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maestrowork
11-19-2008, 07:55 PM
Do you think you should keep your political views, personal opinions, etc. hidden from the public?

Whenever an actor or director says something political, we usually hear the response: Go back to acting/making movies; keep your opinions to yourself; what makes you an expert?

But why? Shouldn't those people (and we, as writers) have the same right as anyone else to voice our opinions? And just because they're famous doesn't mean we have to listen to or agree with them.

Or is it true that when you become famous, your words mean more and may affect more people, so you need to be very careful of what you say?

Do you think, as a famous person, your words and your actions would have more impact on other people's lives -- strangers who happen to be fans of your work -- and that you have extra responsibility to weigh every word you say in public (including on the Internet)?

writerterri
11-19-2008, 08:09 PM
I want to remain a nobody. We never get picked on while under the scrutiny of people who voice opinions about opinions who also secretly want to be famous for voicing opinions about people who voice opinions. Celebs are higher in ranking than those of us who are not. I suppose they think so anyways. I just don't get it.

Everyone should carry around their opinions in a pillow case and sleep on them for a few days before they let them out. Yes?

Cranky
11-19-2008, 08:12 PM
I don't think they should have to shut up about things like that. With that said, what I will say is that if they know they have a large following, I think they should be responsible with their remarks, knowing that it can influence other people, whether or not what they say actually SHOULD influence someone or not.

The folks hanging around P&CE are largely familiar with my politics, but I keep 'em off the blog. Maybe that's a false division, but I see this place as hanging out with my friends, more casual-like. A blog is part of my public persona, I guess you could say, and that I want to keep as on-topic and non-controversial as possible. Because I don't want to alienate potential readers by talking about politics, which are so divisive. I know I've been put off by some strident political opinions I've seen by some writers and other publishing people. Not enough to not read their work, but the thought crossed my mind. If it was offensive enough, I would, though.

/long winded answer

myscribe
11-19-2008, 08:14 PM
As long as you know what you're talking about, I don't have a problem with opinions of celebs or regular peeps.

I do have a problem with celebrities thinking they "know" what the rest of us should think or do just because they are famous.

dmytryp
11-19-2008, 08:15 PM
I wouldn't hide my beliefs, but i would voice them in private.

writerterri
11-19-2008, 08:16 PM
And if you think about it opinions have ranks too. If you're a celeb and you have a high ranking opinion then it's golden. But don't say something unpopular, Sharon Stone.



Aren't we all going to listen to the new president while sitting on the edge of our seats?

I'm scrutinizing! Just cause I didn't vote for him.

The truth be told. By a nobody. :D

DeleyanLee
11-19-2008, 08:18 PM
Y'know, I don't think I've ever seen an interview with a writer that's dealt with anything outside of their work or adaptations of their work. Professionals of our craft just don't seem to have as many avenues to voice their personal opinions about things like politics, etc, as professionals in other arts.

I wonder if that's because so many of our personal opinions end up in our work and people feel as if they already know what we'd say.

mscelina
11-19-2008, 08:20 PM
I do think there's an extra responsibility there. There's no denying that with fame comes a certain amount of influence--sad but true. I don't think that it needs to equate to wholesale self-ceonsoring per se (although there are some celebs that I dearly wish would keep their fat mouths shut) but there needs to be at least a modicum of understanding that what you say can influence the way other people think.

Also there's a big difference for me between a celeb with a cause and a celeb who just likes to hear himself talk. There are good uses for the fame of celebrity--JK Rowling has donated buckets of money to MS research and literacy projects and brought a lot of people to follow her lead. That's very good example of a celebrity writer understanding the power of her influence and using it for the greater good.

Vastly different from Hollywood fat cats who threaten to immigrate if the candidate they prefer doesn't get elected. *coughSusanSarandoncough*

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 08:21 PM
I don't see why well known folks should keep it zipped just because - shock horror - others might hear them voice an opinion!

One person I feel for, even though I am of a different faith or religion, is the Archbishop of Canterbury. If he stays silent on an issue, people say, "He should lead! He should lead!" When he speaks, people say, "He should shut up and read his Bible! He should shut up and read his Bible!"

So he can't win, and though I disagree with both his politics and faith, I feel for the man. I honestly do.

Everyone has the right to an opinion, famous or not. Whether you choose to voice it is up to you, but no one should be condemned or even criticised for this.

Edmontonian
11-19-2008, 08:22 PM
Yes, keep your mouth shut! What does a rockstar know about global warming? What does a movie star know about Africa's AIDS problems? These people are famous for their guitar-playing abilities or for showing their face (or other parts of their body) on the big screen, not for their intellect or progressive thinking. Please, stick to doing what you are famous for and shut up on issues you know nothing about!

On the other hand, of course actors and writers have opinions on anything under the sun, but they should not use their status of a famous person to push other agendas that have nothing to do with what they make a living. It's like me, a writer, saying that we should ban assault rifles from the hands of the public in the States and press my fans to stop buying them.

If actors and writers want to talk to their kids, friends, relatives, family members, who love them regardless of what they do in life (at least, I would hope so), about their views, I'm fine we that. Just don't shove it down the throat of folks who can't tell the difference between acting and real life.

Thanks,

ED

mscelina
11-19-2008, 08:26 PM
Yes, keep your mouth shut! What does a rockstar know about global warming? What does a movie star know about Africa's AIDS problems? These people are famous for their guitar-playing abilities or for showing their face (or other parts of their body) on the big screen, not for their intellect or progressive thinking. Please, stick to doing what you are famous for and shut up on issues you know nothing about!

*Snipped for brevity, bolding mine*

ED

Bono, among others, knows a lot about global warming and Hollywood has been at the forefront of the AIDS movement since the eighties.

tehuti88
11-19-2008, 08:27 PM
I'm always careful of what I say. I hate rocking the boat. Thus it would be nothing new to me to watch my mouth if I were famous, and to not give my opinion on certain matters unless 1. specifically asked for it or 2. giving it in the context of my work. (For example, I have gay characters in my work and I write them favorably, so my stance on that issue is rather clear.)

Celebrities have as much right to share opinions as others, and I always found the whole "Go back to what you know!" bit kind of puzzling. Some celebrities do know what they're talking about. I'd save the criticism for celebrities who really DON'T know what they're talking about. (They usually make themselves obvious.) And in truth, I don't give any more credence to their opinions than to anyone else's. They can be just as wrong or stupid as a regular person can be correct or smart. I just believe in tact and courtesy when sharing an opinion; that's all that really matters.

(Though I realize opinions in themselves are never "right" or "wrong," they just are. Something more people should realize. *has been lambasted plenty of times for having the "wrong" opinion*)

So if I were famous, I'd be just as careful to watch what I say, but I wouldn't hide my opinions if I felt I had a need to express them.

Edmontonian
11-19-2008, 08:33 PM
- Bono, among others, knows a lot about global warming and Hollywood has been at the forefront of the AIDS movement since the eighties.

Of course he knows, it's a great publicity stunt.

Thanks,

ED

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 08:36 PM
Yes, keep your mouth shut! What does a rockstar know about global warming? What does a movie star know about Africa's AIDS problems? These people are famous for their guitar-playing abilities or for showing their face (or other parts of their body) on the big screen, not for their intellect or progressive thinking. Please, stick to doing what you are famous for and shut up on issues you know nothing about!

It doesn't stop all of us writers from expressing our opinions here. :) Or should we just go back to writing stories...

(that's actually not a bad idea -- I need to get back to work)

But I hope you're joking, because otherwise you're reducing people to only what they do for a living. So Harrison Ford is only a face and body? He shouldn't have a brain? And he shouldn't express his opinions because you just want him to be a movie star? And like mscelina said, some people like Bono (whom I've met) are very articulate and knowledgeable in these world affairs. So, just because they sing and play the guitar, they suddenly don't have brains?

I really don't understand that kind of thinking -- on, one hand, we scrutinize celebrities for being dumb, but when a smart one starts to talk, we tell them: "Go back to making movies/music/writing fiction."

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 08:36 PM
Of course he knows, it's a great publicity stunt.

Thanks,

ED

No it's not. Gosh, you have no idea of what you're talking about. I happen to have met Bono -- he's not just doing this for publicity.

Maybe we should all go back to our writing, because what do WE know?

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 08:37 PM
Maybe you were being sarcastic, but in case not...


Yes, keep your mouth shut! What does a rockstar know about global warming? What does a movie star know about Africa's AIDS problems?

No more or less than you do.


These people are famous for their guitar-playing abilities or for showing their face (or other parts of their body) on the big screen, not for their intellect or progressive thinking.

Oh really? So being famous for one thing means you can't be interested in another? Celebrities are supposed to be one-dimensional?

And yet when they branch out into areas on which lesser mortals are allowed to have an opinion, they're criticised for it.


Please, stick to doing what you are famous for...

Why? So you can shut them up in a little box marked 'actor' or 'singer' and stop them doing anything else?


...and shut up on issues you know nothing about!

First of all, why should they?

Secondly, who says they know nothing about any given subject?


