Politics, Activism And Writing

There have been more than a handful of times when I’ve been tempted to allow current events to leak onto this blog.  Occasionally I’ve struggled a great deal with this temptation. Yet, I’ve always refrained from altering my original intention to maintain a significant distance between my writing and social/political commentary.  To be honest, most blogs that deal with politics are decidedly ignorant and basic.  You know the sort I’m referring to.  A soap box for the brow beaters to promote a (usually) antiquated agenda of intolerance, also known as verbal bullying.  Obviously, not my bag at all.

Then, there are those other blogs.  Lately, I’ve witnessed an emergence of  several  literary and highly charged political/socially conscience blogs.   They’re being written by published authors, essayists, poets, artists and composers,  the sole intent is to inform and inspire debate.  Intelligent debate.   I visit a few of them on a regular basis and what I’m reading is inspiring me to rethink and question my now highly suspect point of view regarding the true nature of written and artistic communication.  What I’ve been reading on certain blogs could be construed as a loosely organized political corruption of the arts,  if one is a purist and cemented in the notion of art as entertainment alone. However, if you think about it, the artistic community has always delivered the message of change.  I could list several literary figures of the past who affected change through the creation and distribution of their words, but I won’t, because we all have our own individual favourites and therefore it would be a pointless exercise in listing.   Lately though,  the nature of my reaction to the sentiments of many great writers both past and present, has inspired me to inject some sociopolitical commentary intermittantly on this blog.   No, I’m not becoming a militant, but I am feeling the need to utilize this forum to highlight certain aspects of society that  remain stunted despite the efforts of good people to affect an change.   After all, isn’t it the responsibility of those gifted with the ability to communicate, to at least deliver  as clear and objective  a truth as is humanly and humanely possible?  

What do you think about the politics of writing?  When is it too much or conversely, when is it not enough?


Author: valo

I am a poet, writer and activist with a special interest in human rights for children and women as well as the elimination of poverty worldwide. If you read this today, feed someone locally for me will you? Drop off a non perishable food item at the food bank nearest you and consider yourself hugged. Thank you!

8 thoughts on “Politics, Activism And Writing”

  1. Hmm.. I would hope all people take some time from their busy lives and discuss the world and what we can do to make it better. People (I hope) do it all the time in conversation. Writers do it by writing.. so that might get their comments more exposure.. but still springs from the same well. I guess I’m not opposed to it.. so long as it’s provides a constructive forum for analysis and not just a soap box from which to complain….

    1. Sometimes online and in the media it’s hard to tell the difference between the messenger of rational change and the fanatical soapbox screamer. What a world eh?

  2. I talk about politics a little bit on my blog. If there’s something that makes me mad enough, I feel guilty not saying something. I think too many people were scared to say anything in the run up to the Iraq war and look where that got us. Hopefully we’ve learned from that and it will never happen again.

    1. I agree, there should be some measure of guilt felt by any artist who doesn’t involve themselves in some form of social or political commentary. Thus far, I’ve kept the tone here neutral regarding certain things. I’m going to alter that a bit and, as you stated, too many people are scared. I suspect a smothering of certain freedoms of expression have a great deal to do with that fear. The internet is a brilliant tool for all artists to exercise their freedom to address political ideologies, religious dogmas and the status quo. Thanks for your input, because your points were very valid. 🙂

  3. I had a ball writing about the election last fall. Of course, the GOP offering was so pathetic and ripe for humor that I almost felt guilty exploiting it (key word: ALMOST!). Was it as funny for our friends north of the border? I’m a songwriter, musician, and novelist. Who better to speak our political minds than we artists? To answer your question, if you have something to say politically, then it’s not too much. Say it!

    1. This is exactly how I”m leaning now Debbie. Art is not only an expression, but it’s somewhat of an engine for change socially I believe. What did we up here in the ice and snow think of your election? We thought it was as lampoon worthy as our own. Trust me, we have some loons up here too. Lately I look at the world as an ever repeating mistake I wish we could stop making. You’re right though about the GOP. 😉

  4. The pen is mightier than the sword, and a lot of the time the pen is all that’s available to many.

    Writers have a responsiblity to those who have no voice or no platform from which to project their voice.

    Writers have indeed changed the world but those in power are becoming better armed to silence them.

    The internet is both a blessing and a curse but it is a great tool for the masses. Writers have never before had so much power. Let’s hope it’s used for the good of man and not for the good of the few.

    Truth will always win, it just has to circumnavigate a whole plethora of obstacles dropped in its way by the less than honest writers out there.

    One voice is all it takes. One writer, one true word at a time.

    Politics is a beast that only the writer can tame.

    Ideas, beliefs, truths; they are all the domain of the writer.

    Guns, propaganda, war, oppression; weapons of the tyrant.

    Weapons rust, propaganda wanes, oppression fails.

    Words live on:

    “In the beginning…”
    “To be or not to be…”
    “I have a dream…”
    “May the force be with you…”

    1. LOL I like the words you chose to end your comment. 🙂 I also like “Politics is a beast that only the writer can tame.” Lets hope this doesn’t fail us all, because there are a great many political entities out there that not only need taming, but disarming. Thanks for your intelligent commentary scib. Thoughtful and to the point as always. 🙂

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