Taylor Swift has apparently made a video.
The right wing is charging her with being overtly political. The left wing is accusing her of cashing in on the latest cause.
Maybe they’re both right… but they’re most assuredly both wrong too.
I’m old enough to remember the early days of music videos. The good ones were always edgy or outrageous. The best of them were incredibly controversial.
It seems to me that art in its many forms probably should be controversial. It should make you think. It should take your breath away. It should drive you to consider uncomfortable ideas.
Here’s the important part of today’s message, though… if people saying words makes you too uncomfortable, you always have the option of changing the station. In all my many years of life, no one has ever walked up to me, forced my eyes or ears open, and made me an unwilling participant in art. The artist chooses what to do, and I choose whether I’m going to engage with it.
Having a hissy fit because you don’t like a video makes you look and sound like a complete raving lunatic and guarantees that I can’t take you seriously as an adult human being.
Every artist has their medium of choice. Mine just happens to be PowerPoint. That’s convenient, because PowerPoint doesn’t demand a great deal of artistic skill. What it does demand is a willingness to go googly-eyed staring at twin monitors all day long while clicking on a selection of hundreds of small boxes in an effort to bring about the desired effect. Honest to God, sometimes after I get done with a set of charts, not even I know what they’re trying to say, but by God they look good doing it. And really, it’s all about bringing a good looking set of charts to the meeting. If push comes to shove, if they’re built right, the people in the room will be too dazzled by the graphics to be all that bothered by what they’re actually hearing.
Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much of a street value placed on badass PowerPoint charts. I feel like there should be some kind of trendy art studio that specializes in this kind of thing. Like other great artists, I fear that my work will never be fully appreciated in my own lifetime. Many years from now, surely someone will stumble across a disk of my slides and realize, belatedly, that they are in the presence of a master, whose skill with a slide deck was truly underestimated.
As an alternative, perhaps I’ll start selling signed originals in the hallway after meetings. That’s a sure path to fame and fortune, right?