I took my "Bush Quotes" poster down from my wall this morning. Reading over all of the dumb things the *still* president has said, I began to think about how we dealt with the past eight years. We created biting and hysterical political satire. We created feminist dance music. We made potent documentaries and films. We wrote. We built. We drew. We survived, and many of us came of age in a time where dissent and creativity went hand in hand. We should be proud of what we did, even when we were silenced and marginalized. Our efforts paid off yesterday, and culminated in the greatest victory we could have possibly imagined: Barack Obama, President of the United States of America.
So what happens to creativity now? Do we still need dissent? Conservatives seem to have the idea that liberals are nothing without something to complain about. I don't think anyone needs to worry about a lack of things to bitch about, quite frankly; after all, Fox News ain't going anywhere and California's Prop 8 is looking like it may very well become law. But even if these and other things weren't so, I can't imagine that we'd lose our spirit. Barack Obama is not George W. Bush, not remotely, and won't label you a terrorist if you disagree with him. He does not think artists are creepy culture vultures (fellow rigid bloggers, did either of you keep that gem of an editorial?). I don't think I can say it any better than Michael Moore, who told me in an email (ok, it was from a mailing list, but I like to imagine that he and I actually correspond) this morning:
"We may, just possibly, also see a time of refreshing openness, enlightenment and creativity. The arts and the artists will not be seen as the enemy. Perhaps art will be explored in order to discover the greater truths. When FDR was ushered in with his landslide in 1932, what followed was Frank Capra and Preston Sturgis, Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck, Dorothea Lange and Orson Welles. All week long I have been inundated with media asking me, "gee, Mike, what will you do now that Bush is gone?" Are they kidding? What will it be like to work and create in an environment that nurtures and supports film and the arts, science and invention, and the freedom to be whatever you want to be? Watch a thousand flowers bloom! We've entered a new era, and if I could sum up our collective first thought of this new era, it is this: Anything Is Possible."Jay Smooth warned us a week ago not to get complacent about the prospect of Obama's likely victory. Now that we have it, we still can't afford to sit on our asses. We still have much to fight for, but as we fight, lets continue to create. We hear this constantly, but it's true: now is our time. I encourage you to start a project, anything creative. A novel. A painting. A movie. Use what you have, and make it as big and bad as you can. Share it with the world, and let yourself grow through it. We may never see a better time than now, and to reference illdoc again, we want to be able to tell our children:
YES WE DID.