Every where one looks we see powerful people getting what they want, when ever they want and to a large degree that is okay. We used to live in a society that at least professed to be a "live and let live' society. I completely support that attitude. However, it just seems odd to me that when it comes to bad behavior the only people that seem to get punished (and by punished I mean they lose income) are the comedians, entertainers, artists, TV personalities, actors and writers. A comedian's bloody head routine had retribution that was swift and couched in negative terms, even for those who were trying to defend her by saying.... "I don't really like her" ... or "her work is bad to begin with so what do you expect?" You know what I expect? I expect Americans to keep their eyes on the real bad behavior. The original joke had to do with a powerful man's comment to journalist about how "blood was coming out of her eyes, or where ever". This direct hostility towards "uppity women" is way to comfortable for too many people. Perhaps many even missed the symbolism of what happened. Further it is more than a little ironic that a purveyor of lifestyle and domesticity was practically the only person to go the jail for the major Enron scandal. She lied to protect her broker, others stole whole pensions, homes and cars from thousands and thousands of people. I am not suggesting that entertainers cannot be criticized but they are not powerful or do not write laws that change our lives forever. Offending people is basically the comedian's stock-in-trade. Apparently we are involved in the wrong part of the joke.
Artists deserve to be paid. The now famed "Fearless Girl" a bronze statue by Kristen Visbal is positioned opposite the more famed sculpture of a large bronze charging bull on Wall street in NYC. It was criticized by many because it was a commissioned by a Wall Street firm which to many people's logic made the artist seems more of a "sell-out" compared to Arturo Di Modica "anti-establishment" action by installing his work on Wall Street in the dead of night. To Di Modica's great fortune, NYC accepted his gift and the Charging Bull became a major tourist attraction for NYC. Not unlike the tourists who love Fearless Girl now. Many men in nearly all male Wall Street were challenged by the new sculpture's presence, even Mr. Di Modica took legal action claiming that his sculpture's concept was changed by the sculpture's placement. Equally oddly, I got into a rare twitter discussion with a man slamming the artist for accepting money from an "evil" industry. I know, I know.... artists barely deserve to eat since everyone likes to think of us as predisposed to starving. From my vantage point, we should be grateful to artists who persist against all the obstacles society throws at them.
Art is suppose to invoke a response and it is very healthy to see things from a different point of view. However creating a metaphor should not be considered a punishable act. Which is why we should all care about artist's first amendment rights. In our society powerful people are making life/death decisions for us. The future we face together requires a lot more creative thinking. Artists know how to push those buttons. Let's allow them the freedom to challenge and open our thinking.