Thursday, August 30, 2007

A is A, and in any universe Luthor is Luthor

Just a little Justice League quote there. Doesn't really have to do much with anything, but it's a nice one, even if it actually wrong (the second part, not the first part which is the central basis of all actual logic) as is demonstrated in numerous alternate universe adventures in the Justice League and Superman comics, and to some extent in the one alternate universe adventure of the Justice League show.

But I just wanted to gripe a little, hopefully not just a wah-wah gripe, but something a little bit more significant. I remember Marget Cho once commented on the reaction to the Dixie Chicks disliking Bush controversy by saying that something along the lines of "yeah, sure, artists aren't supposed to comment on society." I see her point, artists are often very important commentators on society, but I think she misses some of the point of the Dixie Chicks controversy and the more general controversy over actors and musicians making political statements.

The thing is, most actors and musicians who make political statements have not established themselves with any legitimacy in the political sphere, so when they talk it's just like any normal guy making a statement, it's forgettable, and when they make a big deal about their political statements, it seems like a normal guy statement loudly, which can be annoying. An artist or actor or musician usually has some insight into his craft, he can be said to be an expert on that; often artists dwell especially on a subject matter, and if their work on that subject matter is high quality, they can be said to be an expert on that; but on all other subjects, I have to say I have no reason to believe the artist is an expert on those subjects and unless he's bringing some evidence to the table I have no reason to believe him.

That's why an actor or actress or musician known largely for personal material that has little to do with politics except in the most indirect sense has no special credentials to be talking about politics. But to be fair, and it is generally a good idea to be fair, some artists are personally well informed about politics even if their art doesn't show it. Part of the negative reaction to non-political artists speaking politically is the belief that the artist is essentially the sum of his or her art, and if that body of work does not include political pieces that person couldn't possibly know politics. But even non-political artists can know politics. They can know politics, but they might not on the other hand. They have about as much of a chance as any other person of knowing politics. But hey, people not famous in the political sphere sometimes come up with amazing political insights, so we shouldn't rule people out just because they have no political credentials, but we should look carefully at the evidence they bring to the table, and those people should not expect otherwise (of course, even with people with credentials we should examine the evidence they bring to the table, but if we don't have time to follow all their analysis, or don't understand the issues very well, but based on their other work in politics we trust the person to be an expert in politics, ie they have some credentials, we might be willing to be a little easier on their positions).

The same goes for other people who might be highly educated in one field, but don't have any credentials about politics. Like scientists for example. When a scientist says this congressman is bad or good and has not made known any political credentials or any good evidence, his opinion is only about as good as the next guy on the street. Just because you might be an expert on physics doesn't mean that you're an expert on politics. However, you might be, if say politics was a hoppy of yours that you indulged a lot. But then don't expect anyone to give you any slack because you're a scientist, show you know your stuff and support your point. I've known a lot of people who know a whole lot about science or math or computers, etc. but don't know anything about politics.

If I seem a bit harsh, perhaps it is because I'd like to be listen to a little more about politics, but I think my point stands pretty well. After all I am Rand, and that gives me credentials on all subjects including the subject of credentials. Because I'm just that awesome.

So anyways, take it to your head, take it to your heart, and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

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