The Prompter Room

For Tuesday, April 12, 2016:


“Beware of artists.  They mix with all classes of society and are therefore the most dangerous.”

Unattributed meme on Facebook (Sen. Joseph McCarthy?)

“Creativity is an act of defiance.”

Twyla Tharpe

I’ve heard of and read the first quote for years, always unattributed.  Today I saw for the first time (also on Facebook) something that said it’s from a poster that U. S. Senator Joseph McCarthy distributed back in the 1950s in his hunt for Communists and like-minded agitators among the American populace.  The concept certainly fits with his mindset and his agenda.

In the extended political season that is the run-up to the presidential election in the U. S., I’ve been struck by – and impressed by – the fact that some of the most political people I know are artists of all kinds.  And they’re among the most vocal and the most active on behalf of the people on the fringes of society.

Musicians, writers and poets, visual artists, dancers, photographers, actors, dramatists, creative folks of all stripes do tend to live and work and mingle with society in its most tender places, among its most vulnerable citizens.  Why?  My personal opinion is that it’s because artists are intimately familiar with those tender places and people.  By definition, artists see into and through the liminal, they lift the veil most of society uses to hide that which distresses us.  Their art speaks to and for those who are given no voice.

Nietzsche wrote that ‘No artist tolerates reality.’  Some of my artist friends and colleagues are always among the first to defy the status quo when it needs to be shaken up.  They hold the rest of us accountable.  They organize or join demonstrations.  They open up pathways to walk together and encourage – literally give others courage – action and critical thinking for new policies that benefit and invest in the marginalized among us.

Thank goodness for artists!  Because of them, the rest of us are made more whole, more complete.  No wonder McCarthy was so worried.


3 thoughts on “The Prompter Room

  1. Indeed. I jusr finished Haruki Murakami’s book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. He is always brilliantly insightful, but especially so in this memoir. It is about running, yes. But also about the process of writing and about writers in general; how there is something very dark inside that we work with and transform through the process of writing or art. And how if we do not have a practice such as physical exercise, that eventually that darkness burns us out and perhaps up. Anyhow, if you’ve not read his work, I think you would enjoy this book particularly. We’re all huge fans of him in this family 😉 Aloha, Genie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bela! I’ve not read him yet, but he’s definitely on my list to do so. He pops up on my radar periodically, and has recently, so I’m keeping my eye out for his works at the library. Thanks for the nudge 🙂

      I think something physical is vital for us – everyone, of course, when possible – because it helps realign our neurons (according to, I think, Alfred Adler re: positive and negative addictions), so this makes a lot of sense.

      Thanks, Bela, and Aloha !

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Genie, there’s a fabulous app for your smart phone or tablet (if you have either) called OverDrive. it is FABULOUS, as it allows me to order library books from our huge statewide library system and AUDIObooks for free (naturally)! There are thousands available this way, and more than our local wonderful library stocks. This is great because I always have a stack of books on my nightstand that I can never seem to get through, and audiobooks allow me to make good use of the road time that is inevitably part of my life. The last audiobook I listed to was Murakami, but before that, Khaled Hosseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed,” read, in large part, by the author, himself. It was another spectacular ‘read.’ Hosseini is a masterful storyteller, and I was sooo reluctant to end that story – a rare thing in my world! So hope you enjoy Murakami. We’ve got all his books (except the running one) in our home shelves. We re-read them, from time to time. ❤


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