I have always said that it's only art that will change the world. Business is doing an awful job, unless you're of the mind that obscene wealth and exclusion are inherent in our chemistry, then I would guess you're quite happy with the last 10 years.
I saw this today on Alternet and I'm not advertising for them by any means but it certainly caught my eye as something I know is true. Don't we all seek out those bits that line up with our thinking and feel like we are happy to learn we're not the only person on the planet who thinks this way?
I like to think I surround myself with people who provide me with smart thoughts on complex issues. I'm bombarded by the same forces we all are but I try to keep separate those voices that I have come to learn have sorted the hype from fact and have made decisions based on the humanity of the issue, not the follow-the-leader mentality that is so easy to do in this age of information overload.
Keeping your art (whatever it is) moving forward, will keep you in a position of influence. Influence is everything to the world's leaders. Say what you will about Bono but the guy gets face time with anyone he needs to, and notice what does with it. He's used his art to elevate awareness on many issues.
It's depressing to see our Senate behave like children and openly pander to money men while weeping through rehearsed tears to gather sympathy for the companies that pay them the most. Why is it Jon Stewart is the most realistic "newsman" out there? He attacks all sides of any issue and presents it with a sense of the absurd that brings the political situation into an understandable format. A stand up comedian. Throw in Colbert and you've got theatre that explains the ridiculousness of our "party leaders" in live-action parity with the great political cartoonists. Don't those cartoons just sum it up quickly and succinctly?
Another great artist, Aaron Sorkin, wrote a few days back about the ongoing love affair with the anything-but-authentic Sarah Palin after she shot a moose on TV show that's nothing more than an ongoing infomercial for both Alaska and her run for office. She did it to appeal to an angry political base that loves to see our 2nd amendment upheld by way of a bullet to the head of a moose. Regardless of the fact that the whole thing was staged and grotesque, it's out there in our influence sphere. It takes the bravery of an artist to stand in the line of fire and write "…you phony pioneer girl. (I'm in film and television, Cruella, and there was an insert close-up of your manicure while you were roughing it in God's country. I know exactly how many feet off camera your hair and make-up trailer was.)"
Martin Luther King Jr. said "Love is the only force capable of turning an enemy into a friend." The blatant "profit above all else" mentality that politicians are "leading" us with is loveless and hateful. It's divisive. Bring minds and hearts together with the love you have for your art. Don't worry about exposure and reaching millions, reach who you can reach, and we, the artists, will save this world one newly loved person at a time.