250 years after a Nuclear War managed to destroy all lands and leave behind only a small amount of survivors, a civilization was built. From the old world came knowledge to those living in the new. They have sets of laws, religions, and teachings. Their names have been passed down kin after kin since the war.
They know war harsher than most do as well, and a new one is set to come. There has been chaos since the last one while the current Commander, the one who everyone bows to, has been unable to control it. This puts the faith her people as well as fellow ambassadors have in her in jeapordy. With newer clans and armies forming, and very little time till Ascension Day, where a new Commander shall be tested based on their knowledge of each clans religions, laws and people to rule, war is almost inevitable.
Only thing is, this isn’t the war that they should be worried about. Bigger things will come into their lives that they will not be able to understand. Confusion incites fear, fear incites violence.
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In Donald Trump’s America, art is more important than ever
Donald Trump has been elected to the presidency of the United States with virtually no checks or balances. The House of Representatives and the Senate are both in Republican hands. Trump will be able to name at least one, if not more, justices to the Supreme Court. A racist, sexist demagogue will have nearly unlimited power.
So what the hell is the point of arts and entertainment?
It’s tempting at a time like this to withdraw within yourself, to shut everything out and succumb to helplessness. Watching a movie, going to the theater or listening to music feels like a futile exercise right now, an inevitably unsuccessful attempt to escape the storm clouds barreling down upon us.
But as hard as it is to believe right now, the darkest moment in modern American history, art and the artists who create it are more important than ever. They are a voice and a home for the marginalized groups of this country.
At Mic, we often parse the statistics on how well Hollywood, Broadway, the music industry and other artistic platforms are representing marginalized groups. Often, the news isn’t good. There’s tremendous work that must be done to better find and boost female and queer voices. People of color remain remarkably under-included both in front of and behind the camera. None of that work goes away because the president-elect is someone who threatens the pillar of democracy; in fact, it becomes all the more vital.
Art is a venue for speaking out against the powerful. Think of the protest anthems from throughout history: Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” for the civil rights movement, or Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” for the women’s liberation movement. Think of Jimi Hendrix’s “Machine Gun,” protesting the Vietnam War.
Films like Selma serve as megaphones for artists like Ava DuVernay to say something profound about not just the way we lived when Martin Luther King Jr. was alive, but how we do now when protests break out in places like Ferguson, Missouri. Musicals like Hamilton argue for the power and importance of immigrants at a time when Americans elected a man who wants to build a wall to keep them out.
When hate reveals itself, art counters with brilliance. Art counters with inspiration. Art counters with anger. And art counters with love.
Over the weekend, the publicist for actress Tilda Swinton released an email exchange between Swinton and comedian Margaret Cho about race and casting in Hollywood. Swinton was one of the stars of Dr. Strange and played a character, The Ancient One, who had always been Asian in the comic books on which the movie was based. Swinton had reached out to Cho, an outspoken critic of “whitewashing” in the film industry.
After the email exchange, Cho went on a podcast and characterized the brief conversation as a “fight” in which she said Swinton essentially asked her to make the criticism go away.