On the other hand, of course actors and writers have opinions on anything under the sun, but they should not use their status of a famous person to push other agendas that have nothing to do with what they make a living. It's like me, a writer, saying that we should ban assault rifles from the hands of the public in the States and press my fans to stop buying them.

If you want to say that, you have every right to do so and I'd never try to stop you having that opinion, whether I agree with it or not.

Celebrities should be afforded the same courtesy of free speech.


Just don't shove it down the throat of folks who can't tell the difference between acting and real life...

Since when was voicing your opinion the same as shoving it down others' throats?

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 08:40 PM
Since when was voicing your opinion the same as shoving it down others' throats?

Be careful. You shouldn't shove that opinion down edmontonian's throat.

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 08:41 PM
I resemble that remark!

(Besides...it wasn't an opinion; it was a request for clarification...)

But I respect and defend your right to be wrong. :D

jst5150
11-19-2008, 08:42 PM
Do you think you should keep your political views, personal opinions, etc. hidden from the public?
Yes.


Whenever an actor or director says something political, we usually hear the response: Go back to acting/making movies; keep your opinions to yourself; what makes you an expert?
The people leveraging him because of his position in the media space and the opportunities he gets to be seen by millions of people. Dennis Rodman is probably the best example of this. Once he left the NBA, he was less than nobody. Those people make him an "expert" then send him out in to the world armed with "knowledge."


But why? Shouldn't those people (and we, as writers) have the same right as anyone else to voice our opinions? And just because they're famous doesn't mean we have to listen to or agree with them.
Our "opinions" have an audience of our friends and families. Their "audience" can potentially be millions of people. If Jay-Z wears a watch, it sells watches. If I wear a watch, no one gives a fuck except my wife. She wants the watch to match my clothes. The variable is different. Your comparison is faulty; apples and oranges, and it has everything to do with access to mass media. And don't confuse a blog read by 19 people a month with mass media.


Or is it true that when you become famous, your words mean more and may affect more people, so you need to be very careful of what you say?
See above.


Do you think, as a famous person, your words and your actions would have more impact on other people's lives -- strangers who happen to be fans of your work -- and that you have extra responsibility to weigh every word you say in public (including on the Internet)?
Yes. As a celebrity commodity, you don't belong to yourself. You belong to an agent, a publicist, an employer and a host of other people who help keep your universe on even keel until the Schlitz and the talent runs out. And then you just go back to being a guy with a blog that reaches 19 people a month. Ask Tony Orlando. Ask Dave Coulet.

Finally, we (those who are not celebrities and have no access to mass media) make the mistake that celebrities/people of powrer MUST speak for "the people" and "causes" when they reach a pinnacle. And that's such crap. Tiger Woods gets this rap all the time: he's got to do more for the black community because of his position. He's a golfer and a savvy business man. Nothing more. That he chooses to devote some of his monies to charitble causes is noble (and a tax break). However, we've never seen his politics, religion or sex views. Nor have we seen those of Tom Brady, Michael Phelps, Dan Brown or John Grisham.

In any case, the fallacy is this: it's OUR mistake to believe that celebrities have to "stand up and do something" when they become famous. And when they don't, we believe them lesser people. That's crap. They can choose or not choose. What we want is for them to choose wisely, say smart, well informd things and actually make a difference in the causes they support. Otherwise, please -- STFU.

Alpha Echo
11-19-2008, 08:42 PM
Hmmm. I can't even imagine being so famous that my opinions even matter to the general public. I really can't. I don't hear that much coming from authors now, even the widely known ones. So...I don't know. I don't think I'd keep my opinions to myself, but I also don't think I'd shout them from the rooftops or rant about them on my blog. Then again, even if I'm famous I don't want a blog. I want to be like I am now only with my books on the shelves (and hopefully in readers' eager hands...)

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 08:43 PM
Let's stop for a minute and not generalize.

Let's talk about YOU! The question is: What would you do if YOU were famous? Do you think YOU should keep your mouth shut? Do YOU think your opinions should or should not matter because you're famous?

Darzian
11-19-2008, 08:44 PM
I don't mind people (celebrities included) expressing their religious/political/other views in a non-offensive way. Everyone has the right to do that. The only difference is that the average person's voice won't be on CNN but that of a celebrity would get around. That does not steal their independence.

What I dislike is preaching and lecturing on such topics.


On a whole though, I never follow celebrity news. To me, they're just people. I read books, watch movies, recognize them on TV etc....but don't rave about them nor do I care about their personal lives.

What would I do? I would not speak of any such thing.

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 08:45 PM
...In any case, the fallacy is this: it's OUR mistake to believe that celebrities have to "stand up and do something" when they become famous...

No one here is saying celebrities have to stand up and do anything.

What I am saying is they have a right to if they should so choose.

If I was famous, I'd carry on voicing my opinions just as I do now. If anyone told me to STFU, well - that's their right; just as I would have the right to ignore them.

writerterri
11-19-2008, 08:45 PM
No it's not. Gosh, you have no idea of what you're talking about. I happen to have met Bono -- he's not just doing this for publicity.

Maybe we should all go back to our writing, because what do WE know?


Ray sees dead people. :D

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 08:47 PM
But Jason, what if your blog reaches tens of thousands of people?

Would you change the way your blog? the things you blog about? Would you now stop talking about politics, personal views, etc. on your blogs?

Just curious.

personally, if I become a famous author/filmmaker/whatever, I probably would put on a self-censor more readily because I'd realize I have a wider audience. I may talk less about the negative (what pisses me off, or why some people are jerks, etc.) but focus more on the positive. I may stop talking about certain things completely. I would not, however, pretend to be something I'm not just to please my fans, or say something that I don't believe in simply to make them like me.

but what's great about being an author/filmmaker/musician/artist is that our views are often included in our works anyway. It's going to be part of the person's public persona (for example, Chricton's views on the environment, King's political and religious views). Seldom does a writer go off line and spiel something completely different -- some do, and I try to respect them for their views even if I don't agree with them. Some, however, are so radical that I don't see how I can read their work without thinking on their personal views. Then again, I'm sure there are people who agree with them and would happily buy their works. To each his own.

KTC
11-19-2008, 08:48 PM
I would voice my opinions. I would also become more knowledgeable in my passions before sounding off based on nothing but passion. I think many celebrities do this...Bono among them. He doesn't just grab a mic and spew...he has become more aware. He has afforded himself the time to invest more of himself into his passions. I would let my opinions be made...but I would make sure I was more learned on the matters that I speak on. What I don't like is the celebrity who knows nothing of a cause but mouths off about it for stature and pomp.

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 08:49 PM
Like Mariah Carey's classic quote about Ethiopia. "I'd love to be that skinny but wouldn't like all the flies and stuff."

jst5150
11-19-2008, 08:49 PM
What I am saying is they have a right to if they should so choose.
The conversation is not about rights. It's about "should." Would you have the will to stand up and say things? And is it appropriate? And would you be prepared?

"Should" should only come when prepared. Sean Penn speaking on Iraq is a prime example of this. He had the right. He could do it. Should he have? I'd say he should have done more homework, measured the climate and so on. And really, WTF did he really know?

George Clooney on the other hand goes into the situations with Darfur and others well prepared AND he usually choose projects that supoort his cause. "Should" for him becomes more leveragable because of homewprk and preparation, not just because he has the audience and the wherewithall to shoot his mouth off.

Edmontonian
11-19-2008, 08:49 PM
Hi maestrowork,

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate you starting this thread and posting your comments. A few days ago I was reading a Stephen King interview, where he was blasting Britney Spears and the like. So, I stopped half-way and thought about it: What do I like about King? What do I care to know about him? Does his hate of Spears make him a greater author in my sight?

Take Harrison Ford, your example. I watch his movies with my son and we cheer for him to kill the baddies and so on... and then the movie is over. I don't care when his birthday is, what kind of watch he likes to wear or the car he drives. I don't care about what he thinks about the new US President, Canada-US relationships, Iraq war and so on. He's a movie actor, that's how he's famous, please stay in the pictures. Don't take away the jobs of the analysts, researchers, and so on. Hey, we need to fight global warming? Why, did you read Science or Nature or some other scientific magazine? Oh, no, Bono gave a speech, a bonus feature in his latest CD!

Famous people, of course, can express their opinions, but they should not use their fame to affect people one way or the other. People are like sheep, Napoleon once said, they are persuaded very easily. One celebrity says something and it's the law; one thousand scientists publish their research and nobody gives a ...

So, it's not that these people have no brains, but they are famous for something completely different from what they talk about when taking sides in a political battle or pressing a certain agenda. In part, the responsibility of keeping the fight fair falls on the media, but then, as it was said earlier, they wish they were these famous people, so the vicious circle has no end.

I consider AW as a virtual cafe, a place I can hang out with fellow writers and enjoy a casual, yet intriguing chat. I respect everybody's opinion, although, more often than not, I happen to disagree with some. One may say, I just like to rock the boat.

Now, I've got to go back to my own writing,

Thanks,

ED

KTC
11-19-2008, 08:50 PM
Like Mariah Carey's classic quote about Ethiopia. "I'd love to be that skinny but wouldn't like all the flies and stuff."

exactly.


