Wednesday, January 03, 2007

ASS-UMPTIONS- or, not everyone in the arts is a Democrat!

On a somewhat lighter note, for a change:

Most people (including fellow theatre folk) presume that anyone involved in the arts is a liberal. Now add vegetarianism to the equation and they figure the person must be a granola-munching, ex-hippie, card-carrying, flaming, die-hard liberal. And though I might have been all those things in my younger (less evolved) years, and some of those things to this day (I still love granola!), one thing I am not, is a liberal. However, people automatically assume that I am, given my veggie ways and my career in the entertainment industry. But we all know what happens when you automatically 'assume' something; and in case you don't: when you assume, you "make an ass out of u and me!"

Now, considering that the majority of individuals in the arts are liberally-oriented, those of us who aren't have found the best policy, in the long run, is to keep our mouths firmly shut; that is, if we want to continue being gainfully employed. There is a definite bias against conservatives, particularly in the entertainment industry, and I've witnessed enough conservative-bashing sessions to know that if ever I fully confessed to being a conservative, my chances of employment would be severely limited. I've heard some rather vicious and derogatory remarks bandied about regarding conservatives and the Republican Party, and though I usually roll my eyes (unobserved, of course), there are times when I've been compelled to respond; though I have learned to choose my battles carefully. I find, for the most part, that liberals in my industry rarely delve into or research an issue and usually just spout the party-line or re-iterate whatever the mainstream liberal media happens to have glommed onto, so it's relatively easy to win an argument.

But, as mentioned, I rarely bother to engage my liberal co-workers in any kind of political discourse because of the need to maintain my cover. Something all my fellow entertainment industry conservatives are forced to do; at least those of us who aren't courageous enough to 'out' ourselves; yet! So, you can imagine what a lonely world it must be for a solitary, conservative fishy swimming in a sea of liberal sharks, not knowing if they all happen to be sharks or if, perchance, there might be one other lone, conservative fishy also masquerading as a shark. And it's no easy task ascertaining who is conservative, due to our necessary 'code of silence'. But there are ways to decipher who they are and oh, what joy, when you do finally encounter a like-minded cohort!.

It's a very delicate dance that usually begins with a group 'bashing' session of some sort. You might notice that one person isn't laughing as heartily at some joke about GWB, or isn't joining in the "Bush should just die" rants, or whatever 'anti' issue they happen to be belaboring at the moment, and you begin to wonder. Could they be a fellow conservative? Or not? You can't always tell and you certainly don't want to be the first to admit it, so there might be some quizzical looks and non-committal remarks before you actually come out and bluntly ask, "Are you a conservative?" This way you get them to fess up first, saving face in case they aren't. It does usually take a while before either person is willing to confess, though sometimes it can be a quicker and less complicated process. The clincher? When they join you in defending some person or situation that is being criticized, and you just know you've found a comrade in arms.

You'd actually be very surprised to discover who the GOPers are in your midst. Some might be rather obvious, but others not at all. There are actors I would have never guessed were Republicans, and people I've known and worked with for years who I only recently discovered were. There are, of course, varying degrees of conservatism amongst those of us in the Arts, but we are out there, and coming to a stage or screen in your area, soon!

(This is dedicated to all my Republican and/or conservative peeps: those who are 'out' and those who are still in the 'closet', like I am. You know who you are! Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. Love ya guys!)


peddlinshutterbug said...

You make me want to start watching movies again! I find myself in somewhat of similar situations, I have lost friends, or had them distance themselves... although it never jeopardized my career, so I can see how in your line of work, it would be a far worse thing if the next director should find out..
Well, I hope you have the opportunity to 'come out' when it is right for you.
I know what you mean about winning arguments. You know you have won when the factophobics start impuning you, personally.
When the name calling begins, you can raise your gloves high and do the the Rocky dance...they cannot stand up to the depth of thoughtful debate .... keep it up and I hope to know when you 'come out.'

MUD said...

Give the liberals a chance to gloat for a while. They haven't have the best, last 6 years and probably need someone like Bill Clinton to reaffirm their lifestyles aren't that strange. I am married to a liberal and she hates to be called a liberal even though I tell her that as a conservative she is the opposite of me in a lot of ways. Oh well, I love her and can "not" hate the liberals. Dennis Petty aka,

Sexy Swingers said...

Funny, one our best friends is an artist (sculptor actually) and when we attend his parties, we know he changes personas. Hailing from ultra-conservative Arizona, out come the granola stories to his art "friends". We'd love his art just as much, or more so, if he was just real about who he is. Alas, not possible sometimes.

Incognito said...

Hey Peddlin: Will definitely let you know when I do, but it might be a while. Still have a few years of work left in me. though I think the director I'm working with (who I have worked with in the past) might know. He made an interesting comment, recently. I didn't admit to anything, but was cheered to know that he cast me in the show, even though he thought I was a conservative. There might be hope yet!
Sad to lose friends over politics, but many liberals are just too angry to accept ideas other than their own. You are probably better off without them.

Incognito said...

I don't hate the liberals either Dennis, cos they are just misguided :-). Lots of conservatives are married to liberals and they survive just fine. Love does conquer all, eh?!

Incognito said...

Yes, SS, visual artists can be conservative too. :-) I have some dear friends that are, but we can be open with each other because we have the same political perspectives.
Perhaps you are more accepting and open than most, but from our POV, it's best to keep mum about anything that might jeopardize our work opportunities.
Too bad there aren't more like you!

Irisi said...

Assumptions make an ass out of u and umptions.. :D

Anyways! I am a surface liberal that stands by old-school republican values. I don't identify as conservative, because somehow in all of the hullaballoo of the past few years, republicans went from being low social involvement, high promotion of free trade/capitolism to high social involvement (hello, bills to "protect marriage?"), which I really don't agree with.

I feel like there's no winning: The democrats want to take all my money to feed people that.. well.. need to get a job, and the republicans want to take my vote to justify legalized discrimination against homosexuals and take away laws that protect women (abortion- even if we outlaw it, it'll still happen. I don't agree with it spiritually, but I think it's worse for women to be dying from rusty coathangers than babies to be dying in sterilized operation rooms).

Um.. anyways.. done with my political tirade of the day. But I understand the precariousness of your social situation, and wish you the best of luck in navagating it!

Incognito said...

Never heard of umptions, Irisi? :D

Thanks for your good wishes! There are things about the GOP that I have trouble with, as well, but it certainly beats the increasingly left-leaning Dem. Party. And the GOP is much better equipped to handle foreign policy, which for me is most important. Maybe you will find your way back. :-)