For the health of our public discourse, it’s desperately important that the rest of us continue to approach art with all the subtlety, intelligence and curiosity that corporations apparently can’t.
The 2016 presidential election provided an unnerving lesson in what happens when citizens only read news reports that tell them what they want to hear. The months since Trump’s inauguration have reminded us that things can always get worse. We can reject art and ideas without ever actually seeing them for ourselves, making our decisions based on highly simplified secondhand accounts. And if we do take a look at controversial things, we can deny their subtle meanings — or even their plain ones — in favor of interpretations that appeal to our pre-set political ideas. If you think it’s hard for Americans to talk to each other now, an outright refusal to hear what’s being said to us or to acknowledge what’s in front of our noses could become the disturbing norm.