“The collection of recent thoughts” blog post – November 26, 2015
Primarily I use this blog as a bit of a promo/info/art project device. But very occasionally I’ll post some thoughts because although my work is not overtly political or a societal statement, my mood and state of mind whilst making this work is invariably informed by what’s going on around me. If you are just interested in my art and music practice, feel free to skip this post, no problem. If you are interested in just one man’s opinions, read on.
Often I hear the phrase “Political Correctness gone mad/out of control”. It kind of bugs me. Not always of course, but it seems to me a lot of folks use it when they are trying to defend their own bigoted views that someone has called them on. The beauty of freedom of speech is that it can only work if it goes both ways. If you say something offensive to someone, they have the right to call you on it. I do really feel that as far as ‘Political Correctness’ goes, we are all still learning how to use it, it’s a work in progress. Of course, some will likely take it too far, look to be offended and forget that their own sense of humour is not the same as someone else’s. However, I have noticed some general improvements to the way we interact with each other as a result of Political Correctness. We are not always going to get it right, but like a tighter gun control in the US (another rant for another time), why not give it a go? I recently came across this excellent little bit by UK comedian Stewart Lee that sums it up.
The need to be right/correct.
As in above, being that we are still a work in progress, I think it’s totally fair for people to make mistakes, be allowed to learn, be corrected and have their minds changed without being shamed, bullied or overtly embarrassed into it. Not everyone is on top of every gender, social, religious or political iteration. We are a complex bunch and although I really urge people to see as many shades of grey as you can, you are not always able to ‘get’ something straight away…maybe never. Ignorance is not bliss and if you say something uninformed or in a knee-jerk way please expect to be questioned, possibly factually corrected and called on. But I find it unfortunate that in a time when information is easy to access, misinformation or disinformation is just as easy to find. Be patient with people…I think most of us want to be the best we can be and most of us want to just get along with our fellow humans. Take some time to explain, not to attack or ridicule when someone gets something wrong. We can’t all be right all the time. If you think you are righteous, I suspect you aren’t looking at yourself hard enough.
With the advent of recent terrorist attacks around the world, inevitably emotions are heightened. Due to certain posts on social media, I am privy to attitudes from certain folks that surprise me. I guess the onus is on me to never assume the progressiveness (or conservative-ness for that matter) of any individual, especially based on their non-meat facade. Some of the war-mongering and xenophobia that has emerged in the wake of these attacks has alarmed me. So with this in mind, here is this; Terror is a state of mind, induced by terrorists with a specific ideology, which in itself is a belief, another state of mind. As far as I can figure out, you can’t eradicate a state of mind by dropping bombs on it or shooting it. Yes terrorists can be destroyed as they PHYSICALLY exist, terror and ideology do not.
One needs to consider a way to change these minds. And I have no idea what the answer or solution to that is, but I don’t think killing folks for killing folks will fix it. It may in fact make it worse.
As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as a ‘war on terror’. It seems like nonsense, like something George Bush Jr would have come up with.
And while I’m at it, I’m not sure guilting people and judging them for where their apparent sympathies and empathy lay is at all useful. Sometimes ignorance is not malicious or willful, it’s just ignorance. Draw people to others plights with respect and simplicity, not from an ivory tower of superiority.
Back to your regularly scheduled program.