This isn’t done to mock Joss Whedon or feminist activists who took umbrage with his latest film Age of Ultron.
This is about whether or not you should, as a creator, separate art from politics, especially in these times and with the increasing outrage and partisanship.
I like to keep my art and politics separate. That doesn’t preclude me from feeling and supporting compassionate and progressive causes but like faith, it’s become a private matter.
Refusing to bear an insult or injury is the bedrock of activism but when you look at political activism and social networking, there’s a lot of people who are so quick to dismiss or celebrate that you can get whiplash just watching.
Such mercurial judgements and absolutism aren’t healthy for the artists who court them. This applies whether you court any group at all. Look at how Buffy and Firefly were heralded as progressive icons and now being lined up like cattle in a slaughterhouse.
And for what?
Joss owes us nothing personally. Only whatever work he does that you’re willing to pay for. Same as with any artist. That he’s not going to be a paragon of your perceived virtue is a given and he wasn’t especially vociferous about it. Yet he’s had threats and character assassinations, and all he did was make a fucking movie.
If you’ve ever sent a threat online, I pity you. I used to troll after a fashion and it’s a short hit of adrenaline and a slow, ugly comedown.
Joss will be back but, like a lot of creators, probably won’t engage with his audience in the same way as before. Perhaps that’s for the best but I think that every time someone gets the lynch mob, that we’re throwing away something that we craved pre internet. I get it though, focus on the work and those who love you and your work.