Today is a day. Today is a day like any other. In Pittsburgh, the sky is overcast with intermittent rain shows. The temperature hovers around 40 degrees. This is what happens in January. Sometimes it snows and wrongly convinces us all that January is not always gloomy in Western Pennsylvania.
A Writer’s Manifesto
Right now, just a few hours south, the inauguration of our 45th President of the United States ushers in an era that more closely approximates something out of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley or, well, Mike Judge — who perhaps most correctly predicted this day in the prescient documentary Idiocracy. Somewhere Three Doors Down is playing in celebration of something. That alone warrants concern.
But I’m not here to engage in any kind of political or ideological discussion. Not right now. This is more about how we react as artists. We’ve probably Tweeted and Re-Tweeted, shared Facebook posts, and even made some of our own. Is that the best use of our talents? Is that the best use of our creative energy?
In the time since the election, I’ve been wading through a swamp of disbelief. Guess what? There’s no drain in a swamp. A swamp just is. I’d love nothing more than to pull the plug on this shitshow. It’s not that easy. We can’t bury our head in the rising tide of muck and filth. And we can’t just hope it all dries up.
As artists, we cannot be sent into a tailspin of malaise. Use this anger and anxiety. Use this hatred and passion. CREATE. WRITE. PAINT. Do whatever it is that poets do. (I kid.) Use this to inspire yourself to pick up your pen and do what you love. What you set out to do. Exact change through your artistic contributions. Now for a writer’s manifesto, a personal statement about how I plan to endure.
So today, on January 20th, 2017 and for the foreseeable future, I vow to do the following:
- Read more.
- Respect the Presidency but refuse to respect the man elected president. And for the record, I did not like George W. but I still respected him as a man that always intended to do right by his country.
- I will not say his name. I will call him Captain Cuntmonkey or Senior Pendejo. Coming up with the most creatively derogatory names as a regular mental exercise.
- I will not legitimize. Never legitimize. The man is a cartoon gerbil and should be treated as such. This is not normal.
- When all this gets you down, write more.
Put something of yourself out in this world rather than retreat inward. Be bold. Allow yourself freedom from your inner critic. Trust your instincts. Surround yourself with good people and trust their instincts. Collaborate.
Join me in ushering in an era of personal accomplishment and creative entitlement. Our collective, creative renaissance begins today. This is our Resistance.