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Thread: Is It Right to Separate Art from Artist?

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    Is It Right to Separate Art from Artist?

    This originally appeared in the Greatest American Band thread and my reply was going to go there, until I realized that I'd kind of sprawled. If it belongs in "Speak Your Mind," mods, please feel free to move it.

    Quote Originally Posted by GulDukat View Post
    And like @Sesquipedalism said, you have to separate the art from the artist. No matter how he behaved, it doesn't make The Doors music any less great.
    To be fair, I did also say that I'm no longer sure how appropriate this is. I've been getting older, which has seemed to do nothing so much as make me certain I know less about the world than I ever could have imagined when I was young, and the past few years in Trump's America have forced me to reconsider a lot of my positions. And this issue of art and its artist is very much something I've been reconsidering. I'll kill the suspense now: I don't have any hard and fast answers. But it's a discussion I know I'm glad I'm having with myself and one that I think I wish a lot of other people would have, too.

    1. A Righteous Course Correction
    Sometime after I turned 21, I began to work hard to not know anything about my favorite bands. I didn't even want to know what they looked like. I wanted a good record to be a good record because it was good, and a shit record to be a shit record because it was shitty. I grew up a massive fan of Marilyn Manson and I wanted to be done with all the cult of personality nonsense—which definitely affected me more than I wanted to admit. So, I course-corrected. I didn't even want to know what anyone in a band I liked looked like because I didn't want to favor someone more or less because they had a killer image or were drop dead fuckable or whatever. Same with filmmakers and authors. In high school, I think I'd simultaneously over- and under-appreciated Garbage because I wanted to never stop having sex with Shirley Manson. Art and artist needed to be two separate things and Americans in general were terrible at this. So, way back in 2001, I decided that I would be above it. Over the years, two advanced degrees in English Lit. convinced me of the righteousness of my cause.

    Starting in 2017, I think, I began to have a problem with Kanye West.

    I'd actually been some degree of a fan since I bought his first record in 2003. (I'm the weirdo who hated Fantasy and adored Yeezus.) How I tolerated Kanye West for so long: I didn't know shit about Kanye. During the brief time I was on Twitter, he either wasn't, or Twitter was just that much less active. Same with Insta. When I was on Facebook, Facebook was mostly just a social network—there were barely corporate accounts and people didn't really share news. I don't read gossip magazines or watch tabloid TV. So, up until 2017, I had the same low-grade problem with Kanye West that I did with Quentin Tarantino: they were both unremitting assholes who I wouldn't let in my house if, for some reason, that very unlikely situation ever came up. Both of them had appeared multiple times outside the context of their art and behaved in ways that made me want to gutpunch them. A lot. Kanye, over the years since the initial Taylor Swift ordeal, being more vocal in more spheres, repeatedly broke through my deliberately built firewall of ignorance and proved to me that he was a cunt. But the art was good.

    So I kept listening. In 2016, I figured that, for example, if I didn't know he'd done whatever he'd done, which I'd been by chance unable to ignore—like when he screamed to everyone that Cosby was innocent and I only caught it because, at the time, I was managing my bar's social media and had accidentally tabbed somewhere I hadn't meant to—I'd be much more enthusiastic about Life of Pablo, and it wasn't fair to the record, to the art, that I was considering this extratextual nonsense. Fuck noise. Was the record good? (A little from column A, a little from column B.) Besides, a lot of his shit didn't make it into the music. I don't think I like him as a person. So fucking what? We're probably not going for coffee any time soon. Further, if you look closely enough at almost any artist, he/she/they will probably turn out to be an insensitive or deranged prick of the highest order.

    I've heard bits about the personal life of Kurt Vonnegut. Guys a literary hero of mine. I certainly would've told my sister not to date him. So to speak.

    So, around 2017, Kanye went out of his way to praise Trump, Candace Owens, not taking meds for your bipolar disorder, &c. As if Americans need an excuse to up the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment. It's not a superpower, dude. It's not. But I'm glad it's working for you. Anyways, I couldn't keep him out of his art anymore. And I had to ask myself if that was because I was ethically and intellectually too weak to keep the two separated, or if maybe there was a flaw in my argument. Because, by 2017, I could certainly see his bullshit in his art. Then, #metoo happened.

    So, for me, the ethics of Kanye turned out to be simple: I no longer support him politically; he puts his money and considerable platform to use when he believes in something. He has influence. Therefore, I choose to no longer support him financially, or consider his new art. The ethics of ignoring his…general asshattery became irrelevant when they were trumped—pun intended—by greater concerns, and I chose to speak with my wallet.

    But it was the fact that I had even been wrestling with an ethical question of him. Artists are often asses, as I said, and for a long time, that was essentially his biggest crime—a dearth of likeability—and it was actually part of his brand. In that first winter of #metoo, it became clear that I couldn’t be done; I needed to discuss more than Kanye. Maybe fifty? Sixty? Some whom I loved. And I had to ask: If I'm willing to ethically wrestle with supporting someone who is often an unremitting asshole with some questionable and influential political opinions (which may in part be due to an unmedicated mental disorder), why am I unwilling to at least consider that Jimmy Page knowingly fucked a fourteen-year-old before listening to “Battle of Evermore”? That’s an actual sex crime and we’ve all known about it for decades.

    With my original argument—never consider the artist, only consider the art—I had been in the clear. But I’d already clearly been considering the artist in the case of Kanye, and I had been doing so because it seemed difficult not to. So, why the fuck wouldn’t I consider the artist when he/she/they have done something much worse?

