28 August 2008

Power of art

Okay I'm cleaning up saved drafts in profile and this is one from a while back (May actually).

I follow a number of different blogs, not all library or techie related. Some are art, which is what my undergrad degree was in, and I came across this touching and powerful post. It's the text from a speech Andy Marlette gave at the Columbia College Chicago department of journalism, in honor of his uncle Doug Marlette, artist of Kudzu and a Pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonist.

I suppose there are a number of different things to take from it. The impact that a life can have on the world and the impact of their passing can be far reaching, beyond anything we might have thought.

But I suppose this struck me more:
In recent years when we spoke of the biz, he lamented the overall state of cartooning and the current condition of free speech and told me straight up that were he getting started in this day and age, he might not have gone into cartooning.
and this from further on down:
In our discussions about cartooning, Doug often spoke of his disappointment in a trend towards “safe” or just flat out boring cartoons. He was also cautious of new media obsessions with animation and flashy web formats interfering with the fundamentals of good, strong cartooning.
I think of it more than just in our focus as work, but our outlook on life. How often do we bite our tongues because we want to be "safe?" How often do words go unspoken, drawings never started, poems unwritten, and so on because we fear what others will think of us?

I think that the internet has at least given voice to those that still don't fit into society's "traditional" standard. You see it in webcomics, artists with tremendous talent, but their views aren't necessarily "family friendly." Same with writers and bloggers that speak out against atrocities they see in their homelands. Librarians are also becoming less hesitant to speak out and share their views. I'm trying to take that into account and not be afraid of speaking my mind. I hope y'all continue to follow and talk to me through FriendFeed, Twitter, and this blog, even though I am a bit strange and continue to share my thoughts.

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