Art In A Time Of Fear

It’s odd trying to create art in a time of so much fear.
John Lennon has at least one song which I won’t name. I’m pretty sure that when he was writing it, he felt he was pushing boundaries and trying to open people up to new ideas. I imagine he was, at that. But I’m pretty sure even someone of his stature couldn’t do that today.
I quite like Damon Knight’s 1959 book “A For Anything”, about a world with universal duplicators which could even duplicate each other, meaning essentially unlimited prosperity. (Or the potential for it.)
And in that world, a ruling class emerged, which controlled the machines and wouldn’t let ordinary citizens use them. In fact, even the rich seldom used them–because duplicating was easy, it was considered low-status in that book. It was an artificial scarcity, one based around social taboos and armed enforcement as opposed to actual poverty.
We have, if not universal duplicators, certainly tools, information, and easy access to technologies beyond those envisioned by most futurists.
And most people are scared that they’ll say or do something wrong with those tools, and be attacked for it.
They’re potentially right, too.
Times of repression are normal in human history… not desirable, but normal. They do go ‘way, eventually…but not, usually, without a fight.
That’s okay. Creation is always a struggle.
Nobody wanted The Steampunk World’s Fair to end.
I’m pretty certain nobody thought it would.
But people were very, very excited to be seen protesting against all the bad rumors people were throwing around. Everyone wanted to make sure everyone else knew that they were against bad things.
People didn’t really know how to put on the event without me. That’s not entirely shocking. It took a long time to evolve that event. And because it was deeply unpopular to believe that the person who was accused of all those Bad Things might be good at anything, it was believed the event could get by without me.
It’s a long story. I keep teasing at it, because I think it wants to be written.
The simplest point is: People had the opportunity to make a big show of themselves, and that they did.
They also wanted the event, but if they couldn’t have that, they had someone to blame. No matter that, to the extent I had any input, I argued against the policies which helped kill the show.
It was an odd thing for an autistic person to watch: People knew me from the events, and they wanted the events without me, but if they couldn’t have that, they wanted to make sure THEY didn’t get blamed for the things they did.
It’s a strange time, the one in which we live.
Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. He's currently working on the Great Catskills Halloween Vendor Market & Spectacle. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN", or "I HATE Your Prophecy"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.