    2. Oops. Okay. Sorry. There Were Always Exceptions.
    There had always been artists whom I'd considered ethically off-limits. Roman Polanski, for instance. Gary Glitter, for as often as that came up. Ezra Pound. But in most cases, I took shelter behind my church and state views on artists and their art. Everyone's got one story that makes them look like Hitler and one that makes them look like Mr. Rogers, I'd always said. The sheer magnitude of people cited as some flavor of grotesque during the first big wave of #metoo actually didn't surprise me. I've been assaulted a few times in my life; I know statistics. Later, I'd be forced to admit that I'd just chosen to never consider them. The sudden smashing together of those two worlds—known sexual criminals and artists on my iPod or bookshelf—posed an ethical dilemma of a size I'd naively never expected to personally have to do anything about.

    If you hadn't guessed and didn't already know, yeah, I'm white and male.

    Somewhere around this period of time, they took R. Kelly off of Spotify playlists and someone affiliated with him asked a valid question in a surprisingly calm manner: Regarding the "Mute R. Kelly" campaign, will Spotify also be banning these 19 artists? They supplied a list of musicians with some kind of suspected or confirmed sex crime in their past. I owned records by more than half of them. Deciding I was done with Musician X or Y as new information came in had been easy, in previous years, as I'd discover issues one at a time and then have the luxury of forgetting and resetting before starting again.

    But the sheer magnitude of this six-month period. Fuck. The numbers made it pretty clear to me that it wasn't just a long list of individual artists whose bodies of work I was going to be forced to consider in a different light, or admit that I was going to exercise the privilege I have to not give a shit. I was instead going to be forced to at least consciously reaffirm my entire ethical approach. Because I couldn't deny the probability that—given the likelihood of occurrence or intersection of any of the following: drugs, alcohol, ego, sex, awkward power dynamics—a great big giant fucking number of the artists whose work I admire, who weren't on the list of 19 or previously exposed over the winter, are guilty of at least one instance of sexual harassment, sexual assault, straight up racism, and who knows what else.

    Again, if you don't already know or haven't deduced, I'm the kind of person who struggles with the ethics of everything. I've agonized before over whether or not it's ethical to force my cats into collars. So, you know, no issue too small, I guess.

    I came to at least one conclusion right quick. Like I said, the scale of this particular issue didn't surprise me. In the back of my mind, I always had the pieces to put this together before Kanye hugged Trump or anyone added a hashtag to anything. And the conclusion I came to was that part of the reason I'd avoided considering this before was that I am a great big giant fucking coward. I don't want to feel uncomfortable in general, and I really don't want to have to feel awkward about enjoying something I can't deny that enjoy. Which is a pretty shitty thing to consciously realize, but doesn't mean it's any less true.

    3. Never Ask A Question to Which You Don't Already Know the Answer
    Because I'm also the kind of person people like to call Type-A, I started asking where I should and could draw lines in the sand. I started with sex criminals, since that was what had pinged my radar the most. Another thing I'd always been wary of were bands in genres where, um, all the kids at the shows had red shoelaces and the same haircut. Sure, it's sometimes just bad fashion. Usually, even. And I listened to punk, some metal. But that was one of those exceptions mentioned above—because I'd been burnt when I was young, I checked before I went all-in on anyone. You know what would've helped me in the 1990s? Not Parental Advisory stickers. Stickers that let me know right off the bat if the band would be happy to find their record was being spun at a Klan rally. Before the internet, I ran into that issue maybe a half dozen times. Which is a lot more than I should have in upstate New York at the end of the century. But anyways. Sex criminals.

    Scouring my iTunes library. Sexual harassers? Fine to ignore? A weird thing to say when you lay it out like that. I wouldn't stand for it in an elected official. Am I okay saying, in the case of people who fall south of "just a creep" on the sliding scale, "I'll consider the art and not the artist?" If a pervasive environment of sexual harassment happens backstage at Musician X's shows is that a thing I should think about when buying the studio album? Let's assume there's no 1980s hair metal-style songs celebrating fucking young groupies on the record; let's say backstage sexual aggression doesn't make it into the art itself. Is it okay to not consider it when choosing to purchase? What about choosing to just listen? Would this rule out half of hip hop? I can't tell you how many records have a celebration of fucking a fan—how hard do I ponder whether it's A) if it's based on a true story or B) consensual?

    Okay. Wait.

    What about if they were young and drunk when they did shit like that and now they're sober? What about if they died in 1972? At what point do I admit that every male I have ever met who's been in a position of authority—including, unfortunately, me—has at least once created a situation in which a female colleague is wildly uncomfortable in a way that legally qualifies as hostile environment harassment? What the hell does that mean for my separation of male artists and their art? Ethically speaking, just because something is a lost cause doesn't mean it's not also the right course of action.

    Okay. Wait. Things are spiraling. This is about art. If it's good art, if it's a good record, should it matter if it was made by a flawed man—especially in a culture where all men are flawed? I mean...within reason. Am I the right person to ask what level of sex crime is "within reason"? Laid out like that, it seems like a pretty shitty argument.

    What about if I found out Musician X never hired Black roadies? What about if they didn't hire Black roadies, but the musician died in 1972?

    What if they don't work with Black session musicians? How would I even find something like that out? What if they just happened to have not worked with Black session musicians because they haven't met someone with whom they vibe? That's ridiculous. It's the music industry. That would almost have to be deliberate, wouldn't it? How many Black studio techs are there working in places that specialize in country or death metal?

