An Open Letter To People Who Look Down On The Fine Arts

An Open Letter To People Who Look Down On The Fine Arts

The Arts Are Not Useless
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Imagine this: you go to work, as usual, watching everyone dressed in leaves on a grassy plain. Afterward, you entertain yourself by throwing a ball around. You miss dancing. You have nothing to dance to. Music doesn’t exist. You return home to a box that you found the other day. Houses collapsed long ago with business buildings when architects stopped. You fall asleep thinking about that old movie poster that you threw out and you wonder if your children have ever heard of movies or plays. You realize that they will lead lackluster childhoods–after all, roleplaying, singing, and watching movies are all now impossible. You’ll have to memorize what they look like. The world officially deemed photography to be “art” and threw it out. How will your kids survive the winter? With fashion designers gone, who’s left to create clothing?

That’s the world without art.

The arts create humanity every day. They shape us, whether we’re art majors, STEM majors, custodians, therapists, cashiers, or CEOs. They permeate everything that we think, say, and do. They're part of our cultures, our passions, and our lives. So why do people call it “unnecessary?” The jokes always come up in daily life, sometimes thoughtless (“You value your hobbies more than making a living.”) and sometimes intentionally harmful (“You’ll never get anywhere in life. Your degree is useless and so are you.”). Three types of people scoff at art: those who fear, those who ignore, and those who worry.

If the arts are really so insignificant, then why are they always the first to encounter censorship? I believe that people know the importance of music, of paintings, and of “Internet memes,” even on an unconscious level. They know how easy it is for a powerful song to make someone feel surges of emotions (like how Adele's songs seem to make people cry over partners that they never had). They know that what starts as a simple melody can become rallying cries of protestors (see also: the national anthem in the French Revolution). They’re not laughing at art because they think that it’s nothing, they’re laughing because they’re scared.

Others ignore the arts. Some people refuse to be in touch with their emotions. They believe that living life with practicality will make them successful. It will. They’ll survive and earn a living, maybe build a family off of their income and be in love with their careers, but completely rejecting the therapeutic effects of the arts hurts them. They want funding for arts education to be cut, but they also want their movies, their shows, and their advertisements. They want to wear professional clothing to work every day, but they don’t want to support the people who design it. It’s possible to live with the acceptance of both STEM majors and art majors. Even doctors find the time to form orchestras.

Angry critics will always argue that the arts are almost entirely emotion-driven. I agree. Isn’t that what makes art so powerful? Emotions form identity and if the arts can’t exist without identity, then every form of art is who we are. Art is being. Whether we are the bright-eyed innocents of small statures and great imaginations or the wise-eyed veterans of the world, we cannot be without it or it without us.

Don’t worry on the behalf of fine arts majors and artists. We’re aware of the hardships in this field. We hear it every day and we choose it anyway. Besides, the “starving artists” stereotype often comes from people who aren’t sure what to do with their talents. Times are changing. Art entrepreneurship has now become widespread as more courses and programs delve into the subject. We’re taking care of ourselves. We worry too, but we’ll be okay.

Everything plays a part in the structure of this world, but the arts are there to connect them. When humans die away, when the last wars have been fought and the rains fall without us, every form of art that outlives us will be the true captured essence of who we are now. Dear critics, I’m asking you to let go of your fear that we’re throwing away our lives for nothing. Let it go and let us make art. Let music therapists, designers, producers, singers, performers, and painters continue to serve you and we’ll let art continue to tell your story and ours.

Cover Image Credit: Caroline Jok

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Supporting Late-Term Abortion Is Actually The Opposite Of Feminism

Feminism is about gender equality and women supporting women- so shouldn't we support the unborn women of tomorrow?

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Before you read this, if you are someone who feels strongly that abortions are the "right" choice and that supporting late-term abortions is a step for woman anywhere, I do not suggest you read this article. However, I do want to write that I support conditional abortions- situations where the birth can kill the mother or where conception occurred because of rape. If someone rapes you, that is not okay by any means, and a baby conceived of rape can be terminated by the mother to avoid PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and any other mental health diagnoses. Of course, if a woman can bring a baby into the world to keep or give up for adoption, even if it was the product of rape, she should seek life for the innocent child rather than death. And what a rape victim chooses to do is neither here nor there- and it damn well is not anyone else's business.

So why should it be my business (or anyone's) if women have late-term abortions? Agreeing to murder out of convenience should not be societally accepted as okay. When the law passed in New York for late-term abortions, I did not picture 39-week pregnant women rushing to Planned Parenthood to abort their child because they got cold feet. I highly doubt that is the exact scenario for which the law went into effect for, and that was more so intended for women who did not realize they were pregnant and missed the time period to get a legal abortion.

Not that I support early-term abortion, because all abortion is the same regardless of when it happens during the pregnancy. Killing someone sooner rather than later does not make it less worse.

Excuses about how women are not ready to be mothers, do not have the financial means, would ruin their futures, they would get kicked out, lose their bodies, etc. are just that- excuses. Carrying a child for nine months might be an inconvenience, but killing someone will be on your conscience forever. If murders pleaded their motives to police as a way to justify what they did (excluding self-defense), what difference is it if a woman kills her unborn child?

Planned Parenthood might be taboo and have a stigma attached to it, but it does so much more than kill babies. Planned Parenthood is a place where girls can go to see OB/GYNO, get birth control, and learn about safe sex, protection, STDs, etc. Instead of stigmatizing it, young women should be encouraged to go to this institution for woman and feminism. Let high school health classes plan field trips there so that everyone becomes more educated on female health (boys included!). Female health education is very limited, especially in school, and many women feel that an abortion is their only way out, however, it's not. By becoming more educated, the rate of teen pregnancies can go down, as well as the need for abortions. Women educating other women should be the goal of Planned Parenthood, and abortions should be reserved for those who got raped or whose pregnancy cause death, health complications, etc.

Abortion might be giving women a choice- but who is giving the unborn babies a choice?

And of course the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is abstinence, and if that is your choice then good for you, and if you choose to have sexual intercourse, good for you too. Be safe. No slut shaming here. Women need to continue supporting other women, regardless of their sex life. Women who have abortions are not "whores" and should not be labeled as such- they are just people whose biology reacted to another person's biology.

If you truly do not want to have a baby, please please please give it up for adoption and do not kill it. It did nothing wrong, and yeah, it might be a little inconvenient to be pregnant, especially if you are in school, but there are hundreds of thousands of people that would love nothing more than to raise your baby. Be a woman supporting other woman and give the gift of motherhood.

If you take away anything from this article it's this:



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