Shut Up and Entertain Me

Okay, I’m going to be honest. Sometimes I have a very hard time writing blog posts. I have a lot to say but I stick to my one golden rule. If it’s something I wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about with a stranger, I won’t post it here. I’ll opt for sharing too little rather than oversharing. That’s just the way that I am. Others like to share any and everything.

Recently a fellow writer was told to “shut up and enterain me”.   This was from one of his readers and in response to a blog post where the author shared his politcal views. This bothered me for a number of reasons. It’s more than a little disrepectful to say that kind of thing to anyone. Imagine if I walked up to you and said “Shut up and do your job.” You could replace the words “do your job” with cook, clean, draw or any other activity and it wouldn’t sound any better.

Why is it okay to say this to a writer, musician, actor or any other entertainer? It’s not, yet people do it all the time. Being in the entertainment business doesn’t mean you’re no longer entiled to an opinion or you should keep your thoughts to yourself. You don’t lose your right to speak out about issues important to you. You might want to be a little careful about what you say and how you say it unless your goal is to alienate people. More than anything else, you have to be responsible. That means standing by your words and dealing with the consequences.

By the same token, I’ve heard people say things like “so and so should stick to comedy and leave the social commentary to others.” Social commentary is a big part of entertainment especially in regards to writing and comedy. Think of all the music you’ve heard. Think of all the movies you have seen. Think of all the stories you have read. All of them have some kind of message. It might not be some a political manifesto or tirade against relgion. It could be an insight into the creator’s frame of mind or an idea of where they are coming from and what they are trying to say. What would your favorite book, song or movie be like without some kind of message? I have a feeling it would be a lot less entertaining and no longer your favorite.

As with all things, you might disagree or agree with what I’ve said here. That’s your right and you’re entitled to your opinion, just try to cut me the same slack.

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