Celebrities have a right to have a passion and to use their status to help a cause, etc. When they do it with dignity and thoughtfulness...all the power to them.

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 08:51 PM
I don't get it. You say you don't care about celebrity opinions, but on the other hand people are easily persuaded? Which is it?

If you can brush off celebrities' views, why can't other people? Or are you somehow immune to Bono's opining on third world debt?

jst5150
11-19-2008, 08:52 PM
But Jason, what if your blog reaches tens of thousands of people?
Ray, I answered this. In that scenario, my blog is a product. I'd continue to do what sells the product, which apparently are the things you've mentioned below. So, why change if it's generating revenue? Now, others would want to hop on because of the reach of eyeballs. Again, my focus would be on perpetuating the product, not suddenly advocating a cause.

writerterri
11-19-2008, 09:02 PM
In my opinion, Bono is dead!


It's also my opinion that celebs get their opinions on air because they are, well, celebs. How they get treated after they air their stuff is up to the media then it gets handed down to us.

Say what you want after that, the celeb doesn't hear you.

It's the opinion water fall. We stand around the cooler and drink it. Or not.

Edmontonian
11-19-2008, 09:03 PM
maestrowork,

ME? If I were famous, I would say what I think in my books.

If all my heroes in a suspense thriller brandish M16, take their kids hunting when they 10 and give them a shotgun as a birthday gift, then you know what I think about the right to bear arms, for example.

If everyone in my book believes the heroine is making a mistake planning her abortion and eventually they persuade her to keep the baby and she finds a man who will love her regardless of, and especially, because of her young infant, they you can understand how I feel about the right to chose.

And so on, and so on.

scarletpeaches:

Some people like to follow celebrities and their opinions, buy their perfumes, their drinks, shoes, and so on. I don't.

Thank you both, it's an interesting discussion,

ED

writerterri
11-19-2008, 09:03 PM
Like Mariah Carey's classic quote about Ethiopia. "I'd love to be that skinny but wouldn't like all the flies and stuff."


OMGosh, she didn't.


wow

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 09:04 PM
Famous people, of course, can express their opinions, but they should not use their fame to affect people one way or the other. People are like sheep, Napoleon once said, they are persuaded very easily. One celebrity says something and it's the law; one thousand scientists publish their research and nobody gives a ...


I'm not talking about trying to influence people. I'm talking about simply expressing an opinion. Why should you object to, say, Stephen King not liking Britney Spears, or thinks something is wrong with our culture?

But from your posts, I get a feeling that you're saying, "Who gives a shit what they think?" To me, it's not about not wanting them to influence you -- that's fine. But it sounds more like disrespect than anything else. To me, it really does sound like you don't think they have brains and thus there's nothing they say that would interest you.

I still don't know why people should reduce an actor, or a writer, to JUST an actor or writer. To me, these people are 3-dimensional people, like you, like me, like everyone else here. So if I'm going to listen to what you have to say, why can't I do the same to a celebrity? I would extend the same courtesy and respect. If they're spewing nonsense just to hear themselves talk, I'd chide them for that. Same with anyone else here. But if they are expressing true, honest opinions, I'll listen. Same with everyone else here.

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 09:05 PM
I am reliably informed by rep point that she didn't. Therefore, I should probably keep my opinions to myself.

But I won't.

writerterri
11-19-2008, 09:07 PM
I am reliably informed by rep point that she didn't. Therefore, I should probably keep my opinions to myself.

But I won't.


Can you imagine if someone in the media gets a hold of that? We could have an opinion hay day! :hooray:

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 09:08 PM
Ray, I answered this. In that scenario, my blog is a product. I'd continue to do what sells the product, which apparently are the things you've mentioned below. So, why change if it's generating revenue? Now, others would want to hop on because of the reach of eyeballs. Again, my focus would be on perpetuating the product, not suddenly advocating a cause.

I guess that's the difference -- I don't see my blog as a product. I see it as a place for me to express my views publicly (albeit only 3 people read it now).

My website is my product, and I keep it very professional. And when my blog becomes part of my products, I'd probably retool it.

But does it mean I won't come here to AW, as a famous author (knock on wood), to voice my opinions? Somebody try to ply that from my cold, dead fingers....

Edmontonian
11-19-2008, 09:16 PM
I still don't know why people should reduce an actor, or a writer, to JUST an actor or writer.

Because that's who they are: when we think of Harrison Ford we don't think, gee, global warming or AIDS or reading by six or other things. We think Indiana Jones, maybe Star Wars. If Ford wants to become a scientist, well, I guess he'll have to go to school and get a degree like everyone else.

Once again, it's OK to express those opinions in a private setting, family, BBQ, birthday party. Not on the red carpet. If I were doing a book signing or a TV interview, of course I wouldn't talk like this, because those people want to hear, Edmontonian the writer, not Edmontonian the politician.

Thanks,

ED

writerterri
11-19-2008, 09:17 PM
OHHHH, Bono is alive, Bono is dead.



What if Bono married Yoko Ono?

Bravo
11-19-2008, 09:19 PM
Do you think you should keep your political views, personal opinions, etc. hidden from the public?

yes absolutely.

why alienate fans?

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 09:19 PM
Because that's who they are: when we think of Harrison Ford we don't think, gee, global warming or AIDS or reading by six or other things. We think Indiana Jones, maybe Star Wars. If Ford wants to become a scientist, well, I guess he'll have to go to school and get a degree like everyone else.

Once again, it's OK to express those opinions in a private setting, family, BBQ, birthday party. Not on the red carpet. If I were doing a book signing or a TV interview, of course I wouldn't talk like this, because those people want to hear, Edmontonian the writer, not Edmontonian the politician.

Thanks,

ED


Again, I'm not talking about the red carpet.

No, I don't think global warming and world finance when I think of Harrison Ford, but it doesn't mean I automatically disregard him as a 3-dimensional, thinking person, especially if he's educated and prepared to talk about these topics -- simply because he is "only" an actor. I don't put people in boxes like that.

I kind of feel bad that some people only sees Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. But I guess he doesn't mind.

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 09:20 PM
Because that's who they are...

Um...no. That's one aspect of what they do for a living, not the defining characteristic of their entire being.

To some people I'm a bitch. Should I then stick to that role because they don't want to see any other part of me? What about the people who see me as a loving friend? Or a writer? A Christian? A cousin, a comedienne, a shop assistant?

Does my role in life depend on others' views of me? Hell no. I'm much more than just a 32-year-old woman, much more than just a writer, or any other label you choose to stick on me.

There's no way getting a book published takes away my right to have views on politics, religion, the family, whatever. I'm sure as hell not going to shut up just because someone might get offended at me being aware of the wider world beyond my laptop or Neo.

CACTUSWENDY
11-19-2008, 09:20 PM
If I was famous I would not find it practical to use my 'platform' to voice my opinions. Since I would need all folks to buy my books why would I want to maybe cut off some of my readership? I have changed my liking for some actors and singers because of their views....so I know it happens. I am not saying it's right, but it does happen.

With being a 'public figure' comes responsibilities. If I have a hobby that deals with some health topic or some such thing, then I can talk about it. But just to voice my views on major things....nope....will not. I can not even voice my beliefs on some things in here without getting beat up the side of the head. Why would I want to destroy the path of my buyers?

IMHO only.....

Bravo
11-19-2008, 09:22 PM
the same really goes for the professional world. i am pretty neutral when i say things to my peers, and really only discuss politics with close friends. during the election season, most people knew i supported obama, but i think he's a mainstream candidate so there's less of a risk there.

you should be particularly careful when expressing an opinion that's not held by the majority of people.

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 09:23 PM
Nah, too much like allowing the crowd to dictate my actions if you ask me.

If I'm not allowed to preach to the masses, then the masses have no right preaching to me.

jst5150
11-19-2008, 09:24 PM
I kind of feel bad that some people only sees Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. But I guess he doesn't mind.
And neither does the boatloads of cash he's pledged to causes.

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 09:25 PM
I can not even voice my beliefs on some things in here without getting beat up the side of the head. Why would I want to destroy the path of my buyers?

Hmmm...

I've been rather vocal here, sometimes. And many people don't agree with my views, but guess what? They at least respect that I have a view, and some see me as friends, even if they don't agree with me at all, and they bought my book. And I've bought theirs.

And I've read books by authors whose world views don't align with mine at all. To each his own. And I hold no grudges.

So, I'm not completely convinced that one's work and personal opinions are mutually exclusive.

writerterri
11-19-2008, 09:25 PM
You know the French revolution was started by a simple little question?


It was "Why?"


Why go along with what's popular when you could start your own opinion club?

A lot of people died.

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 09:27 PM
you should be particularly careful when expressing an opinion that's not held by the majority of people.

That, I think, I agree -- especially when you're in the public eye. Especially something potentially criminal. :)

However, if one can present well-thought-out, informed, and passionate arguments, and if it's the right thing to do, I don't see why he should self-censor. After all, somebody needed to talk about civil right issues, for example, when the "majority" didn't agree.

