Powers and Politics

I'm reading Richard Powers' The Time of Our Singing and finding it delightful. One of the themes of the novel is the poers of music, and Powers renders the effect and lure of music and the musical life as well as anybody writing today. He's done it before, too. His Gold-Bug Variations includes as good an overview of JS Bach's Goldberg Variations as I've read anywhere. Both of these books are highly recommended.

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I've noticed that many arts and music blogs have included political topics over these last few weeks. I don't typically do politics here, and I consider myself a political person. The reason I don't is simple: I don't want politics to get between people and the music. And, human nature being what it is, that's often what happens when the two are mixed. When you know someone's politics, and they mix that with their discussion of the arts, it's hard not to relate the two.

A couple of my recent posts have been political in the broadest sense, but as a rule, I don't post on the subject here, especially not on electoral politics.

How do you all feel about the issue?


  1. Well, since you ask....

    Politics contaminates everything it touches. As much as possible (and sometimes events are so overwhelming it's not possible), better left out of a blog dedicated to the arts unless it directly has to do with the arts.


  2. It probably depends on how you view politics and its influence in your life. Not being a political person myself, I look to arts as a refuge from it and also as a place to find commonality with others whom I might otherwise not agree with.

    Others may be energized by heated discussions or need to find like-minded folk for some peace of mind in anxious times.

  3. In general, I think politics can pretty much be left out of the arts. It's hard to draw the line, sometimes, when a lot of inspiration comes out of political events. So it's probably a continuum, and some art ends up closer to the "political" end while other art (sometimes by the same artist) is purely for its own sake.

    As you know, Steve, my current non-fiction book (which gets discussed in one of the places you visit) is directly about political issues, so it's in that very uneasy place. If I can get that dang thing done, I'd love to swing right over to a couple of novels I've done that have pretty much no connection to present-day politics. It would be rather a nice relief for a while! :-)

  4. Anonymous12:01 PM

    IMO, politics and religion should be banned of all blogs
    or forums.If somebody wants to give his/her opinion on some of those subjects,they can choose any of the hundreds of blogs or forums dedicated to them If you have a musical blog, anybody who send a political or religious post is only hopping for make trouble.
    Carlos from Buenos Aires