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Blog #1

Posted on September 4, 2018

In current society, where one’s value is determined by wealth and social status, it is common to look down upon artists. I’ve been quite familiar with this concept for a long time. Since dancing was my hobby, I knew many people involved in several fields of the arts who hoped to make it their career, not just a hobby. Friends taking a year off college to audition in hopes of booking a show and getting their big break were talked down to by parents. Parents claimed they didn’t want to see them become just another striving dancer/artist/musician. In “Artists in Times of War”, Howard Zinn discusses how society groups people by their profession. A person’s job is often seen as their major defining quality, and the characteristic to judge. People then feel confined to those positions, they feel they are “just an artist” or “just a nurse”, therefore they shouldn’t be participating in disciplines outside their own.  Zinn uses the example of Peter Ustinov, a british actor, who voiced his opinion about the Vietnam War, being criticized for doing so because “He’s an actor. He’s not an expert” (Zinn 10). This reminded me of the popular response to Cynthia Nixon running for governor of New York. Critics emphasized that she is not what a governor needs to be, she is just an actress and will continue to be known as Miranda from the popular movie “Sex and the City. Why is it that we are so confined by our profession? Why can’t it be possible for someone to be knowledgable and active in more than one field?


  1. moaljarrash

    I can totally relate to this, as I’ve taken a gap year myself to try to focus on my music. I’ve come across many people who looked down on me. and were very judgmental of that. They said things like “You’ll never get a job” or “You’ll end up on the street.” But it was clearly my passion and what I wanted to do. Looking back on that I don’t regret what I’ve done, I learned a lot and it made a better person and I will always not regret taking that chance to follow my passion.


    It is nice to know that you find each profession to be unique and respectable and we are no one to judge them for the hard work they put in earning their living. I agree that hobby if followed with determination can turn into a career and in turn a passion. Each and every artist has a defining quality which you have emphasized pretty well and yes, every individual does have the right to voice their opinion regardless of the career they are a part of.

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