I volunteered for the Armed Forces to protect my Civil Rights and the rights of others to express whatever they wish without any control by outside powers–including special interest groups and/or the State. My dad was a Pearl Harbor Survivor, and he believed in the same values, which he taught me (among other, not so great values, including sexism and some racism).
This weekend in Oakland, the Black priority powers for “slave reparations” had a great argument about this issue. In case they don’t understand, the Nazis and others, as in South African apartheid, the Sudanese Civil War, and in current Jerusalem apartheid, did and do the same thing. They argue about which special interest gets the bounty of “victory.” Just because it’s about “you” doesn’t make it any less fascist.
It can and does lead to ID cards, background checks, “proof of racial. slave, and/or ethnic purity,” etc., etc., etc.
I am writing a satire about this in my current serial Auschwitz Dancer.
Nobody would publish any of it until this publisher did. Metastellar. An online SciFi and Horror venue.
My main character, based on the real identity of Franceska Mannheim, called “Frankie” (i.e. Frankenstein’s Monster). In my tale, she’s conflicted because she turned against her own people (the Jews) to save her own ass, and now she’s attempting to make amends in a parallel dimension where 1943 Auschwitz is the only reality there is for these characters.
I’m trying to demonstrate to the readers that any place can become “hell on Earth” if we let a power overcome our freedom to love and express our feelings about anything.
Many readers can’t understand real political satire (because they grew-up on cartoon satire) and not real satire, a la Jonathan Swift and “A Modest Proposal.”
Most readers today, sadly, don’t read actual history. For example, the fact that in the actual Wild West, we had gun control so strict that it was the local towns and people that enforced it and not the central government. Today, in Texas, and many other states, it’s the states who control the “freedom carry” laws that are causing carnage and mayhem, and the lack of decent mental health care is allowing these miscreants to get their hands easily on assault weapons meant for frontline combat..
It’s the same thing happening today that set the stage for what I risked my ass for: integration of schools, women’s rights, and voting rights.
There are so many special interests today that it’s virtual chaos, and “we, the people” are literally going nuts.
Why Do You Read?
When I first read fiction, I was transformed by the story and the characters. I cared nothing about who the author was. Whether it was a female, male, or a chimpanzee. I just wanted a good tale.
Today, it’s almost the opposite. First, people care about who the person writing is, and whether he/she/they is “posing” and/or “impersonating” a story about someone or some place that relates directly to the author’s actual identity and background. Why else are singers like Taylor Swift, who sings about her personal love life, so popular? The masses are addicted to personal gossip.
In addition, the rules of creating characters who are “relatable” to the reader’s interests become so important the author is squeezed into creating all action tales with cardboard characters, or tales so full of fantastic gimmickry and stories that follow the same formulas to keep the same audience, that creativity has become unrecognizable from the artists of the past, who had freedom of expression that is no longer possible.
So, I enjoy crafting politically incorrect fiction freely, until the system begins to stifle freedom of expression completely, which seems to be happening, no matter how “liberal” and well meaning it might be.
All I know is that you cannot change the present by forcing people to behave in a regimented manner, most especially in the Arts, where free expression is the bedrock upon which the mind must be uncontrolled by outside power forces that have the ability to keep certain “realities” from the readers, viewers, and interested humans of the world.
Is it today the “business” of the art world to protect the special interest groups, including those in special ethnic, race, and sex agenda backgrounds? I think not. They should not be given special favor simply for what their group may lack in some way. Also, how does one “prove” in these days of misinformation, artificial intelligence, and other phony technologies, who is honest and representing these classes of special interest groups, and who is just taking advantage of the new “system” of favoritism?
In other words, if/when any group is in charge and is the gatekeeper of the art, then creativity and freedom of expression is immediately stifled. Whether that group is religious, ethnic, or sexual/gender biased, it’s the same thing: fascism to keep the order for the prioritized group and its membership.
We had this in academia also. The Feminists and LGBTQ+ and BIOC pressured to have “appropriate” instruction by these people, no matter their grasp of the subject matter. It was always “assumed” that because they were underrepresented and/or of the same skin color as the subject matter or class racial mix that they must teach above anybody else.
It’s now encroaching upon all the so-called “Arts,” which, as Mr. Dreyfuss points out, means “freedom from outside influences can disappear.” Add to this the irony that the writers can possibly no longer be an actual living person, but Artificial Intelligence, and these mandated racial balances will not have the content written by their ethnic brothers and/or sisters.
In publishing, famous authors like Margaret Atwood have come out voicing exactly what Dreyfuss says. The creative writer should be able to portray any race, any class, and any mix they wish to use or experiment with, including the insane and space aliens.
I leave you with Albert Camus’ statement about freedom in the arts. He understood that pressure against total freedom of expression is fascism, no matter where it comes from–whether a minority group or a majority group:
“To create today is to create dangerously… The question, for all those who cannot live without art and what it signifies, is merely to find out how, among the police forces of so many ideologies… the strange liberty of creation is possible.”
I can feel that pressure coming from both ends of the political divide, and it’s very scary!
Have a great week!