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 09:28 PM
And neither does the boatloads of cash he's pledged to causes.

But doesn't that mean he's expressing his opinions, by the way he pledges to pet causes?


Just to clarify -- by "expressing opinions" I don't mean one must blab to the media or hold a press conference like George Clooney did. Obviously, however, one can use their status to bring awareness to certain things, such as AIDS, war, stem cell research, gay rights, etc. and I really don't see a whole lot of problems with that when famous people do it.

I particularly like the video Ron Howard made in support for Obama -- I think it was funny, interesting, and conscientious, without "shoving it" down my throat.

mscelina
11-19-2008, 09:31 PM
It really all depends on what your purpose is. Celebrities with pet issues, who work to correct a social situation who pledge their visage, time and money to help with AIDS, or povery, or illiteracy or even global warming are following through on their words. They're actually doing something positive with their celebrity. What's wrong with that? Not a damn thing. Thank the gods they do such things to take up the slack for individuals who prefer to shut out the ills of the world and then complain about those who don't.

It's the celebrities in electoral campaigns who bother me, particularly if they are spouting off inaccuracies and presenting them as fact. THAT is an example of a misuse of celebrity influence, IMO. Not the other.

jst5150
11-19-2008, 09:37 PM
But doesn't that mean he's expressing his opinions, by the way he pledges to pet causes?
It does. In fact, it's a "money where your mouth is/actions speak louder than words" expression and is, in fact, the most valuable.

Claudia Gray
11-19-2008, 09:41 PM
I'm not a hyperpolitical person, so were I through some miracle to become famous, I doubt it would be a huge factor for me. I tend to think that famous people have as much right to fundraise/speak out/etc. as anybody else and that they might as well use their fame for that purpose; I only get annoyed when somebody famous is both extremely vocal about their beliefs and extremely uninformed.

emandem
11-19-2008, 09:50 PM
There's a fine line between presenting your constructive opinion and just being defamatory... How about when Matt Damon (I think it was Matt Damon) said about Sarah Palin, "A hockey mom?...Please! What a disaster!" (or something to that effect).

If a celebrity is going to present opinions on a pedestal where people have placed them, they have an obligation to be informed, tactful and constructive; they shouldn't just tear down said person--then they're no better than other mud-slinging politicians.

Bravo
11-19-2008, 09:52 PM
However, if one can present well-thought-out, informed, and passionate arguments, and if it's the right thing to do, I don't see why he should self-censor. After all, somebody needed to talk about civil right issues, for example, when the "majority" didn't agree.

well if he's well known and doesnt care about how it will damage him in the short-term, then sure. go for it.

the problem is that people's perception of what's right varies.

orson scott card is ridiculously famous, but he lost a lot of fans because of his stance on gay marriage. to him, opposing it is the right thing to do.

but he's suffering for that stance.

maestrowork
11-19-2008, 10:05 PM
but he's suffering for that stance.

Which is unfortunate. I always try to separate the person from their work. Many people say "I'll never see another Tom Cruise movie" -- I think that's silly. And I'm sure there will be people boycotting Matt Damon because of his views on Sarah Palin. But at the same time, I understand that's how many people operate.

kuwisdelu
11-19-2008, 10:10 PM
There's a fine line between presenting your constructive opinion and just being defamatory... How about when Matt Damon (I think it was Matt Damon) said about Sarah Palin, "A hockey mom?...Please! What a disaster!" (or something to that effect).

He gained points in my eyes for that... :D

willietheshakes
11-19-2008, 11:07 PM
ME? If I were famous, I would say what I think in my books.

If all my heroes in a suspense thriller brandish M16, take their kids hunting when they 10 and give them a shotgun as a birthday gift, then you know what I think about the right to bear arms, for example.

If everyone in my book believes the heroine is making a mistake planning her abortion and eventually they persuade her to keep the baby and she finds a man who will love her regardless of, and especially, because of her young infant, they you can understand how I feel about the right to chose.

And so on, and so on.


Really?

I understand such an approach, and can see its merits, but they're seriously limited. If you take this stance, you basically paint yourself into the corner of only writing about characters who share your beliefs, which I would find unduly limiting. And the intimation is that if you step out of this stance later, you're endorsing the beliefs of characters you might not agree with (also problematic).

Plus, if this is an explicit belief, you run the very real risk of your writing becoming pedantic or message-y...

Nah. I'll take the mic and take my lumps. Let the work be the work.

Cranky
11-19-2008, 11:10 PM
Really?

I understand such an approach, and can see its merits, but they're seriously limited. If you take this stance, you basically paint yourself into the corner of only writing about characters who share your beliefs, which I would find unduly limiting. And the intimation is that if you step out of this stance later, you're endorsing the beliefs of characters you might not agree with (also problematic).

Plus, if this is an explicit belief, you run the very real risk of your writing becoming pedantic or message-y...

Nah. I'll take the mic and take my lumps. Let the work be the work.

Yes. This.

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 11:10 PM
...ME? If I were famous, I would say what I think in my books.

If all my heroes in a suspense thriller brandish M16, take their kids hunting when they 10 and give them a shotgun as a birthday gift, then you know what I think about the right to bear arms, for example.

If everyone in my book believes the heroine is making a mistake planning her abortion and eventually they persuade her to keep the baby and she finds a man who will love her regardless of, and especially, because of her young infant, they you can understand how I feel about the right to chose...

Well, with all due respect, Ed, you've got no business appearing in your novels, or pushing your beliefs on your characters. It's called fiction because it's supposed to be pretend, not polemic.

Do you want to write a novel or an autobiography?

CaroGirl
11-19-2008, 11:15 PM
I will never be famous.

Celebrities who speak out or take up a cause have every right to do so. And I have every right to not only disagree with them, but think they're idiots at any give moment, depending on who's espousing what cause for what purpose.

Bubastes
11-19-2008, 11:16 PM
maestrowork,

ME? If I were famous, I would say what I think in my books.

If all my heroes in a suspense thriller brandish M16, take their kids hunting when they 10 and give them a shotgun as a birthday gift, then you know what I think about the right to bear arms, for example.

If everyone in my book believes the heroine is making a mistake planning her abortion and eventually they persuade her to keep the baby and she finds a man who will love her regardless of, and especially, because of her young infant, they you can understand how I feel about the right to chose.

And so on, and so on.


That sounds awfully limiting. One of the many reasons I write is to learn about people who are completely different from me. I think that's why many people read too.

If you want to use your fiction as a platform, go ahead, but you run the risk of crossing into preachy territory. That didn't hurt Ayn Rand, of course, but it's not what I would call good fiction.

Edmontonian
11-19-2008, 11:41 PM
We write our thoughts, which makes us who we are. How do we pick our themes? How do we chose our characters? Why some books have more foul language while others don't? We answer to these and other questions about our work based on our experiences, our thoughts, and we find a way to express ourselves in our work. It's not limiting in the same way that it's not limiting for me to chose hockey versus golf, or steak versus vegetarian food. It's my choice, my preference, my personality, the way I like to see the world, through the eyes of my fictitious characters.

I believe this is the way in which a writer expressed himself in his work. Then, in forums, such as this, or other meeting with friends or relatives, I can tell them exactly what is the subtle meaning of my books.

Thanks,

ED

scarletpeaches
11-19-2008, 11:43 PM
Books don't need to be explained if they're written well enough.

Besides, if you make it big, with thousands of readers, are you going to go round them all individually, explaining each nuance and plot twist?

BTW: When I write fiction, I don't write my thoughts. I write the thoughts of my characters.

Shadow_Ferret
11-19-2008, 11:44 PM
Do you think you should keep your political views, personal opinions, etc. hidden from the public?


Yes.

willietheshakes
11-19-2008, 11:48 PM
When I write fiction, I don't write my thoughts. I write the thoughts of my characters.

I think that's the key, right there.

Maybe it's different for Edmontonian, but I can't think of anything less interesting to write about than myself and how I see the world.

III
11-19-2008, 11:50 PM
Let's stop for a minute and not generalize.

Let's talk about YOU! The question is: What would you do if YOU were famous? Do you think YOU should keep your mouth shut? Do YOU think your opinions should or should not matter because you're famous?

This might sound sanctimonious, but I'd hope if I were a famous writer that my work would be infused with the overflow from my heart so my fans would be moved by my work without me having to comment on the politics of the day.

Bubastes
11-20-2008, 12:02 AM
BTW: When I write fiction, I don't write my thoughts. I write the thoughts of my characters.

Bingo. I don't write for self-expression either. I can't think of anything more boring than writing about my own thoughts. Writing allows me to explore beyond the limits of my own experience, and that's what makes it so fun.

For example, I'm working on a short story where the MC is a stalker. Have I ever stalked anyone? No. Do I condone it? No. But by writing the story, I can try to figure out what drives my MC to stalk. It doesn't mean I agree with her actions, but it at least gives me a chance to understand her rather than judge her. If I do my job well enough, readers will be able to see the world through her eyes as well. For me, stories help create empathy, and that's what drives me to read and write.