    Okay. Say that, without trying to look for the information, I found out that Musician X deliberately passed on Black session players and studio techs who were willing to work on his new record, and this record was allegedly transcendent, genre-defining, and included a shitload of feminist lyrics. And I'd already bought it. What level of engagement with this record is ethically appropriate? None, right? But what if I'd already been listening and I thought it was great? Does this information—reflected nowhere in the aural scope of the album—affect how much I appreciate it? And if it does, is that because I understandably lack the capability to be objective in the face of such information? In a case this clear cut, I know I'd abandon the record. But what the hell does "clear cut" mean when it comes to something like this?

    When John Mayer said "my dick is a white supremacist" while playing in a band with Black colleagues on a record that had precisely zero racial content, do I continue to listen to the record and say, "That has nothing to do with the art." It doesn't, does it? Is that "clear cut" racist enough? They cancelled the Roseanne reboot for nonsensical racist comments about Islam and Valerie Jarret that, unless I missed something about the plot of the show, had nothing to do with anything in the art. That was definitely "clear cut." And I think most people agree that they were right to cancel the show—even if they only did so because it would be financially nuts for them to stand behind it. Is it just a matter of precisely determining proper tipping points, then? That seems insane.

    Okay.

    I can imagine anyone who's made it this far screaming "Enough!" at the page, over and over again. I can imagine this whole section being under the heading of Libtard Cuck of the Day on some right wing site. Or floating around on Black Twitter as an example of white people not getting it quite right. And I know 95% of people who read to this point—so maybe both of you—will say, "Dude, you've got too much time on your hands." Which is an expression I've always hated, because people always say it to someone when they're being thoughtful, even if the thoughts themselves aren't particularly headed anywhere world-changing. Maybe save that shit for people in moments where they're watching anything that starts with Real Housewives, eh?

    Point being, even I feel like these are all insane semantic questions. And they're also very much not at all stupid or irrelevant questions.

    4. Okay. Wait. Breathe. I Have to Know Something
    Let's escalate the sex crime. Is a thing I would not have believed I'd say today when I woke up.

    If Musician X turns out to be a rapist, I won't buy any new music from that person because I'd consider it unethical to continue to supporting them. That's a thing I've always felt—another of those initially extant exceptions. I listen to a wide swath of music—from classical to alt-country to jazz to hip hop—and no matter how fresh anyone says a track is, if I find out Chris Brown is involved, I'm out. I've never heard anything he's done (though I'm sure they play it in supermarkets or whatever). And I've always been surprised by the number of people from all walks of life who say, "Hate him, but this shit is fire." But that has nothing to do with art and artist separation; that's more about the ethics of commerce.

    Since the late 'aughts, I've not allowed R. Kelly to be played on a shift in a workplace where I'm in charge. I once threw a cook's stereo into the fryer after putting "I Believe I Can Fly" on repeat to spite me; I've told DJs that I'll fire them if they spin R. Kelly at my bars. In my opinion, Kelly's music kinda sucks and is pretty creepy in retrospect. And I think I'd be ethically remiss to not consider the artist when it came time to buy, play, or evaluate his music. So, maybe this is also more about the ethics of commerce, but it's also a case where—even if some entity on high came down and told me that You Must Consider the Art Without Considering Its Artist, I'd stand firm and say, "Nah. I'm fine breaking that commandment, thanks."

    So, wait. Is the rule "Don't consider the artist unless the artist is really shitty?" That can't be right, can it? I'm asking. I'm honestly asking. How the fuck would one apply a rule like that?

    Okay. Let's strip the commerce out of it. What if I find out about Musician X was a rapist after he's already died? His relatives have disowned his actions and they donate the proceeds of sales to RAINN. Is it ethical to pay for records then? But when I listen to them, am I obligated to remember the artist was a rapist?

    Or take the Roman Polanski example: As I said, I've never felt comfortable separating the art from the artist in his case, even when that was my Life's Mission and I wouldn't shut up about it. Indeed, I've never seen one of his flicks because I don't want to even consider the art as part of the conversation about great films. But will it be okay to watch The Pianist after he dies? What about 100 years later? Ostensibly the flick—divorced from a known author—wouldn't be an obvious celebration of pederasty?

    Wait. This is the internet: Surely reducto ad Hitlerium will prove to me something? I've seen some of Hitler's artwork. It's not great. It's not terrible. If someone brought me a high-quality print of a Hitler painting, I'm not in the right to hang it on the wall and enjoy it, right? If I didn't know it was a Hitler and I liked it, and then found out it was a Hitler, I have to consider that and at least remove it, even if I can't stop reflexively enjoying its aesthetics.

    I know that much.

    Seriously? This is as far as I've gotten in 2,500 words?

    Continued in the post below. I had no idea there was a post length limit on ETS...
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 06-21-2020 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Modified to clarify opening discussion.

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    Continued from above...

    5. Fuck It. Can I Just Solve the Original Issue?

    This discussion started as a quick question into why I would say "Fuck Kiss and Gene Simmons" but not "Fuck Jim Morrison and The Doors." And I have to admit that this distinction is easier for me because I love the music of The Doors and loathe the music of Kiss. When you have no investment, it's easy to draw distinctions. But someone who didn't know the inside of my head like I do sensibly mentioned that Morrison was an abusive drunk. And I had to articulate myself.

