Oh my goodness, apparently Hamilton isn’t historically accurate (you mean Jefferson didn’t sing and dance that way, or was it that he wasn’t black?) and these historical figures should be blackballed (can I even call it that anymore?) from history because they owned slaves, lived and worked within a culture that owned slaves, and so therefore all the good stuff they did should be negated.
Please people think for a minute.
Firstly – Hamilton is a musical people and an entertaining one, yes it is loosely based on history but the format itself should indicate that liberties have been taken with the story.
Secondly – I’m pretty sure that is it super difficult to portray all the complexities of people in two and a half hours (even my daughter got that Hamilton himself was a bit of a douche). People are often a mix of light and dark (and I’m not talking about skin colour).
Thirdly – and I’m just going to say this, I read and watch fiction stuff because life plain stinks sometimes – but we are getting to the point where if you haven’t lived it, you can’t say anything about it, and that attitude is simply stifling. I have never been a mercenary queen and part dragon (not for lack of wishful thinking) but that is what I’ve written about. Does all this new ‘wokeness’ of people mean I can only write about what I’ve lived, which while funny at times and traumatic at others, will actually cost me my job because I’m not allowed to do that.
Yes I get slavery was wrong, and traumatic on a level I will never understand, but should we not be happy with the fact we think this way now? Should we not look at how far we have come, and set up markers further down the road as sign posts for all the things we still need to change? And whilst on the subject of slavery, you are aware that it is still huge business right? Just thought I should throw that in there.
The arts have a place in our society but so many people seem so concerned with what can and what cannot be said anymore that we are in danger of stifling deep and progressive conversations. It seems scarily like we are walking down a road where opinions are going to be things you can not have in public.
Is slavery bad? Yes, people shouldn’t own other people.
Is being vegan right? Not for me, I like meat, but if that is what you want in your life go for it.
Do black lives matter? Yes.
Are there issues within judicial systems? Yes.
Are there bad cops? Yes.
Are all cops bad? No.
Are the problems only within those systems? No.
Are there bad black/white/and every other colour people? Yes
Are all ‘whatever colour’ people bad? No.
Will cancelling a musical change the intellectual landscape and make us better people? I don’t really see how.
Let us instead continue to have open dialogue, let us look at systems that need changing and how we can change them. Let’s stop stifling creativity, let’s stop telling authors what they can’t write. And yes I know that statement means racist, sexist, and other ‘ist’ arseholes are going to keep spouting crap, but they do that anyway and it doesn’t mean I have to give it any attention, credit it with any value.
We are never all going to think the same, and diversity has value. How can we use this moment in time to keep the conversation going forward? We cannot wipe out our past and in trying to do so we may forget some very valuable lessons. The past can teach us, but we don’t need to dwell there.
And I don’t think demanding the creator of the musical give every penny he has made from it to some charity is a fair expectation. He created something entertaining and educational (I went and read about both Alexander and Elizabeth and learnt stuff) and that isn’t that easy to do, if it was everyone would do it. No creator is perfect but why should they be? How much less joy and beauty would be in our world if we crushed the creative spirit out of everything?
Yes the world needs to change, but we have been changing, it’s just that some are are only now realising how far left we have to go.