Polenth
11-20-2008, 12:07 AM
Do you think you should keep your political views, personal opinions, etc. hidden from the public?

Celebrities have the same rights as everyone else. So I'd continue to exercise my rights in the way I do now. Politics isn't something I enjoy discussing and I prefer to keep my vote private. I sometimes talk about religion (usually when asked) and environmental issues*

But mostly, I prefer chatting about hobbies, nature, robots... that sort of thing. Fame wouldn't change that.

That's only how I'd react personally. I think people have a right to say what they want. I have a right to turn off the TV or not read the article if I think they're being silly.


-

* I hold a related degree... worth throwing out there considering some of the comments in the thread. Science degrees aren't uncommon among writers.

Edmontonian
11-20-2008, 12:07 AM
Let me give an example, since I'm not getting my point across. Say, you're working on a story where the MC, a woman, has been dumped by her fiance. Depending on your thoughts, your personality, your whatever-you-want-to-call-it, you can chose to work the story so that she gets together to her fiance or she moves on to some other guy. And so on.

I'm not saying you are writing about yourself or for your own life or your own self-expression or blowing your own horn. All I'm saying is that whatever your beliefs about the world and different issues of the world are, it will come across, consciously or not, through your words in your work.

I hope it is clear now.

Thanks,

ED

Bubastes
11-20-2008, 12:11 AM
Hmm, so what does it mean if you could write the story either way?

mscelina
11-20-2008, 12:16 AM
Let me give an example, since I'm not getting my point across. Say, you're working on a story where the MC, a woman, has been dumped by her fiance. Depending on your thoughts, your personality, your whatever-you-want-to-call-it, you can chose to work the story so that she gets together to her fiance or she moves on to some other guy. And so on.

I'm not saying you are writing about yourself or for your own life or your own self-expression or blowing your own horn. All I'm saying is that whatever your beliefs about the world and different issues of the world are, it will come across, consciously or not, through your words in your work.

I hope it is clear now.

Thanks,

ED

Well, no, not necessarily. There's no rule that says you have to write what you believe in. Usually, my characters have been established and developed long before they get a plot. The plot unfolds in a manner that reflects their beliefs and opinions and not mine.

CaroGirl
11-20-2008, 12:17 AM
Let me give an example, since I'm not getting my point across. Say, you're working on a story where the MC, a woman, has been dumped by her fiance. Depending on your thoughts, your personality, your whatever-you-want-to-call-it, you can chose to work the story so that she gets together to her fiance or she moves on to some other guy. And so on.

I'm not saying you are writing about yourself or for your own life or your own self-expression or blowing your own horn. All I'm saying is that whatever your beliefs about the world and different issues of the world are, it will come across, consciously or not, through your words in your work.

I hope it is clear now.

Thanks,

ED
I think you're making your point clearly enough. People are just disagreeing with you.

I don't always agree with the choices my characters make. They're real people within their fictional world so their choices are based on who they are, not on who I am. Most writers, it seems, think differently than you do, ED, when it comes creating character and theme.

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 12:20 AM
Let me give an example, since I'm not getting my point across. Say, you're working on a story where the MC, a woman, has been dumped by her fiance. Depending on your thoughts, your personality, your whatever-you-want-to-call-it, you can chose to work the story so that she gets together to her fiance or she moves on to some other guy. And so on.

I'm not saying you are writing about yourself or for your own life or your own self-expression or blowing your own horn. All I'm saying is that whatever your beliefs about the world and different issues of the world are, it will come across, consciously or not, through your words in your work.

I hope it is clear now.

Thanks,

ED

No, Ed, your point was clear. I just think you're... wrong.

My "beliefs about the world and different issues of the world" don't have a place in the work, and they don't come across, consciously or otherwise.

In your examples above: I could easily write a story about an M16 toting/hunting and gutting family, paint it like the quintessential, blood-spattered Norman Rockwell ideal, and it would have jack-shit to do with my beliefs about hunting and the right to bear arms. I am in fact opposed to this sort of lifestyle and the beliefs which underly it, but I can certainly write about it, and in such a way that you'd assume I had a gun-rack in the cab and a deer on the hood. That's what writers do -- they go outside themselves, they understand things which they don't accept for themselves, and they tell lies for money.

Same thing with your other notion, about the woman who decides to keep her pregnancy -- I could write that character either way, keeping the baby or going for an abortion. The only guide, for me, is how I want the story to go. And neither you nor anyone else would have any idea, from the story, where I stood on a woman's right to choose and my moral stand on abortion.

I'm working on a novel right now set in a community of street people -- it's a warm, supportive, loving environment, and a perfect millieu. But don't try to read my own opinions on the issue into it -- you would probably be wrong.

You're free to do what you want to do with your own work, but my feeling has always been if I want to explore myself, masturbation's faster than fiction (and probably less messy). And if I want to send a message, well, there are better ways than the work. YMMV.

Mr Flibble
11-20-2008, 12:49 AM
Let me give an example, since I'm not getting my point across. Say, you're working on a story where the MC, a woman, has been dumped by her fiance. Depending on your thoughts, your personality, your whatever-you-want-to-call-it, you can chose to work the story so that she gets together to her fiance or she moves on to some other guy. And so on.

It wouldn't be my personality that decides it - it would be the character, who she is, what she believes. Or she's not a fictional character, with her own values, she's inconsistent to herself and also just a version of me.


ETa: and if all your books preach to me about your values, rather than exploring other characters I ain't reading 'em.

I'm writing about a serial philanderer at the moment and he certainly doesn't hold my views on monogamy. Nor should he - or he's just a Mary Sue with extra plumbing.

So if I become famous I am no longer a mother with valid opinions on the state of education? I can no longer have a rabid interest in geology and have an opinion on current theories? I can't have an opinion on anything except words? Because I am a writer I can't be anything else?

Bollocks

scarletpeaches
11-20-2008, 01:02 AM
Let's throw something out there.

One of my characters from a previous WIP (partial request, ultimately rejected, meh, got over it) had an abortion.

What would people conclude about me from the fact my character terminated an unwanted pregnancy?

Here's another example. Another character likes to snort coke before she has sex. What does that say about me?

Another female character has sex with two brothers. [Thinks of the Letos...] Okay, bad example. That's something I would do and everyone here knows it.

Okay. A simple question. If you think my characters only do what I would do in any given situation, that's an insult to my creativity. I don't report my own worldview. That's why I have a blog, darlin'.

If I write about a Satanist in one book and a Roman Catholic in another, what would you conclude about my religion?

I've written about gays, straights and bi's. Men and women. Drunks and sober people.

Can you fit me in that li'l box of yours yet?

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 01:11 AM
Here's another example. Another character likes to snort coke before she has sex. What does that say about me?


That we should definitely party?

scarletpeaches
11-20-2008, 01:12 AM
That we should definitely party?

:ROFL:

Big bucket of win for shaking Billy!

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 01:14 AM
I'm not bad -- I'm just drawn that way.

KTC
11-20-2008, 01:36 AM
No, Ed, your point was clear. I just think you're... wrong.

My "beliefs about the world and different issues of the world" don't have a place in the work, and they don't come across, consciously or otherwise.

In your examples above: I could easily write a story about an M16 toting/hunting and gutting family, paint it like the quintessential, blood-spattered Norman Rockwell ideal, and it would have jack-shit to do with my beliefs about hunting and the right to bear arms. I am in fact opposed to this sort of lifestyle and the beliefs which underly it, but I can certainly write about it, and in such a way that you'd assume I had a gun-rack in the cab and a deer on the hood. That's what writers do -- they go outside themselves, they understand things which they don't accept for themselves, and they tell lies for money.

Same thing with your other notion, about the woman who decides to keep her pregnancy -- I could write that character either way, keeping the baby or going for an abortion. The only guide, for me, is how I want the story to go. And neither you nor anyone else would have any idea, from the story, where I stood on a woman's right to choose and my moral stand on abortion.

I'm working on a novel right now set in a community of street people -- it's a warm, supportive, loving environment, and a perfect millieu. But don't try to read my own opinions on the issue into it -- you would probably be wrong.

You're free to do what you want to do with your own work, but my feeling has always been if I want to explore myself, masturbation's faster than fiction (and probably less messy). And if I want to send a message, well, there are better ways than the work. YMMV.


All good examples here. The first one I came up with from my own writing is the last novel I wrote. My main family were a bunch of chain-smokers. They LOVED to smoke. If one read the book one might think that I was a smoker. There is not a single living creature on the face of the earth more opposed to smoking than me. Writers write outside their own beliefs every single day. It would be preposterous to think that by reading a story you would know the writer's belief system. (Although, for some reason I could picture a deer on your hood.) (-;

maestrowork
11-20-2008, 01:39 AM
Let me give an example, since I'm not getting my point across. Say, you're working on a story where the MC, a woman, has been dumped by her fiance. Depending on your thoughts, your personality, your whatever-you-want-to-call-it, you can chose to work the story so that she gets together to her fiance or she moves on to some other guy. And so on.


