We are told that “don’t upset the system” “don’t be a rebel and lose your mind”. The reason? The functioning of the system is crucial for miscreants to survive. To not politicise art is just another way of submitting to the pressure of not being seen as a rebel. As the word, ‘rebel’ has a negative meaning attached in an orthodox political setup.
In hopes for little authoritative interference, people give in to the demands of the authority, for it’s easier for them to give in than to fight for what they believe in. They give in to the rules of the game, which makes it possible for the game to go on, it becomes possible for the authority to gain more power, even if the people didn’t want to give in deep inside.
In this age of information overload, the truth is hidden in the fine print they say. No. It’s hidden behind biases of the minds that are writing with an agenda to support their worldview rather than presenting facts. We are hit with obstacle after obstacle, which in turn makes us forget the larger purpose or the goal. We start creating our own echo chamber and our role in it becomes a mere singing to the choir. Our thoughts are being heard by people that think similarly. It’s like that Spiderman meme where one spiderman points at the other spiderman.
But the artists face a dilemma. Whether to speak their mind or to keep silent. For their silence uplifts the opposer. And their words become an example of twisted understanding. Remaining aloof from the current issues at hand is being given the meaning of “being complicit in the issue” and being outspoken has its own downfalls like backlash and public ousting.
In this world of political correctness or lack thereof, the artists face an impediment. They have a responsibility. Their words are quite impressionable. They have a huge audience who are waiting to make the artists stand on the issue their beliefs. And also, there is a counter audience to it, ready to pounce on every syllable of their statement or tweet, to rip it apart into a meaning, not at all intended but which makes for a sensationalist headline.
There is a sadistic demand for the artist to be perfectly sound in their beliefs. Their beliefs should match the frequency of the times we live in or the echo chamber they write in. This is an unreasonable demand as fruitful discussion only happens when there are two relatively wrong opposing points of views, they collide to reveal the fallacy of the two, reach a middle ground and then finally agree on a solution. You solve problems by discussing it and not by shouting like you’re in a parliament.
Today, we have reached the point where humans ban humans who don’t support their worldview. It’s baffling to watch individuals so unsure of themselves, in personal life, portray a persona online that, on the contrary, is so stubborn with their beliefs. It has come to the point where creating art has become dangerous. The Spiderman meme has become the reflection of both the fractions on the opposing sides, where both are basically offended and also the offenders but the fun lies in playing victims.
Even as I write this piece, fleeting thoughts come and go. They range from the reactions of some people in my head, people labelling me, twisting my words, forgoing my intention for a peaceful discussion and my own criticism of myself that I can be very wrong about all this. But isn’t writing or art supposed to conjure that? Isn’t it supposed to give you the platform to do wrong so you can improve in the long run?
One of my teachers said that “the most dangerous people in the society are the ones that don’t speak what they think. Who knows what devilish things are going inside their head.”