March 15, 2014 by musehick
Aaron Sorkin reinvigorated my interest in, and desire to have an effect in politics – my wish to get more informed and more involved. The West Wing offered an idealised government, sure, but it also offered some informed opinion (biased politically, most definitely) but it was food for thought. I think I had given up on politics to a degree, seeing it as making less sense, and becoming increasingly difficult to navigate as it seemed to fragment into less of a cohesive whole and fallen foul of every person with an arsehole and an opinion. It became soundbites, slogans – jousting that jabbed in either direction but never really asked or answered any questions. You can have an argument where two angry people aren’t listening to one another but you can’t have a discussion
He gave me a way to reframe my thinking, or perhaps it was just that he re-engaged the passion, working an alchemy that turned back the cynicism which had soured and then stagnated into apathy.
Politics gets the same treatment now that all other news gets – it is all opinion based rather than fact based, and it makes the whole battle-ground slipshod and bad footing. I want in some way to help get us back to that place where journalism is real journalism and isn’t a bunch of baying wolves in the comments section – if people don’t see the difference then they need to be educated. I could say fuck them all, that they are stupid and uneducated and should be ignored, but they are trying to engage, so that is better than apathy. But there is a sense of entitlement that plays into expecting to be listened to, and there is a problem with speaking out just because you want to, even if you don’t really know what you are talking about.
I get moments where I pause because I do not know about that which I am speaking forth about. I catch myself – I try to reel it back in before I spread the stink too much. Part of this comes from all the copywriting that I have been doing of late, and the need to do research, but, and this ties back into Sorkin again, The Newsroom fired up the passion for good journalism again. But it fired up also the need to be informed and to know what is going on in ways that I may have let slip. There is so much bullshit out there that is masquerading as information that it can be hard to thresh it out, but I want to and I have confidence that I can.
The other thing it fired up was an idea that I can do it in my art – I can do what Sorkin does (I am not saying I can do what Sorkin does) but in some respects I can use my art to inform and inspire and educate. Isn’t that what the whole game is about? If it is just about entertainment for you then good for you, nothing wrong in that, but that is not where my head is at … not where I want my art to be at.
And where is my art at? Busy and deep in the realms of self-discovery.