    My issue with Kiss is that they're terrible and their whole shtick is completely incongruous with their output. I know it was a different time and everything edgy seemed edgier, but that time also had Black Sabbath. I've never enjoyed a Kiss song—I can barely pay attention to the end of one and they're not long. And, to me, their image/music dynamic is sort of like seeing a band dressed like Slipknot and finding out their dangerous catalogue of heavy music includes 'Champagne Supernova" and "Shape of You." Obviously, I'm in the minority here. Still, I find them toothless, lacking in substance, and really only influential in making "shock" more mainstream. All puffery. Perhaps the more apt comparison is that I register Kiss as seventies rock's Insane Clown Posse.

    My issue with Gene himself is more than just the fact that he's a dick, which he surely is. It's his outspoken misogyny and racism. I appreciate that A) "he's from a different time" (albeit one where, to anyone paying attention, it would've still been self-evident that women, Muslims, Arabs, and people of color are actual humans), B) he's had fifty bonus years and the advent of the internet to broadcast that he's a piece of shit, and C) as a product of a similar time, it's possible Morrison would have done the same. We know the guy had no qualms about cultural appropriation and seemed to be more into viewing women more as objects d'art than actual human beings possessed of interior lives. But, perhaps thankfully for the sake of his artistic output, he died young. Gene, like Clapton and Morrissey, just keeps ticking and diminishing people's ability to shamelessly enjoy his own back catalogue.
    Did you catch it? There at the end? Apparently, based on my argument, I feel okay listening to The Doors—not considering the artist with the art—because Jim Morrison didn't have time to do anything I consider "bad enough" to write him off completely, even though all signs point to "yes," he would have.

    That cannot possibly be my suggested method of determining whether or when it's okay to listen to art and not think about its artist. Am I that dumb? That's all id working there, friends. That's not ethics; that's rationalization.

    Another case that came up: Prince.

    I mentioned that I'll still listen, from time to time, but hadn't bought since '92 "because I refuse to forget his weird about-face decade-and-a-half against marriage equality, or that time he refused to work with an old a bandmate unless she quit being a lesbian and a Jew (and then, years later, increasingly irrelevant, decided to do a self-promo one-off with her again)."

    Prince was gave an incalculable assist to the queer community at a time when they really needed it. But he eventually converted to being a Witness, spoke against marriage equality, told his former friends and colleagues to renounce their sexuality and religion as evil, and suggested that his god was right to wipe out Sodom & Gomorrah because "people were just sticking it wherever." He was on that trip for at least a decade. So, I didn't buy his records. But I still occasionally spun his old ones. And I've never told a DJ to not play anything from his catalogue. Then he died. Do I now feel okay buying them? Every year, there's at least one long Prince set on Pride. Is it ethical to get down when they play "Kiss"? Does it matter that what he did for the queer community when he was at the height of his popularity very much outweighs the shit he pulled during his least relevant decade? Do my answers weigh less because I've never really liked Prince and thus find it easier to forget about him in ethical protest?

    Did you catch that? I'm no longer even trying to answer the question of whether or not it's right to consider his music and not him. Apparently, my argument is now that it's not possible to consider the art without the artist, unless you know nothing about the artist and can keep it that way. I've forsaken any attempt at asking whether it should matter. Is it actually possible that, after all this fucking soul searching and intellectualizing, that all I've got is A) answers to questions on the ethics of commerce and B) a newfound understanding that I am base enough that, if I like something, I will find a reason it's okay to enjoy it?

    6. Blue Laws
    If you've never heard of Blue Laws, they're those silly, mostly sex- and alcohol-related statutes on the books in a lot of the United States. Most of them are just single-incident legal decisions that set precedent, and then made it to the books. Shit that happened once and, for some reason—maybe a mini-moral panic—things went a step beyond "precedent set" and the decision was codified in the unlikely event it should happen again. Some of them might be apocryphal; I've never checked. But I've never forgotten them, either, since I learned them at ten. It's illegal in one place to have an orgasm that registers on a seismograph. In some hamlet, if you're caught stealing alcohol, you're no longer allowed to purchase any beverage except milk. Someplace, if you're caught having oral sex in a supermarket, you are no longer eligible to buy meat. And so on. Allegedly.

    And, after everything, that's increasingly what it feels like I've been doing in examining the righteousness of listening to art irrespective of the beliefs or behaviors of the artists. I'm not solving anything. I'm no closer to answers in big questions of Aesthetics or Ethics. I'm an id machine, making decrees based on whim, pretending I have the slightest fucking clue what I'm doing.

    Prince was Convicted in the Court of Me of being outspoken against gay rights and marriage equality, possibly being anti-Semitic (but more probably just being obnoxiously evangelical), but helped the queer community a lot and continues to, perhaps despite his wishes. Going Forth: You are therefore allowed to listen to some of his records from the morally acceptable years, none from his Witness years, and you may not pay for anything you don't already own until we settle whether it's the church reaping the profits these days. Additionally, when he comes up in conversation, you are obligated to mention his issues.

    Ryan Adams was Convicted in the Court of Me of being an abusive rapist when he got married and sober. Going Forth: You are not allowed to buy new music with which he is involved or listen to it. But if you have records from when he was a teenager on heroin (maybe unable to get it up), before he committed the specified crimes, well, then, that is for some reason okay.

    Jim Morrison was Convicted in the Court of Me of being an abusive drunk who was a total asshole to everyone and majorly into Native American cultural appropriation to the point that it was basically a minstrel show masquerading as pastiche. Going Forth: Evidently, these are not crimes worth prosecuting, because I listen to every one of his records and consider it in discussions of Great Art, like the one I was having that spawned this whole thing. Um...