No. I don't choose -- she does. That's why I created that character, so she could do things and make decision DIFFERENT than what I would do. After all, she is a character in her own right. If not, then every character would be just like ME. How boring is that? I'm not writing an autobiography.



All I'm saying is that whatever your beliefs about the world and different issues of the world are, it will come across, consciously or not, through your words in your work.

Certainly a writer can do that, and certainly many do. And certainly our personalities and world views do seep into our work, especially nonfiction. But for fiction, the spectrum is so wide that you really can't say we only write how we see/feel about the world, unless you're writing a message story. If I'm writing a horror story where all the good people are tortured and slaughtered by a serial killer, does that mean I enjoy killing people? Do you think Thomas Harris believes cannibalism is a fun thing to do? Do you think Stephen King really is a twisted person (some probably say, "yes.")?

I've written stories about characters and situations which I wouldn't in a million years engage in personally. That's why writing fiction is so much fun -- I can get out of my own shell and go wild with my imagination. I have characters who do the most despicable things and get away with them. Just like real life -- good not always triumphs over evil, and bad people get away with doing bad things. If I had only written what I knew or thought about, then certainly it would have been really limiting.

And just because I let my imagination go wild and write about these thoughts and characters doesn't mean I agree with them, or that they're a manifestation of WHO I AM.

One must learn to separate the person from their work.

Back to the topic: That's why I can't understand why one would say, "Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones and Han Solo, that's who he is." No, that's not who Harrison Ford is -- that's the characters he played.

Edmontonian
11-20-2008, 02:29 AM
CaroGirl (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=6435):

Our characters are real people in their fictional world, but WE created it for them, the way WE wanted it to be.

willietheshakes (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=473):

[writers] tell lies for money – sorry, not this one.

IdiotsRUs (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=19462):

When you have a blank page in front of you, without any characters, YOU have to be creating and come up with something – so YOU are the one who sets things in motion – with characters that YOU like to have in YOUR story. So, whose personality is going to influence the way in which they are drafted?

maestrowork (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=2):

“No. I don't choose -- she does.” – Read comment to IdiotsRUs.

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 02:34 AM
willietheshakes (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=473):

[writers] tell lies for money – sorry, not this one.


Ah, see -- there's the source of our miscommunication. I assumed you were talking about writing fiction with a hope of having other people read it.

Mr Flibble
11-20-2008, 02:35 AM
When you have a blank page in front of you, without any characters, YOU have to be creating and come up with something – so YOU are the one who sets things in motion – with characters that YOU like to have in YOUR story. So, whose personality is going to influence the way in which they are drafted?

I decide whether or not they are scheming, or selfish or whatever. I may bring something of myself to the 'role' but is Anthony Hopkins really a cannibal in disguise? Or can he imagine what it would be like to be one? After I have my characters, what they do depends on that character. I would not make a character do something inconsistent to show my views on anything. My characters do thing to show who they are, not who I am. True I created them, but if I want readers to believe in them I cannot say 'They won't do that because I wouldn't or we'd have books populated by nothing but various disguises of teh authors.

I write about people who are very very different to me, politically, morally, socially. And I don't apologise for how they are or put my views in their mouths

Again, if an author preaches his ideals in his book rather than creating a character and making that character do what he ( not the author ) would do, then I won't read it. I do not read to be preached at.

So my final vote - Can't be anything but the words I write? Still bollocks.

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 02:37 AM
CaroGirl (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=6435):

Our characters are real people in their fictional world, but WE created it for them, the way WE wanted it to be.

willietheshakes (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=473):

[writers] tell lies for money – sorry, not this one.

IdiotsRUs (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=19462):

When you have a blank page in front of you, without any characters, YOU have to be creating and come up with something – so YOU are the one who sets things in motion – with characters that YOU like to have in YOUR story. So, whose personality is going to influence the way in which they are drafted?

maestrowork (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=2):

“No. I don't choose -- she does.” – Read comment to IdiotsRUs.

Okay, bearing all that in mind:

Given that I've written a book about miracles, realistic and verified miracles (within the story), laying on of hands, etc, do you think I believe in miracles?

Edmontonian
11-20-2008, 02:38 AM
I decide whether or not they are scheming, or selfish or whatever. I may bring something of myself to the 'role'

Yes, this is what I've been saying all this time.

I'm sure this discussion would have been much clearer if we all were seeing each other face to face.

Thanks,

ED

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 02:40 AM
Yes, this is what I've been saying all this time.

I'm sure this discussion would have been much clearer if we all were seeing each other face to face.

Thanks,

ED

For the record -- it's bad form to selectively quote in support of the argument you're making when the point of the post is, in fact, antithetically opposed to the argument you're making...

Edmontonian
11-20-2008, 02:43 AM
Given that I've written a book about miracles, realistic and verified miracles (within the story), laying on of hands, etc, do you think I believe in miracles?

The content of your book tells me about your personality and points of view - you obviously believe that miracles play in important role in some people's lives and that some people do trust in laying of hands and so on. I can't really tell whether you believe or not their effect (I have not read your book) - if you tell me the person was cured and everyone loved the healer, then I may tend to believe that "yes, you do believe in miracles." If, on the other hand, you created the story to unmask the "healer" as a fraud, I may tend to believe that "you don't believe in miracles."

The bottom line, it is YOU who decides what to write based on what YOU and no one else, MC, characters or what-not, believes; your opinions, viewpoints, standards, characteristics, and so on.

Peace,

ED

Edmontonian
11-20-2008, 02:46 AM
For the record -- it's bad form to selectively quote in support of the argument you're making when the point of the post is, in fact, antithetically opposed to the argument you're making...


Oh really? What about keeping your nose to your own posts and replied therein?


Thanks,


ED

SPMiller
11-20-2008, 02:52 AM
I am a polarizing, opinionated, divisive person. Therefore, for the good of the country, I must never become famous. I'm doing everyone a great favor.

maestrowork
11-20-2008, 02:54 AM
The bottom line, it is YOU who decides what to write based on what YOU and no one else, MC, characters or what-not, believes; your opinions, viewpoints, standards, characteristics, and so on.


I think you may have misunderstood the difference between being a creator of something vs. making a character out of part of yourself.

Certainly we're all creators of our own stories and characters -- they come from us. But you're discounting the fact that many also use what we understand about the human condition and fill in the blanks with our imagination. If I'm creating a rapist who gets away with his crime -- yes, he comes from me, but in no way can you make a conclusion that I, the writer, identify with the character and that he is a manifestation of who *I* am. You don't know what techniques I used to create that character -- experience, people I know, my own personality, my imagination, or research... The only thing you can be sure of is that I did create the character and write it. You simply can't make assumptions about the character and link it to the writer.

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 02:57 AM
The content of your book tells me about your personality and points of view - you obviously believe that miracles play in important role in some people's lives and that some people do trust in laying of hands and so on. I can't really tell whether you believe or not their effect (I have not read your book) - if you tell me the person was cured and everyone loved the healer, then I may tend to believe that "yes, you do believe in miracles."

Well, given that the miracles in the book DO happen, and are verified, that means I must believe in miracles, right?

Except I don't. Which is my point. And significantly at odds with your argument.


The bottom line, it is YOU who decides what to write based on what YOU and no one else, MC, characters or what-not, believes; your opinions, viewpoints, standards, characteristics, and so on.


Except that's not actually supported by the facts. I DON'T believe in miracles -- the work does.

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 02:59 AM
Oh really? What about keeping your nose to your own posts and replied therein?


Oh, sorry. I was under the impression that I could reply to whatever I felt like on this board... silly me.

Mr Flibble
11-20-2008, 02:59 AM
Yes, this is what I've been saying all this time.

I'm sure this discussion would have been much clearer if we all were seeing each other face to face.

Thanks,

ED

But I am still not them. In any way - the bit you completely failed to quote - I am imagining what it is like to be them. I make their choices for them depending on who they are, not who I am.

I am not agreeing with you here.

Edmontonian
11-20-2008, 03:00 AM
Ok maestrowork,

So, in the example you gave, what can I tell about you, when I read the story of the rapist who gets away with his crime?

Thanks,

ED

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 03:01 AM
Ok maestrowork,

So, in the example you gave, what can I tell about you, when I read the story of the rapist who gets away with his crime?

Thanks,

ED

Um, you can tell that he wrote the story? That's about it...

maestrowork
11-20-2008, 03:07 AM
Ok maestrowork,

So, in the example you gave, what can I tell about you, when I read the story of the rapist who gets away with his crime?

Thanks,

ED

That I'm a damn good storyteller?

Edmontonian
11-20-2008, 03:10 AM
That I'm a damn good storyteller?

That's it? I shouldn't assume you have no trust in the justice system or anything else at all? If all I get from a story is that you're a good storyteller, than the conclusion of the story doesn't really matter, right? As long as the characters, after you put them in that situation, do what they are suppose to do, than the final result, the ending, doesn't really matter?

