Interlopers in Society and Art

The orange-faced abomination struck again today. It's a strange sensation, knowing that something historical is unfolding, knowing with certainty that we are likely about to witness what may be the greatest act of public political dissent in American history, or what may be the start of its greatest tragedy. How we respond now to a situation that has the potential for such imminent harm, will affect history's outlook of us for time indefinite. For those of you who aren't as inspired by human suffering as you are about your legacy, this is also your chance to shine.

The world doesn’t usually tend to give a shit until you’ve been in the ground for several years or at the very least, not until you’re old enough to stop bothering to count the days you have left. It’s something writers share with philosophers, among other things, the pejorative reduction of artistic merit and socially redeeming value to mere passion and starvation. But we’re in a period where it all seems to blend together, and I’m having trouble understanding the germination of Republican hegemony in this country.

I got to thinking about the idea that liberals are an elitist group largely out of touch with American working class, but I’m not sure I agree with that. The thing is, it’s people preaching acceptance, not even in the holistic love thy neighbor sort of way, but literally accepting people into the realm of our society and somehow it puts us out of touch? Because a certain people feel  they’ve been left behind, they take very real actions to ensure others actually are left out, both symbolically and very much literally.

There’s a great deal of incremental transgressions over time that led to this. But I’m not here to explain the role congressional gerrymandering plays in keeping Republicans in office. I’m not interested in pointing out the colossal irony that the All Lives Matter fanatics along with their good ol’ boys the Oathkeepers have remained largely silent regarding sovereignty as citizens, instead choosing to ally themselves with a man who refers to factual media coverage as being comparable to Nazi Germany. I don’t even feel like pointing out that the States who are most dependent on the Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare, are the very same states that carried our current President to the White House.

People have a tendency to let irrational emotions dictate their beliefs, often to their own detriment. It’s important as individuals to be composed enough to look beyond the anecdotal. For artists, it becomes a measure of documentation and/or inspiration. There are those who will aim to inspire, to turn their art into mechanisms of movement, machinations of political dissent, and there are those who will take a purely documentarian route. Both are equally valid, and both provide social sustenance in ways people often can’t articulate for both themselves and others.

Without the Ansel Adams, the Dorothea Langes, the Hunter S. Thompsons, the George Orwells, to help us articulate the visions we hold for our society in the future, we would be fundamentally lost. I’ve said it before and I will say it again:

Art doesn’t change the world. Art changes people.

And while people always say companies shouldn’t get political, I do want to make it clear, Foxx Press is very much against the actions of our current president. We are against the ban on Muslims,  we are against the sexist restrictions on female reproductive rights, we are against the marginalization of people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community, and Black Lives DO in fact Matter. These ideas aren’t revolutionary, nor should they be seen as such. The idea that we should hold each other with dignity, respect, and a benevolent sense of humanity should be tantamount. 

I refuse to sit idly, as if there is any sort of validity to treating these opposing views as credible political stances. It’s one thing to have different views on things like social programs, fiscal responsibility, and arguably even our stance as world police, but I’m not open to hearing someone tell me Muslims shouldn’t be in this country, or that Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers, or any of the seemingly endless racial stereotypes that persist for minorities in this country. 

Above all else, I’m glad to see people standing up for what’s right, which is basic human dignity. I’m glad to see that people aren’t lying down and letting this unfold. The women’s march that recently took place, not only inspired similar protests all across the world, but became the single largest 1-day protest in American history. 

Up until now our generation has been somewhat of a lost one, and we never found the great unifying humanitarian or economic cause to really rally against, until now. 

It’s okay to admit that America is not the greatest nation on Earth, but what’s not okay is to eschew the rights of others to maintain that image of ourselves. I, for one, just as many other artists, will continue to do what we do best: we will create, and we will hope to further the message of unity and perseverance so many desperately hope is realized.

Donate to the ACLU if you’ve got some extra cash. Every little bit helps and some companies and celebrities are matching donations!

With all the love I can give

-B. Strauss