    R. Kelly had slaves. Going Forth: Just no.

    Case by case stuff like this makes everything seem a little capricious, doesn't it? Like I should maybe say to myself something like, "Dude, everyone is problematic. Relax. This has been an issue since time immemorial and no one's solved it yet. Just separate art and artist—it's easier and better for everyone—and be done with it. Art is pure. Let it be pure."

    And then I think about this.

    Like I said, I grew up as a massive Marilyn Manson fan. Mechanical Animals is still a Top 50 record for me. When I was seventeen, if he'd asked me to step into traffic, I'd have said yes. And I'd crotch-punch anyone who suggested his art wasn't Great because he'd made some mistakes.

    Marilyn Manson probably raped and assaulted Evan Rachel Wood when she was seventeen. She testified to as much in congress a few years back, but never named the man. The dates and ages line up, but maybe she was cheating on him. They were dating. They were eventually engaged. Sure. It could be someone else. In his whole debauched life, aside from the security guard who didn't like being hit with Manson's dick during a live show, I don't believe we have seen anyone directly accuse Manson of sexual or racial misconduct—I don't know why we all seem to "except" that incident, but we do. Moving along. Seems pretty goddamned cowardly to take this lack of a named accusation as ethical permission to keep listening, but I seem to have done so, because I've kept listening from time to time. To his early stuff, of course. You know, before he lost it. And before he probably became an alleged sex offender. But let's narrow the focus. Let's go back to the single question of whether or not it's ethically sensible to separate artist and art.

    If Evan Rachel Wood accused him by name tomorrow, that would mean that his 2007 record, Eat Me, Drink Me—which I have loved since its release—is a work of art that he made when he was dating her, largely about her, and possibly while he was abusing and raping her. It contains a song with the chorus "There's not a word for what I want to do to you/ Murdercute, happyrape." It's honestly something he would have sung on his first record. Before that even. It's a rhetorical thing he's always done. Nevertheless.

    Do I still relax, just separate the art and the artist, and regard the record as somehow separate and pure?
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 06-21-2020 at 07:17 AM. Reason: Typo

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    @Sesquipedalism, wow, you've given this a lot of thought.

    You mention Roman Polanski, so I'll use him as an example. What he did is obviously reprehensible, and you say that you call his work "off limits." What makes viewing and enjoying his films even worse is that he was never held accountable for what he did. It's not just old films like Chinatown or Rosemary's Baby, it's newer films made well after his terrible actions, like Ghost Writer.

    Yet, I still enjoy these movies. It bothers me a little to watch them, Ghost Writer, in particular. Why should he have been allowed to make this movie? Why isn't he in prison? I might have less of a problem if he had been tried, served his debt to society and then made the movie. But to make a film while still being a fugitive for such an egregious crime... Yet Ghost Writer was made, is a masterpiece, is out there, so I choose to enjoy it. I have no real response other than it's a personal choice. I feel bad about enjoying the movie, but I'll live with it.

    Polanski is an extreme example, but honestly, a lot of artists we enjoy are pretty shitty people, or have done shitty things. Kanye West, I think, suffers from some kind of mental illness or cognitive impairment. I'm certainly not in any position to make a diagnosis, but that's the sense I get. So he gets a pass. But honestly, what he has said and done isn't really all that bad. He basically just makes a fool out of himself with the MAGA shit or interrupting someone when they are trying to accept an award.

    If I decided that I couldn't listen to musicians who acted like assholes or were accused of abuse, I would no longer be able to enjoy a ton of artists that I like. So yeah, I separate the art from the artist and just live with it.
    Last edited by GulDukat; 06-21-2020 at 07:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GulDukat View Post
    Kanye West is, I think, suffers from some kind of mental illness or cognitive impairment. I'm certainly not in any position to make a diagnosis, but that's the sense I get. So he gets a pass. But honestly, what he has said and done isn't really all that bad. He basically just makes a fool out of himself with the MAGA shit or interrupting someone when they are trying to accept an award.
    Oh, yeah. Not even on the same scale; barely even the same sport—excepting that if a white guy said the shit he was saying when he was really feeling Candace Owens, I would've lost my shit. Kanye was just an entry point into a more extreme discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by GulDukat View Post
    If I decided that I couldn't listen to musicians who acted like assholes or were accused of abuse, I would no longer be able to enjoy a ton of artists that I like. So yeah, I separate the art from the artist and just live with it.
    Yeah. That seems to be the conclusion I came to. If we had to think about the artists, we sometimes wouldn't be able to do a thing we like. So we don't.

    Which seems like a pretty fucking selfish and shitty way to live when you really lay it down on the page in a single sentence. After all of that, I'm not sure if I can conclude much more than this.

    That's not a call-out of you. At all. That's my whole problem. That's why I wrote that whole thing.
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 06-21-2020 at 07:24 AM. Reason: Whoops.

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    Now, Ted Nugent is another matter. I can enjoy his 70's output (some good stuff), but I would never pay to see him in concert. If he was an opening act or on some kind of bill, I'd skip his set. I just sort of feel a revulsion towards him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GulDukat View Post
    Now, Ted Nugent is another matter. I can enjoy his 70's output (some good stuff), but I would never pay to see him in concert. If he was an opening act or on some kind of bill, I'd skip his set. I just sort of feel a revulsion towards him.
    I saw him open for Kiss during one of their “final, no really we are serious this time” tours, and he was pretty funny. Yes, he’s an asshole. But he was entertaining. The loincloth and flaming bow-and-arrow thing for White Buffalo, plus the audience banter. “So glad I could be with you tonight to celebrate 100 years of Kiss.” LOL.

