The Sound of Silenced Science

The Adverse Events featuring The Spike Girls

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Nina Simone once said that

It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times.

I included this quote in my coming out post; my public disclosure; my very conspicuous grabbing onto the third rail of unpopular opinions. It was only my third ever Substack blog? essay? post? “what am I even doing here?” I had sent out. The thing is, I was an artist among artists whose view of the times was so exceedingly out of orthodoxy, so obviously unacceptable to the status quo, it took away a major part of my identity. What was I supposed to do now? So I came to Substack and I posted a creative reflection, followed up by a compass post, and then, my parlay which I shared to my social media. I had come, it would seem, to carry out my artist’s duty.

Since then, I’ve really enjoyed writing and engaging with prolific voices in this community, although admittedly, I consume so much more than produce myself. There is never a lack of content ‘cause, come on, we are living through the most interesting times, terrifying and exhilarating. Writing is great for sorting out your brain and you can go at it solo. But it lacks collaborative merrymaking. No ensembles, no long rehearsals, no beers with the cast at The Four Moon after. Nonetheless, I am more into it than I’ve been into doing theatre lately, even pre-pandemic. It allows for a different voice to come through me at the whim of, well, me. Eventually, along came audio posts, and recently, creative expression through video.

Majority of the artists that I used to collaborate with in real life here, in the Chicago theatre community, do not read my Substack. There’s an odd homogeny among the entertainment industry and it has done its fair share of toxic culture assimilation, but none so bizarre as the upholding of the covid narrative and the erosion of free speech in the form of cancel culture. Like, what? We’re supposed to be the pioneers of unpopular opinions. But the establishment leveraged the entertainment industry’s empathy and now artists are all in, I guess?, on seeing it through and clamoring over one another for who is gonna take home the Oscar for most conscientious person. We went from performance to performative; from art to artifice.

And then, the most extraordinary thing occurred: new friends (who weren’t artists per se) and I joined together and created this parody of Sound of Silence and it was a delightful experience. The artist label wasn’t a prerequisite to be creative. Participation was effortless. Not that I didn’t sink hard work and long hours into mixing audio and visuals together, but there were no real hiccups, no challenges that proved too grand to conquer with cheerfulness. And since the feedback after some of these projects has been positive, I’m itching to make more creative content on the current human condition; to reflect the times we are in. It’s my duty, after all.

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