I am no activist and I am not a pacifist. Based on my location, education level, age, sexual orientation, and daily behaviors, I should be a lot of things. I have never been great at following the crowd and it is not because I am a snob or because I am particularly aware. I do not even notice that I have left the path and usually I do not even care that I veered off somewhere. This has made me a reasonably sane and self-aware individual though we all have our blind spots.
By now, you are wondering what this has to do with media, authors, or artists. Gather around, folks. In recent years, I was compelled by what was happening around me to support organizations that take a stand, tell a truth, expose a wrong, uphold the 1st amendment, express a viewpoint, celebrate something I love, or make me feel good. This support has been to a variety of news agencies, literary societies, and magazines. I buy all the books of my favorite authors including the audio if possible. I buy the entire album and attend concerts of my favorite artists.
I do not want these things to go away. I want to read opposing views and a sprinkling of good news. I want to see what an author or artist is going to do next. I want them to have the monetary support to continue to create and express themselves.
Of course, I love free stuff. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to get something for free! There are so many free services and sources now that we forget that there is someone out there trying to make a living off what we are all consuming for free. My background ensures that I feel a twinge of guilt. This is not a religious statement, but a hat tip to all the others out there that have a parental unit that has a shaker of guilt next to the salt and pepper.
If they are giving away their craft, then I will reward that generosity in some manner. Taking the time to write a review, purchasing a concert t-shirt, buying that one track (even if it was not my favorite, please don’t tell), becoming a patron, finding that merchandiser that gives a percentage of their profits to charity, and checking out the values of the places I frequent. I do not want to be exhaustive here since I can be a bit intense when I get in research mode. It does take a bit of introspection on my part to determine where I will contribute since I am cannot support them all.
Does it make a difference? I am just one subscriber, reader, and supporter. I believe it does make a difference. In conversations with friends, co-workers, and family, I am not the only one that is putting their money where their mouth and mind happen to be. It does not matter if it is news, fashion, music, literary, tech, art, design, activism, or whatever speaks to you. If you have the means, I am sure that your faves would appreciate your contribution to their trade.
If you do not support them then they could fade away. Support your favorite things!