I wake up Early in the Morning. Hop up in a foreign, Wave to them haters like what’s up
Say What’s Up.
No really, what’s up?
No, this post actually isn’t about M’Shulla or TPain. It’s more about the tide. Y’know, the thing the moon kind of has control over? Water and stuff. Actually this post kind of has everything to do with M’Shulla.
This post is about creativity and the creative process. This is about the thought process that goes into everything. This is about the unconscious thought that goes into every creative decision that’s made. This is about the creative process that goes into consuming media. The conscious and unconscious thoughts you bring into your experience. Mostly It’s about something I recently did with all the media I own and something I will be doing going forward.
I’m just taking stock. I’m not crusading for issues, I’m simply taking notes. There are things I’ve definitely noticed, and things that I only feel like I notice but am not sure if they’re there in a lot of stuff. So as I read, and watch, and listen, I’m also charting. It’s going to be like science. I’m not going to outright try and annoy you. Just mention things. Like how many black characters are in your comic book. How many women have speaking lines. How many Chinese characters are in your tv show based on a civilization where the dominant cultures are American and Chinese. What the depiction is of any LBG characters. Are there any TQ in the book? Who has agency in this piece? Is the woman who is the focus of your song a person or a lovely sofa? How many times is the person of desire referred to as a sex object?
I’m mostly just curious. Hopefully someone will know other questions I can ask as well. This is about discussion. This is about knowledge and understanding.
See, I had an epiphany the other day. It’s something I’ve always known, but the point wasn’t driven home until listening to a podcast where a particular song is played for laughs. I thought about the word choice of “Speakers going hammer. Bammer bammer Boom” and realized (to deep emotional pain in my heart) that someone actually had to write that out. Maybe he used a ouiji board, but even still, thought went into that. I’m not saying a lot of thought. I’m just saying those words came out of his mouth and he said “okay.”
Every single part of every creative process is a choice. Sometimes you’re squeezed into a certain box, but you still have a choice in how things play out. Let’s say as a writer you’re mandated to kill a character, you don’t have to show them being brutalized. Say the studio exec wants you to make your songs more mainstream friendly. If you spend enough time in thought you can rejigger your message to still go hard and have catchy beats behind it. When you’re writing a book, the character that appears and gives the main character their morning coffee five or six times in the book can totally be transgendered. (side note. If you’re a member of the trans community and happen to know a copy editor that can tell me the proper English conjugations for thigns, that’d be great.) I understand tropes, but your film noir doesn’t HAVE to start with a dead woman on a bed in a pool of blood. Nope.
It’s little decisions like these that can change a lot about the way a story is interpreted by the reader. It can mean the world when it comes to grabbing certain audiences for your music. A lot of it is just about thinking, though. I understand how easy it is when you get to brainstorming to fall into what’s safe and what’s been done before. Not just done before, but what is socially seen as “just what happens.” It’s very easy to write a story where every single character is heterosexual and white. (here’s an example. Just as I was writing this I decided not to use the word straight when referring to a person that engages in heterosexual practices. It doesn’t change anything in the culture, but it was a choice).
If you put a gun to my head and asked me (and this is a fucked up situation we’ve gotten ourselves into) what my favorite Marvel/DC book that takes place in the future is, and I’d say the 70s KillRaven, for one major reason. M’shulla. Marvel made a decision (unlike DC) that I existed in the future. Not only did I exist, but I was a badass. Sure I was the sidekick character, but I was there. Yeah, my hairstyle choices hadn’t changed since the war of the worlds, but I was there. I wasn’t overly sexualized and didn’t speak in jive (well more jive than anyone was speaking. This was Marvel in the 70s). The Legion still has a HUGE problem when it comes to that. Their future is soooo white it hurts.
This post totally spiraled out of control from the main point, so let’s do a middle school speech style recap.
In conclusions, everything that happens is a choice. Who characters are, what instruments are used, who preforms actions and who has actions preformed on them, how many times do you say bammer before you say boom. These are all choices that must be made in the creative process. All of these choices have an effect on how the consumer interprets the creative project. I just want to chart some of the choices that are made.