Thanks,

ED

Mr Flibble
11-20-2008, 03:13 AM
It matters in that it should be a right fit for the tone of the book

If I'm writing a HEA romance, girl and boy get each other

If I'm writing realistic gritty they may, or may not

If I'm writing a coming of age angst thing, she'll screw him over for his best mate and he will Learn a Valuable Lesson

ETA: which one am i? ooh decisions decisions :)

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 03:19 AM
That's it? I shouldn't assume you have no trust in the justice system or anything else at all? If all I get from a story is that you're a good storyteller, than the conclusion of the story doesn't really matter, right? As long as the characters, after you put them in that situation, do what they are suppose to do, than the final result, the ending, doesn't really matter?

Thanks,

ED

Here again, butting in where I'm clearly not wanted.

Speaking for myself: no, it doesn't matter. I'm not writing to send a message; I'm writing to tell a story. Fuck the real world implications -- does the story affect the reader? Does it cohere, and obey its inner dictates? That's all that a story is required to do.

Look, if you want to write out of a need to send a message, or reveal parts of yourself through your characters, that's fine by me. But to assume that all writers are, or SHOULD be, doing the same thing is misguided.

jst5150
11-20-2008, 03:23 AM
There is also one caveat to any and all fo this: no one is able to tell what they will do when his hands filled with that much money, power and fame. It comes with a whole different set of rules. To say you'll act no different is naive and easily said in this setting.

So, what I'd offer is this: any answer here by any of us here is predicated on current enviromental conditions, from the boulevards of Pittsburgh to Magdalen Yard Road in Dundee to the town square of Centerville. And that -- when the melting Milk Dud of Fame glops on to you -- you have no idea what you'll do with any of it until you and/or your someones wrap your arms around it and hug it once or twice.

So, then, let's also add then for the sake of the continuity of the thread, that under current conditions, here's how we'd treat fame. Under those conditions, a percentage of us will act in a different manner.

Adam Hammonds
11-20-2008, 03:24 AM
I can't think of a single writer of any era whose opinions on the world I give a shit about. Nor would I ever not buy a book out of political spite.

jst5150
11-20-2008, 03:26 AM
Okay, bearing all that in mind:

Given that I've written a book about miracles, realistic and verified miracles (within the story), laying on of hands, etc, do you think I believe in miracles?
No. I would think that you, your agent and the publisher saw some money in that slice of the market and that's where you chose to focus your interest. At least, in the best business sense, I'd think that's what you'd do.

But I'm naive like that. ;)

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 03:27 AM
No. I would think that you, your agent and the publisher saw some money in that slice of the market and that's where you chose to focus your interest. At least, in the best business sense, I'd think that's what you'd do.

But I'm naive like that. ;)

Ah, if only it were that easy...

Truth be told, I got fascinated by a story I heard, and imagined its impact on a family in a similar situation.

maestrowork
11-20-2008, 03:36 AM
That's it? I shouldn't assume you have no trust in the justice system or anything else at all? If all I get from a story is that you're a good storyteller, than the conclusion of the story doesn't really matter, right? As long as the characters, after you put them in that situation, do what they are suppose to do, than the final result, the ending, doesn't really matter?

Thanks,

ED

Seriously, that's it.

Look, you may want to show the world your views and deliver a message via your work about how you feel about everything. But don't assume that's what every writer is trying to do. Some are simply here to entertain. Some just want to tell a compelling story. Not every story ends up with a moral. And some may want to do something that is unexpected or original -- say, the serial killer actually gets away! There are conventions, of course, that maybe good triumphs over evil, or the boy gets the girl. But the bottom line is: I write to tell a good story. What you get out of it is entirely your business. But don't make assumptions about me -- the person behind the curtain -- simply by the kind of stories I write.

Cranky
11-20-2008, 03:56 AM
Seriously, that's it.

Look, you may want to show the world your views and deliver a message via your work about how you feel about everything. But don't assume that's what every writer is trying to do. Some are simply here to entertain. Some just want to tell a compelling story. Not every story ends up with a moral. And some may want to do something that is unexpected or original -- say, the serial killer actually gets away! There are conventions, of course, that maybe good triumphs over evil, or the boy gets the girl. But the bottom line is: I write to tell a good story. What you get out of it is entirely your business. But don't make assumptions about me -- the person behind the curtain -- simply by the kind of stories I write.

Exactly. This kind of thinking, E, is how people end up asking Stephen King why he writes what he writes. The implication being that there is something wrong with him (or anyone, really, who writes horror, for example) for writing stories like that.

The fact of the matter is, we write what we write for as many reasons as there are writers. Some write for message (Ayn Rand, as Bubastes mentioned) and others, like me, write for entertainment. The message, for me (and if there is one) is secondary. It's something that grows out of the story I've already written, and I pull it out and polish it on edit. But it's not something I write conciously, and the story itself is just my imaginings of a particular story or scenario, not my feelings about abusive parents or the justice system or the nature of God and whether or not there even is one.

Sometimes, a story is just a story, and I'm just the gal writing it down as it comes to me.

Mr Flibble
11-20-2008, 04:03 AM
But it's not something I write conciously, and the story itself is just my imaginings of a particular story or scenario, not my feelings about abusive parents or the justice system or the nature of God and whether or not there even is one.

Because let's face it, some of the best scenes were probably written with the thought 'I have a deadline in two days and 10k to write. What is the worst thing I can do to this character? oohhh that'll help the plot along. Do it!'

CaroGirl
11-20-2008, 04:11 AM
ED, why do you READ? Do you read fiction to learn something, get someone's opinion, have an epiphany, or do you read to be entertained by a cracking good story? If you read for any of the reasons I listed except the last one, you might not be reading fiction for the same reason as everyone else. If I want philosophy, I'll pick up a little light Nietzsche. If want facts or opinions, I'll read the newspaper or a news magazine. If want diversion and entertainment, I'll dive into a nice Ken Follett. I don't care about Follett's belief system, I just love his characters and he draws a mean plot too.

Do I think willietheshakes supports the running down of six-year-old girls by cars at busy intersections just because that's something that happens in his book? Probably not. I mean. Probably. not.

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 04:13 AM
Do I think willietheshakes supports the running down of six-year-old girls by cars at busy intersections just because that's something that happens in his book? Probably not. I mean. Probably. not.

Actually...

CaroGirl
11-20-2008, 04:15 AM
Actually...
*gasp*

scarletpeaches
11-20-2008, 04:15 AM
Willie, I just looked up your book on Amazon and have concluded you are a sick, depraved, unnatural, disgusting, animalistic excuse for a human being.

*buys novel*

CaroGirl
11-20-2008, 04:18 AM
Willie, I just looked up your book on Amazon and have concluded you are a sick, depraved, unnatural, disgusting, animalistic excuse for a human being.

*buys novel*
And what am I for reading it? (and enjoying it immensely)

Well, I've met him. He's all that and more.

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 04:18 AM
Willie, I just looked up your book on Amazon and have concluded you are a sick, depraved, unnatural, disgusting, animalistic excuse for a human being.

Gets ya a little hot, doesn't it?

(You forgot amoral and narcissistic, for the record.)


*buys novel*

*blush*

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 04:19 AM
And what am I for reading it? (and enjoying it immensely)

Well, I've met him. He's all that and more.

:D

Mr Flibble
11-20-2008, 04:21 AM
:D
That is one great blurb

*buys*

ETA : all us buying it: are you really sure you want that? I'd be peeing my pants about now.

scarletpeaches
11-20-2008, 04:21 AM
I'm going to put you in my NaNo novel as a sick, depraved sexual animal.

That probably makes me a pervert of some description.

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 04:24 AM
I'm going to put you in my NaNo novel as a sick, depraved sexual animal.

That probably makes me a pervert of some description.

Or a good judge of character...

willietheshakes
11-20-2008, 04:25 AM
ETA : all us buying it: are you really sure you want that? I'd be peeing my pants about now.

Oh, I'm fiiiiiiiine with it.

scarletpeaches
11-20-2008, 04:27 AM
Heh. Just think how annoying it will be for all those people who judge you from your writing as a bit of a weirdo and who would rather not read your novel, to discover this thread has, in a twisted kind of way, got you publicity and encouraged people to buy your sick, depraved, Satanic, disgusting, gut-rotting piece of trash.

(PS: I never buy anything online as I'm scared of teh intarchoobs fairies stealing mah moneyz, so next time I'm in Borders I shall kick up the stink of a three-day corpse if they don't furnish me with your brain-burning book-vomit).

Susan Lanigan
11-20-2008, 04:33 AM
Well, no, not necessarily. There's no rule that says you have to write what you believe in. Usually, my characters have been established and developed long before they get a plot. The plot unfolds in a manner that reflects their beliefs and opinions and not mine.

I would find that very hard to stick to, to be honest. The characters might have their own little worldviews, but the overarching story would reflect the values I believe in. I could not play false to them.

But then again, mostly I write out of anger.

Bubastes
11-20-2008, 04:40 AM
That's it? I shouldn't assume you have no trust in the justice system or anything else at all? If all I get from a story is that you're a good storyteller, than the conclusion of the story doesn't really matter, right? As long as the characters, after you put them in that situation, do what they are suppose to do, than the final result, the ending, doesn't really matter?


