Straight Herd

The straight herd discriminates against artists as rejects from the “normal.” As with other forms of discrimination, there is a hatred toward those perceived to be other, to be different, but in this case, the difference is not in the colour of the skin, sex or religion, but in the mind.

Artists are non-conformists and, from childhood, society tries to force them to conform. The most original are accused of madness.

I am here using the term artists for all creatives – painters, musicians, poets, writers, dancers, photographers, actors and filmmakers. The herd has found a way to flog artists and feel ethically superior to them while doing it. They despise artists for their freedom of expression and ability to dazzle. Cancel culture is an insidious attempt to force artists to conform. It is a cruel form of torture inflicted on those who can create by those who can’t. The motivation is partly envy but mainly driven by the age-old animal impulse to exclude and savage the “strange.”

Artists are born the way they are and while what they have is a gift, it is also a disability. For a child it is very confusing, they can arrive into a family of straights and school can be a nightmare, forced to be surrounded by the living dead – stranded within a tribe of zombies. Zombies that bite! They are adrift in a sea of normality, and many drown, those that survive must fight every day to maintain their sense of inner worth.

Every kind of discrimination is frowned upon except discrimination against artists. There is an unspoken agreement, in present day society, that there needs to be “punishment for past wrongs.” The straights have worked out they can feel good about inflicting retribution on artists. By targeting artists, they can divert it away from themselves. Artists are constantly being asked to justify what has sprung from their unconscious as if it had been pre-thought.

No wonder a lot of artists, in order to survive, learn to bend and create products no longer to express themselves, but to please the straights. 

Yet the products that humanity is most proud of are the gifts of artists ­– the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh, music of Mozart and Louis Armstrong, songs of Pattie Smith and Bob Dylan, poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, dancers of the Ballet Russes, the writing of Virginia Woolf and the Brontë sisters, the voices of Nina Simone and Pavarotti, the photography of Diane Arbus, the films of Federico Fellini and acting of Marilyn Monroe…

No one wants to pay artists for their time because the straights think “Why should artists be paid for enjoying themselves and what they do is not real work!” As a result they see it as OK to exploit the generosity of artists in every way possible. Plumbers, electricians and dentists have no problem putting a value on their services but with artists the question of “what will be seen as too much?” hangs over every transaction.

When are the rights of artists going to be respected and when are the straights going to stop punishing them for being different?

Many artists are as willing to die to keep their creative freedom as the people of Ukraine are, in opposing Russia’s attempt to destroy their national identity.

Artist Profile would like to hear from other artists who have faced discrimination, as well as artists who witness or are caught up in zones of conflict.  

Latest  /  Most Viewed  /  Related