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    There are weird parallels between Ted Nugent and Gene Simmons.

    Both bragged - then and now - about not drinking or doing any drugs. But both also bragged about bagging persons of the opposite sex (in Ted’s case, often underaged) like they were competing for trophies.

    In Simmons’ case, he HAD a “trophy“ - his volume upon volume of Polaroid photos of his conquests. He’s lucky his dick didn’t fall off, yet he bitched to anyone and any reporter who’d listen about Ace Frehley’s drinking problem, or Peter Criss’ drinking problem, etc. Simmons was holier-than-thou to the point of conspiring with Paul Stanley to fire Frehley and Criss over their lack of professionalism and their tardiness (in ROCK! Gasp! Le Shock) but Simmons continued to fuck around on his hapless partner and mother of his 2 children of more than 20 years, even after Simmons was wearing a wig because most of his own hair had fallen out and his own kids had stopped speaking to him because he treated their mother like shit. The unspoken thing, here? Simmons’ SEX ADDICTION. Oh, sure, he didn’t drink, smoke or do drugs, but he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants. Never mind that he’s an idiot Republican who thinks he’s a lot smarter than he actually IS.

    HAAAAAAAHAHAHA!!!! DERM = SKIN, YOU IDIOT!!!



    Ted Nugent, same as Simmons. No drinking, drugs or smoking gave him permission to be a king-sized asshole and attempt to fuck the entire universe until he acquired every STI known to mankind. And Mr. Patriot shit all over himself so he could get a Vietnam deferment. I’m not kidding.

    But, I stopped listening to Kiss and Ted Nugent not because they’re idiot Trump supporters; I’d already stopped listening because I grew up.

    The artist I have a hard time separating, enjoying: Wagner

    https://www.wqxr.org/story/cancel-cu...-21st-century/
    Last edited by allegro; 06-21-2020 at 11:32 AM.

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    This is a difficult conversation, and I'm glad we have a lot of clear-thinking (or at the very least, articulate and open-hearted) people on here discussing it. For me, it's a question of power dynamics... anyone can espouse bigoted or ignorant comments in this day and age and put them out there for the world to see, but performers for some reason actually still command a more captive audience (if you'll forgive the expression) for their bullshit opinions. And people tend to emulate their behaviour, as fans.

    Films for me fall in a different category because USUALLY they're not really an auteur project, that's bullshit — it's a collaboration with actors and other filmmakers etc. So you have to look at power dynamics behind the scenes as well. The Hollywood power dynamic, as #metoo proved, is rotten beyond measure. Actors are the most recognizable, true, and the ones we know got away with atrocious behaviour for years are its most visible manifestation even if directors for some reason have the most notoriety.

    But is music so cut and dried? The performer is the one we see and in many cases holds the power, too. There are plenty of auteur acts. But label execs, powerful producers — these are the monsters hidden from view while making people's lives miserable, and reaping the most benefit monetarily. Usually from women, people of colour, LGBT artists. Prince said some shit but what about the Warner Brothers situation? He brought to light what kind of exploitative fuckery was going on in those halls of power for years.
    Last edited by botley; 06-21-2020 at 10:02 AM.

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    For me, it really depends on what the person did or is involved with. There are a few musicians who I listen to who are/were kind of shitty to other people, but they're not rapists or murderers, so I can look past it to enjoy the music. Then you have people who are involved with political, religious, and other groups that I'm not a fan of. Can I look the other way? Sure, but it does make you start questioning what's motivating their work. The last example I'll use is what I like to call "Michael Jackson syndrome", where the hysteria around whether someone did or didn't do something overshadows the art and makes it impossible to enjoy without thinking about said hysteria.

    I will say that I don't believe that enjoying art from troubled artists makes you a bad person or a supporter of what they do or have done. We make emotional connections to art we enjoy, and it's very hard to sever those connections sometimes. At the end of the day, it's up to the individual to decide whether they feel right supporting those artists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRoswell View Post
    We make emotional connections to art we enjoy, and it's very hard to sever those connections sometimes.
    it is very, very hard. but supporting an artist who does horrible things, while it doesn't make one a bad person, makes them at least partially complicit.

    i know this is an extreme example, so please don't come for me, but it's relevant to what's going on in the world - it's very similar to white privilege. every white person in this country has benefitted from white privilege in some way or another, whether they know it or not. once you become aware of it, if you don't use that privilege to do something good, to help fight racism, you're complicit in it. that's not an opinion, that is a fact. i personally feel the same way about supporting art made by "bad" people.

    in the metal world (and black metal, in particular) there is a huge problem with racism and nazi-worship (like, really, seriously). thankfully, that genre is becoming more populated with queer & trans folks (like myself) as well as our allies, and we are calling out problems as we see them. many people are creating a no-tolerance zone for hatred of any kind.

    there is so much good art (and especially music) out there; why hold on to the shitty stuff when you could seek out something new made by someone who isn't a sexist/racist/homophobe/abuser/etc.?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    it is very, very hard. but supporting an artist who does horrible things, while it doesn't make one a bad person, makes them at least partially complicit.
    I definitely understand that, but that's also where it gets complicated, especially when emotions are involved. Logic and emotions don't always play well unfortunately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    there is so much good art (and especially music) out there; why hold on to the shitty stuff when you could seek out something new made by someone who isn't a sexist/racist/homophobe/abuser/etc.?

