself lost in the ego-mandated march of our culture’s mass consciousness—filling your days driven by the fever-dreams of material acquisition and control. A social climber (either closeted, or not).
Over years, you achieve some success, until finally, you wake up one day and you are so far away from what brings you joy, you feel truly lost.
I’m a little older than most who are shopping their first big novel. And I’ve already had an agent subtweet my query letter because of their own (questionable) politics and ethics. Nonetheless, even in this early stage in my writing career, I’m not going to hide my values, my passions, or my politics. Not to win over an agent or a publisher. Not to gain more readers. So, …that.
Oh, and Nazis (like those #CoupShmucksKlan rioters)?