Since Congress is taking a nice long paid three-day weekend while allowing our fatally necessary unemployment assistance to lapse, I feel like it's a good time to make this statement. I got rather fired up for the first time in a long time last week and wrote this out. Consider it an open letter to Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, and every other congressional "leader" who has decided that our lives are disposable. And whether you read it or not, particularly if you're in a red district or state, but even if you're somewhere blue, call your reps, call McConnell, call the Republican congressional leadership, and demand they extend these relief payments. All the phone numbers are clickable on my advocacy page, so it truly couldn't be easier. Alright, here's what I have to say:
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I am an artist.
And as such, I have had to learn how to survive.
I have trained my body to do things I was warned by professionals were impossible.
I have studied languages, texts, and history beyond any mere institutional requirement.
I have strengthened my voice to reach notes it was never biologically meant to reach.
I have endured heartbreak, betrayal, bigotry, and hate, and smiled in the face of it.
I have leaped off of towers, swum with sharks, and crafted stories and songs from thin air.
I have managed schools, fielded petty sales calls, slung tacos, been Elmo, sung, danced, fought, been stabbed, broken my body, willingly shattered my heart, and weathered what for an ordinary person would be unendurable levels of resistance all in order to survive.
And I am only one.
We artists are many.
And we are unfathomably well versed in survival.
So, if you think that your hate is going to break us...
If you think that your willful ignorance,
Your selfishness, racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia,
Or your truly pernicious lack of empathy for those in need –
Who you, through your actions and inaction, put in the position we're in –
If you think for one second that you're going to break us...
You have no idea who you're messing with.
Your economy is so precious to you, is it?
So, tell me...
What would it be without television?
Billboards? Commercials? Packaging on products? Music? Books? Magazines?
Hell, the fucking ticker tape at the bottom of the screen or the microphones capturing the sound of the disinformation and hate spewed on Fox "News"?
Because those? They were all made by us.
And you know... Now that I think about it, I have in mind a better use for what we do.
I will make a weapon of my art.
My body will break your resolve.
My words will pierce the heavy armor into which you've encased your followers' minds.
My songs will resound so loudly that they will rattle apart your barricades, your fences, and your walls.
I will draw...
Sing, dance, write, rise, fight, resist, compose, endure, persevere, and persist far longer than you'll even be alive.
Because, make no mistake: not your money, not your hate, not your selfishness, bigotry, God, nor anything else can hide you from Death.
He comes for us all, and once he does, no power can stop him.
And all of us will be naught but memories; footnotes in peoples' minds, remembered as whatever we have proven ourselves, in life, to be.
So, go ahead.
Make your last stand.
Because when you are dead and buried and only remembered in the history books for what you are: the toxic last vestige of the hateful, cankerous, diseased corpse from which this country was wrought...
I'll still be here.
All of us will still be here.
And we will erase every despicable mark you ever made on this world.
Because when it comes down to it, the survivors write the history books.
And no one knows how to survive like artists.
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