The Grand Performance

The Grand Performance

"Those who walk on stilts are destined to fall."

Translated: those who think they're better than everyone will inevitably fail.

I don't remember who said that (wth, maybe I made it up ... let's say I did).

But I'm not talking about that here. I only open with it so you have an idea of why—to varying degrees—a certain subsection of artists do what they do.

These creatives so centered on the minutiae of everyday discourse, burdened by the guilt of history they played no part in, awash in the labels they once (?) sought to destroy, are doing irreparable harm to themselves, and, as a tragic and far more critical side effect, annoying the shit out of the rest of us.

This is not, as has been tirelessly mocked, the "woke social justice warrior." This attitude is ... markedly different. A dangerous mutation of political correctness.

(*To shut down the anti-PCers before they rah-rah that point and wave their mini American flags—the PC "movement" was a rightful adjustment long overdue. Across the board. In books, and film, and whatever. The SJWs, fundamentally, at one point in time, to their credit, were correct.)

Yet now, for some, the adjustment has become hyperbolized. And, worse, an integral, if not primary, part of their identity. They must, lest their existence whither away like dandelion spores, announce daily why they are enlightened. Dance on the thinnest of tightropes, lest they be conceived as immoral manifestations of pure evil.

So much so, and to such incomprehensible extents, that it's ruined them for reasonable behavior and thought, and if it hasn't already, will degrade our last bastion of freedom: creative expression. Or expression itself.

And it's not the ones pushing for real equity and justice.

It's the ones who think they're doing that, but have no interest in actually doing that unless it improves their bottom line.

The ones who proclaim, wrongfully, "do not write that." Rather than, rightfully, "you can write that, but consider ___."

The ones who speak without action.

The ones grinding an already sharp axe.

The ones with all answers but no questions. All grievances but no solutions.

You can find your own examples in the social ecosphere, you're an industrious person. They're easy to spot, anyway. Far easier now than in years past, where they chameleon-ed themselves amongst those doing the Real Work—true warriors fighting the good fight and sacrificing their careers and their work and their brand, before the interlopers hijacked their cause for self-gains.

"But, alas, what's the point of stating what we already know? This is your grievance, so what, dear sir, is your solution?"

I mean it's stupidly simple: you call them out.

Your friends who nitpick up the ladder of moral superiority? Your peers grandstanding to industry folk? Who emo their way through life for those chewy, chewy Twitter likes? Who fake-apologize for certain things they should never fake-apologize for (a separate one-person show unto itself)?

Tell them.

They'll thank you later. Or—bonus—that toxin masquerading as an "ally" will never text you again.

Although it's tough ... not only because, wow, what an awkward conversation. But because they mean well, or so you'll try to convince yourself. Some of them do mean well. Maybe they all do—let's not be cynical. These are, or can be, good, virtuous people.

But they are not good creatives. They are not good artists.

They are, in short order, virtue signalers who profit spiritually and financially off a twisted form of public theater—Stiltwalkers®️ looking down upon us despicable peons so that we may "learn and listen" from the enlightened souls who ... refuse to learn and listen.

Grand performers to an audience of none.

And they have no home in the future of the arts.

*Feature image by Cristina Bernazzani (Adobe)

Partner at Pipeline Media Group. Oversees all divisions, including Script, Book, and Film. Conceived of Pipeline Artists to gather creatives "in a single ecosytem" and bring a fresh POV on the arts.
Los Angeles / San Pedro, CA
More posts by Matthew J Misetich.
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