Wednesday, September 24, 2008

About Last Night

This blog has been tricky for me. For one, as I indicated in the beginning, I think I am constitutionally averse to talking in public about private matters like politics and sports fandom. But even beyond that, there is the matter of my professional life. I am, for lack of a better term, a small businessman. As such, I have clients. These clients need to be pleased. They need to feel like they are in good hands. They do not need to be confronted with half-baked political ideas from the people they hire, or ideas they themselves might disagree with.

The other day, a friend of mine, one of many who had been kept in the dark about the existence of this blog until recently, pointed out the very real possibility that some client might come upon this blog and decide not to hire me because he or she was, you know, voting for someone else. I made a joke about the entertainment industry being essentially Democratic, but she had a point. There really isn't any reason to rub my political beliefs in the faces of people who might hire me.

So my company did the film for a non-profit organization, and the function was last night, and I was talking to a very nice man there -- he's the uncle of a good friend -- and as I fielded his generous compliments about our little film, I was struck by the realization that he was a Republican planning on voting for McCain. One minute we're having a perfectly nice conversation, and the next I realize: hey, I like this guy, and he's really gonna vote for McCain! What can I do?

Well, I did what any self-respecting propaganda filmmaker would do; I got his email address and sent him, last night, the link to 'ENOUGH!'

And then -- the panic set in. Oh my God, how much do I really know about this guy? He may be the brother-in-law to the man who makes all hiring decisions for the Discovery Network! He may be sitting on top of some huge Documentary film fund.... He may be, I don't know, Dr. Powerful!!!

It became rather global, in the middle of the night: I have chosen a needless self-expression over my children's financial future; what kind of man am I!?

This morning, I received a very nice email:

Thank you for forwarding your film. I think it is very well done and compelling, but, obviously, selective in what is presented. Good luck with your documentary endeavors. You might try a similar film favoring McCain.

And you know what? I think I will. Look for it in a couple of weeks...

In the meantime, I'll continue to sit on the fence as to whether any of this is a good idea or not...


Anonymous said...

I'm a small businesman also, and face the same dilemma. But the choices are so clear in this election that I've stopped worrying about possibly offending a client who happens to be a Republican. Fuck them all. Anyone who still calls himself a Republican and plans on voting for McCain after the horror show of the past eight years is either clueless or malicious. People like that have chugged the Kool-Aid, and are beyond salvation. Our energies are much better spent getting new voters registered and bringing them into the process. Trying to convince a dumbass Republican is an uphill battle and a waste of energy. I can walk down the street and motivate a whole bunch of youth or minority voters in 10% of the time it would take to persuade a GOP guy.

Maria Lokken said...

I completely understand - I too have a blog and I'm in production. I thought long and hard about whether to say anything political on my blog. It is a website for romance readers - and after all, they come to the site for the 'happy endings'. But there are A LOT of romance readers out there who visit, and I couldn't let what is the most important election of our times, and the current untenable financial situation this country is in - go without at least a comment.

I thought I'd probably loose some viewers, but I also thought - that's why I have a blog, to say what I want. I posted a blog about my objection to the financial bailout and after several days only one person posted. And the visitors to my site went down a couple of days following the post. Here's what - this is not a time for people to shut up - it's a time for people to discuss... there's got to be someway out of this mess, and I think 'regular people's' opinions matter.

When it comes to being cautious about our beliefs because we're concerned whether a potential or existing client doesn't like our views - I say, they need to look at the work and the work ethic and make a decision from there, not based on political views.