I love covering the niche corner of culture that I do. Sometimes I even influence it. As small as this influence is, I know I have a bigger platform than most. And with this bigger platform comes expectations and, of course, responsibility.
Now, some of you think I should use this voice of mine to push political agendas. That I should use my voice for “good.” I get it, “silence is compliance.”
Others of you think I should stay in my “lane.” Meaning, I believe, don’t put a spotlight on anything that causes discomfort. I get that too, the world can be ugly and it can be kind of a safe haven within this weekly email’s walls.
But, call it the rebel in me, I don’t like being told what I “should” do in either direction.
I never planned to be in this position of influence but I really do try to do the right thing with the voice I’ve been given.
Part of the concept behind this zine is to highlight the good, to put a spotlight on the weird and wonderful things our greater community is making and doing. It’s a love letter to them (us!), meant to inspire creativity and to bring hope in an increasingly bummer of a world. My brand of activism is not an “in your face” type, it’s not. It’s more of a long, slow burn, a “shining of a light in dark places” kind of thing.
But, make no mistake, my heart is broken and it continues to break — for this country, for our children, for my own child. The world is a mess, and maybe it’s naive, but I still have hope and that’s how I’ve been able to show up here nearly every week for the past five+ years.
*I* feel you don’t need me to be your moral compass. I sense that you all have a good head on your shoulders or you wouldn’t be here to begin with. But, jic, I’ll say this:
Educate yourself and VOTE. The world needs your voice too!
I’m still going to do my thing here every week. I won’t be muted, but I will be listening better, checking my privilege, and giving more. I hope you’ll do the same.
— Rusty Blazenhoff
P.S. BLACK LIVES MATTER.