Artsing in the Shadow of Trump

trump-screams

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since the election, but I have to admit I’m still having a hard time coming to terms with the result. This isn’t because I don’t accept that Trump won; it’s more that I’m incredibly anxious, sometimes paralyzingly so, about the future of America and the world in general. The President of the United States is the most powerful and influential person in the world, and the man that our country has elected, by any reasonable or objective measure, is entirely unfit to fill the post.

You other liberals or anti-Trump voters reading this know what I mean, and maybe you are feeling similarly paralyzed and exhausted by the prospect of the next four years.

To any Trump supporters reading this…well I have a couple of things to say to you (and no, they’re not accusatory):

First of all, the election of this man is far beyond “partisan” politics because Trump isn’t a Republican politician, and I know that I would not feel nearly so terrified if we were talking about John Kasich, Jeb Bush, or Marco Rubio having won this election. So I urge you to really listen to your liberal friends and try to understand why they are so scared and why their fear and anger goes well beyond the realm of normal political discourse.

Secondly, I urge you to be vigilant. There are a slew of reasons one might have voted for Trump, but whatever they were, I ask that you pay attention to what he’s doing and whether or not it really benefits you. This is a man who is motivated by an extreme self-interest and has never shown any inclination to do anything for others. Hopefully, for your sake, he will follow through on some of his campaign promises, but I really think you’re ultimately going to find yourself disappointed when he fails to do so.

Unless you voted for him because you’re a racist, since that very much seems to be the part of his platform that he is willing to follow through on. In which case, congratulations I guess?

But the election results are what they are, and we have to find ways to continue living and working.

The anxiety I’ve been feeling has driven me to action in terms of reaching out to representatives to have them try to denounce or deal with the worst of Trump’s policies, but it has also largely derailed my writing over the past couple of weeks. I think this is in part because I’ve been finding it harder than usual to focus. But I’ve also been questioning whether my series is really worth writing. The story isn’t political in any way, and now part me feels that writing something that isn’t about some grandiose political or social struggle is a waste of time.

Maybe some of you other writers or creators out there feel this way too. Despite these feelings, I’ve come to the conclusion that this isn’t a productive mindset, and hopefully you will too.

Even in a landscape as politically charged as this, people are still going to want and need other types of entertainment. Having an escape is important. Being able to enjoy yourself is important. Naturally, so is being involved in politics and standing up to injustice in whatever way you can, but that doesn’t mean that stories that focus on this are overtly more valuable than others.

In the future I will likely be writing stories that are more socially and politically aware, but in the meantime I’m going to find a way to move forward with Nine Tails. I believed it was a story worth telling when I started writing it, and I don’t think current events should make me or others give up on what we’ve been working on to this point.

Now, more than ever, the world needs unique voices creating unique stories. The purpose of art is to interpret current events, provide inspiration, and provide entertainment. Even art or stories that some might view as purely escapist can be inspiring or meaningful to others. And hey, a little escapism in times like these ain’t so bad.

In the coming weeks I’ll be going back to providing more writing tips and breakdowns of my favorite stories and pop culture happenings. In fact, I’ll have a new writing related post up on Wednesday! But I wanted to get this off my chest, to share with you what I’ve been feeling since the world-altering election on November 8th. So, thanks for reading this little ramble, and feel free to share your thoughts or feelings in the comments.

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