Thursday, June 11, 2015

Make art, not reparations

There is nothing wrong with reparations as such, but grievance-mongering in our society seems now to be so commonplace that when we're not careful, the entitlement attitude that goes hand-in-hand with demands for reparations can hold other activities hostage.

An almost-comically conflicted poet got me thinking about things like that. Somebody convinced the poor guy that art was a zero-sum game, probably over the course of several years. Cowed by "social justice warriors," he fears now that by using his own talents, he might be robbing other people of the chance to use their talents.

Baloney, I say. Logic like that would only apply if you decided that your "talent" was something like beating other people up for money. That's not the case for most of us, including the poet whose confused confession in an open letter got my attention.

People don't read George Orwell as much as they used to, which is a shame. If the price of diversity is selective silence, then "some animals are more equal than others," and it's time to re-frame the argument, so as to aspire instead or again to the good, the true, and the beautiful.

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