Privilege and The Power of Art — Yeah, That Kind of Privilege

Really?

Books aren’t just books, they have all the power. Book picture link here

If you think you can’t make a change in this lifetime, think again.

If you’re an artistic, creative person—whether that be writer/author, singer, cartoonist, artist, game designer—you can help change the way people see the world.

Have you ever been in the middle of reading or actively taking part in a discussion about a popular book’s merits (or a video game, or TV show or whatever), when someone chimes in with a “It’s just a [book, TV show, video game, blog, game-changing speech]”?

In my case, as would the case for many of you reading this, it’s It’s just a book. We’ve been told for a long time that art can change the world. Most artistic methods of expression can change the world: just look at books like The Bible, Torah, Qur’an, Mein Kampf, Mao’s Red Book, Diary of a Young Girl, and Nineteen Eighty-Four. You can’t tell me these books, whether good or bad haven’t had an effect on the world. It’s the same even if you’re not a writer: Leni Riefenstahl’s propaganda, Martin Luther King’s iconic speech, songs like P!nk’s Dear Mr President or Rise Against’s Make it Stop (September’s Children), Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, etc.

If you’re a writer, you shouldn’t have to write something specifically with the aim of winning a Pulitzer, Nobel Prize for Literature, Miles Franklin, or whatever your local equivalent is. However, we should stop thinking our creative pursuits won’t have an impact, because they will. Write for fun? Of course we should write for fun! What are our creative endeavours if not for the enjoyment, both during the process and afterwards? But realise that what you do write can affect humans for generations. Just look at Shakespeare; he wrote what scholars of the day considered smut, but now he’s considered one of the greatest writers of all time. Video games were once seen as just an excuse for kids to blow off steam and have fun and apparently be violent, and now there are life-changing games such as Life is Strange, Civilization, and, if you look behind the apparent violence and bloodshed in the Grand Theft Auto series and instead at the complex lives of the characters and satire of society.

You can make a change, whether you intended to or not. Just try and make a change for the better. As long as you’re not inciting hatred for petty purposes, you can help others.

Here’s another comic (just like the one from April 30) for your enjoyment. It may not illustrate fully what I’m trying to say, but it’s an example of people (albeit mostly on the internet) who are changing the world, in this case in a hateful way:

IMG_1517

Note: I believe both radfems and MRAs are basically as bad as each other. Inciting hatred through your platform of choice isn’t going to get anyone else to support you. Pushing for equality in healthy, non-hateful ways, and getting the non-oppressed to understand you; these are the only ways change will happen.

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Filed under Comics, Writing

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