    Yes and it’s hard for me, as a woman, to take a LOT of hip-hop and rock seriously, when it’s filled with so much sexism if not outright misogyny. That’s a no-tolerance zone, for me. I don’t care if “bitch” or “ho” etc. is common parlance in your culture, whatever culture that is, it’s bullshit and it must stop.

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    I've thought about this a lot, and I still don't know where I stand on it in a general sense. So many artists have SOMETHING horrible floating around in their past. Not everyone is the Lost Prophets guy or Bill Cosby or whatever... If you really knew the truth, not just what is public knowledge, you'd probably find yourself having to boycott a lot of stuff that you love or at least appreciate. There's also the aspect to consider that in many cases, like with a movie, it's not just one person responsible for the creation, not even close.

    I have a really hard time with something like Miles Davis. I fell in love with his music, and was obsessed for a while there. Then you read up on him and find out that he was a wife-beater. I can't help but still appreciate his music, but every time I listen to it now, I have that fact floating in the back of my mind.

    Or with Polanski, who seems to be the central figure in this debate. Rosemary's Baby is one of my favorite movies, I can't help it, but if I watch it, the scene where she has a fever dream where she's raped by Satan, every time I think about what the director of the film really did.

    Maybe the art should be at least a little bit tarnished, if not completely ruined, by the truth of what the creators did. Maybe on some level, it's as simple as "if it bothers you, it bothers you." The art/creation exists separate from the creator, but how we feel or respond to any art is a subjective experience informed by a lot of factors. I never really freaked out about Michael Jackson's music, but when I hear it now (after watching the HBO documentary) it actually bothers me, but some of it bothers me more than other stuff. I guess PYT for obvious reasons.. but maybe it's just that I kinda like Smooth Criminal, and some nostalgic fondness for it, and I can't help it.

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    It's very difficult, the multitude of ethical warrens to get lost in. It's not even just the behaviour of artists but also the cultures they are part of. Until recently sex with often star struck fans, maybe naive and vulnerable, was considered perfectly acceptable (if not expected) in the music and movie industries. Hopefully that is changing.

    I struggle to separate art from artist. Sexual abuse/murder/rape/pedophilia/racism/
    homophobia I cannot move past and it would affect my enjoyment of that individuals art.
    Politics, where it involves approving or promoting any of the above behaviours would also lead me to reject that person's art.

    I have had moments with artists when they've done or said shitty things that I personally see as detrimental to their character (many might disagree with me too) and I've had to almost have a break from their work because I'm pissed off. I can work those things through and accept they are not perfect and are just crappy if talented humans, no different in that respect from the rest of humanity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    Or with Polanski, who seems to be the central figure in this debate. Rosemary's Baby is one of my favorite movies, I can't help it, but if I watch it, the scene where she has a fever dream where she's raped by Satan, every time I think about what the director of the film really did. .
    And David Bowie and Jimmy Page and plenty of other “rock stars” were having sex with pre-pubescent girls in the 70s.
    Last edited by allegro; 06-21-2020 at 11:56 AM.

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    This is a thorny issue and one likely not to have an answer, unless done on an individual basis. I came around to changing my mind on Polanski, from feeling sorry for him for losing his parents in the holocaust to losing his wife and unborn child to realizing he'd probably be the same had those things not happened. About the only MAGA celeb I refuse to cancel is James Woods. He's about the only one of them who is actually talented, or was. I think he's gone into real estate now.

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    Ugh, James Woods, I CANNOT STAND THAT GUY!

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Yes and it’s hard for me, as a woman, to take a LOT of hip-hop and rock seriously, when it’s filled with so much sexism if not outright misogyny. That’s a no-tolerance zone, for me. I don’t care if “bitch” or “ho” etc. is common parlance in your culture, whatever culture that is, it’s bullshit and it must stop.
    It's something that isn't brought up enough, and I have no idea what to think of it. When I was younger, I thought it was ridiculous and humorous. It didn't bother me at all, I just thought the whole "bitches aint shit but ho's and tricks" was just kinda dumb. I didn't think about it much.

    When I got older it wasn't so harmless anymore, and I don't know how much of that is just growing up or how much is societal change. You still see it all over the place, but it's generally more facetious now, or toned down way below from what it was.

    Oh yeah, even though I love Videodrome, fuck James Woods. I wish they could just digitally edit him out of the movie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Ugh, James Woods, I CANNOT STAND THAT GUY!
    Love his movies, but he is a terrible person. Also, I think he's gone off the deep end, didn't twitter block his account?

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    Of all the individuals mentioned, Kanye is probably the most complicated one. He hasn't actually gone out of his way to harm anyone but he is willfully ignorant of the social implications of supporting Trump. He has extreme narcissistic tendencies obviously - I think a lot of musicians and celebrities we admire are better at hiding that than others. However, he has actually done a lot of good for the black community, whether people want to see that or not. He was also one of the earliest artists to speak out against homophobia in hip hop music, back around 2004-2005. He's also stood up for the transgender community.

    I totally understand why someone would think that he isn't a good person though. His controversies and past behavior overshadow most good of what he's done. I know this post seems like I'm trying to cover him up or defend him, but I'm just trying to say there's a scale when it comes to canceling these celebrities. Some people draw the line for me, like Michael Jackson after the HBO documentary - I believe the two men who came forward with their allegations against him. Gene Simmons has said despicable things about Muslims. R Kelly is a pedophile. I can't get past those things, they're all just reprehensible acts of human behavior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ton View Post
    Of all the individuals mentioned, Kanye is probably the most complicated one. He hasn't actually gone out of his way to harm anyone but he is willfully ignorant of the social implications of supporting Trump. He has extreme narcissistic tendencies obviously - I think a lot of musicians and celebrities we admire are better at hiding that than others. However, he has actually done a lot of good for the black community, whether people want to see that or not. He was also one of the earliest artists to speak out against homophobia in hip hop music, back around 2004-2005. He's also stood up for the transgender community.

