Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Note To The Professional Actor, Author, Painter, Musician, Etc.

Dear Professional Entertainer,

Your opinion matters.  Your ability to express that opinion matters.  It is thoroughly unacceptable for critics to suggest that you "shut up and" do whatever it is you do to entertain the world.

Your opinion is not the only one that matters.  The caterer that provides food for your events has an opinion as well.  The person makes sure that electricity makes it to your home has an opinion.  The person building/repairing our nation's highways and byways has an opinion.  The person that monitors inmates at the local jail has an opinion.

And all of those opinions matter as well.

The primary difference is that the caterer, the power company employee, the road construction worker, and the jailer do not enjoy a prominent platform from which to offer their opinion to the world.  Instead, those very same people enable the privilege of your very prominent platform that you  use to present your thoughts on passing events.  They buy your books.  They buy your albums.  They buy tickets to your concerts, movies, and theater performances.  And they help create that platform by being fans that are interested in the life behind the creative efforts that they so frequently enjoy.

So instead of reflexively reaching for snark, instead of using that most over used tool of sarcasm, perhaps it would be better to have a bit of restraint.  Instead of painting people who possess a different opinion with a broad, tar-laden brush, it might be better to exercise a bit more precision.

Instead of denigrating those that create your privileged position while not similarly enjoying a equal opportunity to comment on passing events, perhaps you should demonstrate a modicum of leadership.  Show us how people that disagree can do so with a modicum of civility.


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