Speaking for myself, that's it. Honestly, the only thing that my stories reveal about myself is that I find human behavior interesting. That's why I write about, uh, human behavior. :D

mscelina
11-20-2008, 04:49 AM
I would find that very hard to stick to, to be honest. The characters might have their own little worldviews, but the overarching story would reflect the values I believe in. I could not play false to them.

But then again, mostly I write out of anger.

I write mostly out of an overriding need to entertain myself. I figure that if my stories can keep me entertained, considering I have the attention span of a gnat, they should entertain someone else. And so far, I've been lucky and they've done so. Human nature, character motivations, the developments that arise out of conflict--all of these things fascinate me. Keep in mind too that I spent a long time working as a professional actor, so the facets of the human personality--no matter what they are--are things I have studied in depth.

As an actor, you have to learn to play characters that are diametrically opposed to who you are. In fact, those are the characters that you most want to play. If you go by type, then I'm a Kate from Taming of the Shrew, Maggie the Cat kind of person.

But my biggest successes on the stage were roles like Catherine in Suddenly Last Summer and Ophelia in Hamlet. There's a reason I played those roles better--I had to work harder to do them.

I apply the same philosophy to the characters I write about. *shrug* Maybe I'm just odd, but it seems to work for me.

writerterri
11-20-2008, 05:04 AM
Leave Brittney's mom ALONE!

Toothpaste
11-20-2008, 06:23 AM
I think when one is famous, one has to be careful. But that doesn't mean just sitting back and shutting up. I write for kids. And darn it I'll take the opportunity to promote things I believe in, like girls having self esteem, and that it's okay to read. Just today I met a girl who told me outright as I gave her an autograph that she hated her name. It was a lovely name, and I told her as much, and tried to show her how even aesthetically on the page it was lovely. I don't know if she cared, but I know that if someone I admired had said something to me like that I would have listened and appreciated it.

So yes, maybe actors spewing their views as if they have all the answers can get annoying, but what about listening to someone like Stephen Fry? A man who quite obviously has a brain, and knowledge on a myriad of subjects. Should I just say to him, "Shut up and write/act"? Why would I? He's more intelligent than I am, funnier than I am, I'd quite frankly like to hear what he has to say.

It's about making choices. I won't swear in front of kids even though I love swearing normally. I have very specific religious and political views that I rarely share because I have no need to, nor do I much feel like alienating people who might otherwise read my books (that are, at least as of now, free from such topics). On the other hand I am a firm believer in women's rights, and will talk about that even if some might disagree because I truly feel I am pretty knowledgeable on the subject, and I am in a position to really get kids to think about these kinds of things.

Edmontonian - I get what you are saying. Why should I care what Matt Damon says about Sarah Palin? I don't, he's not in politics, and it is just one man's opinion. On the other hand I DO care about what he has to say about his charitable organisation One X One, because I know how active he is in the cause, and how much money he has raised for it. It's about not making sweeping judgments about people. There are authors I find fascinating, Stephen King is actually very interesting to listen to when it comes to cultural commentary. He is very plugged into the current climate and offers often some very unique insight into tired topics (like Ms. Spears). I have actually never read any of his books but seen him talk twice and watched videos on youtube. For me he is a social commenter first, author second. There are idiot actors out there, there are genius actors out there. I went to many drama schools and met many fellow students who used to be doctors. Does that mean that when they are famous actors they can't have an opinion on medicine?

I love the fact that people are three dimensional. I love the fact that suddenly an actor who you thought was merely that turns out to have grown up in rural Africa or something. Don't judge a book by its cover. It's not as fun a game as you think.

maestrowork
11-20-2008, 07:02 PM
I would find that very hard to stick to, to be honest. The characters might have their own little worldviews, but the overarching story would reflect the values I believe in. I could not play false to them.

But then again, mostly I write out of anger.

Truth be told, most of my longer works have overall story arcs that reflect my personal philosophies and my views on the grand scheme of things: human nature, politics, relationships, etc. But I've also only written 1.5 novels so far (one published, one half-written WIP) and they're both dramas. Still, my novels are complex enough that they include all types of characters and all types of behaviors. My next novel is going to be very different (a thriller/suspense) and I'm eager to use it to explore human behaviors and opposing politics, religions, etc. that may be very different from mine.

My short stories are all over the map, however. There's a werewolf one that didn't end the way you may expect. I have one about a father killing his son. And I have another one about an author taking revenge on his critics. I have another one from the POV of a lesbian. They don't necessarily reflect my own personal views and preferences or my personalities, but they offer me a chance to look from other angles on human behaviors and psychology.

ishtar'sgate
11-21-2008, 06:39 AM
Let's stop for a minute and not generalize.

Let's talk about YOU! The question is: What would you do if YOU were famous? Do you think YOU should keep your mouth shut? Do YOU think your opinions should or should not matter because you're famous?
I think I'd voice my opinion freely on any subject in private. However, if I were famous I'd think twice before saying anything unless I was thoroughly familiar with a given topic and felt confident I knew what I was talking about.

Revelationz
11-21-2008, 09:08 PM
Well.... you have the right to do what you damn well wish. But, then, you have the responsibility of living with the consequences.

Let's focus on a writer. If I was a famous writer, should I voice my opinions? Well, take this into consideration- what audience do you typically write to? Is your fanbase liberal or conservative? Or does it span both? Are they religious or seculuar? Both? While I have the right to say what I believe, I'd also have to live with the consequences of possibly pissing off my following. Like when the Dixie Chicks announced proudly they were against the Iraq War. THey had every right, but was it a good idea?

You just have to use your head, and weigh your options. Voicing your opinion doesn't necessarily mean your fans will turncoat or boycot you, but in the right atmosphere they may.

Kitrianna
11-23-2008, 01:19 AM
Last time I checked everyone has the right to have their own opinion and they have the right to speak it. We all have the right not to agree with it and the right to express that disagreement. Telling someone to go back to whatever it is that they do because we disagree with what they have to say is a bit much, but we are allowed to do so.

That having been said, I have no problem voicing my opinion on things, provided I know something about the topic in question. If I don't, I won't. It just isn't right to spout off about a topic that I have no information on. I can not see that changing no matter what happens in my life.

seun
11-23-2008, 04:33 PM
I haven't read through all the replies here so I'll just say I don't have a problem with a writer (or anyone really) voicing their opinions as long as they do it with some grace. By that I mean, don't beat the reader or viewer over the head with what you believe. One of the reasons I gave up on Dean Koontz several years ago was because I got bored with the way his holier than thou attitude kept coming up in his work.

maestrowork
11-23-2008, 10:49 PM
Let's focus on a writer. If I was a famous writer, should I voice my opinions? Well, take this into consideration- what audience do you typically write to? Is your fanbase liberal or conservative? Or does it span both? Are they religious or seculuar? Both? While I have the right to say what I believe, I'd also have to live with the consequences of possibly pissing off my following. Like when the Dixie Chicks announced proudly they were against the Iraq War. THey had every right, but was it a good idea?

Certainly one must be careful, especially considering his or her following. The problem with the Dixie Chicks isn't that they spoke their minds (and I happened to agree with them) but that they mixed politics with entertainment, and in the process alienate their core audience (which were pro-Bush and pro-war at the time). While I applauded them for having their own opinions and not going with the flow, I did think they made a very bad mistake and underestimated the power of backlash. But in the long run, I think they showed integrity and were able to come back from the consequences. And in the long run, probably they gained new admirers, too, who wouldn't otherwise buy their records and go to their concerts.

Same with OSC -- he underestimated his fan-base when he spewed his anti-gay opinions, and that has cost him.

Also, I think it's easier to talk about what you're FOR instead of what you're AGAINST. Had OSC talked about his views on traditional family values, etc. he probably wouldn't have suffered the kind of backlash he did with his anti-gay rhetoric. Same with the Dixie Chicks -- if they had been for "peaceful resolutions and diplomacy" instead of criticizing Bush, they would probably have come out unscathed.

Toothpaste
11-23-2008, 11:37 PM
What happened to the Dixie Chicks is also a demonstration of how much more careful one has to be if one is in the limelight. It isn't just a matter of not mixing politics with performance, it's also a matter of realising even the smallest tossed away line, can change the course of your life. I don't know if any of you have seen the documentary about the incident: "Shut up and sing" (you should, it is fantastic), but you get to see the moment where they diss Bush. It's a one liner, at a concert in England (I highly doubt they would have said the same thing in the states), and everyone cheers and applauds after it is said. It was so obviously spur of the moment and not planned at all*. And it totally changed the nature of their career.

* SPOILER for the film

- though at the end of the film, the girls are back on tour and return to the scene of the crime, and . . . she says the exact same thing. So that was obviously pre-meditated. It's actually pretty darn awesome.

IceCreamEmpress
11-24-2008, 06:38 AM
And the Dixie Chicks are doing just fine, sales-wise. And so is Toby Keith, who espoused completely opposite views.

People can say what they want. And other people can decide whether to listen to them or not. Kanye West campaigned for Obama; Daddy Yankee campaigned for McCain. I'm guessing that this is going to make zero difference to either performer's CD sales.