    I totally understand why someone would think that he isn't a good person though. His controversies and past behavior overshadow most good of what he's done. I know this post seems like I'm trying to cover him up or defend him, but I'm just trying to say there's a scale when it comes to canceling these celebrities. Some people draw the line for me, like Michael Jackson after the HBO documentary - I believe the two men who came forward with their allegations against him. Gene Simmons has said despicable things about Muslims. R Kelly is a pedophile. I can't get past those things, they're all just reprehensible acts of human behavior.
    I don't want to go all ableist, here, but he has been diagnosed as bipolar and he won't take his medication because he says it causes him problems, and there are insiders in his life saying he's on the spectrum and doesn't see life the way we do, although that has not been confirmed by him. He's also been in the Kardashian Bubble for a while, and his mother is dead, although I guess he IS in contact with his Dad a lot, again, and has found Jesus, and is grounded with that and his old friends in Chicago, again, which I guess is helping him. But his wanting to try to see the "good side in all people" seems to be what has led him down some of these "questionable" paths. Sometimes artists are eccentric people, anyway. Their eccentricities are what fuels or sparks creativity. He was deemed harmless until Candace Owens got ahold of him, but I see that more Candace Owens' fault than Kanye's fault.

    His "I am the greatest" schtick simply mimics that of others before him, like Mohammad Ali.

    I see him as no way as harmful as people like James Woods.

    And Billy Corgan on Infowars? I cannot ever reconcile that. I follow his partner on Instagram, she's nice, they live in my city. But, nope. I've tried, I've really tried. He's an asshole.
    Last edited by allegro; 06-21-2020 at 01:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    I don't want to go all ableist, here, but he has been diagnosed as bipolar and he won't take his medication because he says it causes him problems, and there are insiders in his life saying he's on the spectrum and doesn't see life the way we do, although that has not been confirmed by him. He's also been in the Kardashian Bubble for a while, and his mother is dead, although I guess he IS in contact with his Dad a lot, again, and has found Jesus, and is grounded with that and his old friends in Chicago, again, which I guess is helping him. But his wanting to try to see the "good side in all people" seems to be what has led him down some of these "questionable" paths. Sometimes artists are eccentric people, anyway. Their eccentricities are what fuels or sparks creativity. He was deemed harmless until Candace Owens got ahold of him, but I see that more Candace Owens' fault than Kanye's fault.

    His "I am the greatest" schtick simply mimics that of others before him, like Mohammad Ali.

    I see him as no way as harmful as people like James Woods.

    And Billy Corgan on Infowars? I cannot ever reconcile that. I follow his partner on Instagram, she's nice, they live in my city. But, nope. I've tried, I've really tried. He's an asshole.
    I agree with everything you said about Kanye. The medication thing is problematic obviously because it might also influence other people to not take their medications or get help. Yeah, him wanting to be positive about every single person he meets blinds him to the fact that people like Candace and Trump are harmful to the people he wants to help, quite fucking ironically. He is literally the most complicated artist I've come across whose creative work I appreciate. He's far removed from the person he was in 2004 but still the same also - if that makes any sense.

    Also what the fuck was Billy Corgan doing on Infowars? I've never seen that but I do know he was praising Trump a few years back. I love the Pumpkins, the early records are incredible. But yeah, I'll have to find out more about this Inforwars interview.

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    The exchange in the other thread also prompted me to reflect on this a little.

    I also used to think it better to separate my feelings about the artist and my feelings about the artwork, not allowing either to influence the other. But these days I find they're more likely to interact. For example, I haven't felt comfortable listening to Michael Jackson since the most recent round of child abuse allegations.

    For me at least, I think my ability to empathise with the artist and their actions plays role. Jim Morrison is a good example here. As I mentioned in the other thread, though I know he often behaved terribly, I'm not inclined to take an especially reproachful stance towards him, and I'll happily still enjoy The Doors. My impression is that his age, insecurity, and alcoholism were all key factors in the explanation (not justification) of his behaviour. As I've mentioned in the 'Sober' thread, I had ongoing struggles with alcohol throughout my 20s, and regularly behaved pretty shamefully. I probably would have done a lot worse had I been in a similar situation to Morrison during this time. So I can empathise with Jim - the possible world in which I'm that stupid and unpleasant doesn't feel so far away to me. But compare that to MJ, or Manson for that matter - any world in which I'd behave in the ways that (allegedly) they behaved feels very remote indeed; I can't empathise with them at all. For these artists, a reproachful stance comes much more easily, and I feel a bit squeamish about enjoying their music.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    And Billy Corgan on Infowars? I cannot ever reconcile that. I follow his partner on Instagram, she's nice, they live in my city. But, nope. I've tried, I've really tried. He's an asshole.
    Again, I don't wanna armchair diagnose anyone, but there's something really weird going on with Billy Corgan. Like when he refers to himself as a "foremost scribe of the 90s." There's definitely some narcissistic thing happening there, clinical or not, and it comes across as just kind of ridiculous. I haven't seen this thing on Info Wars I don't think; I generally can't stand to watch any of that stuff.
    @ton , what awful thing has Manson done? I really think he's washed up and hasn't made a good record in 20 years, and he seems like a complete bastard, but I didn't know about a scandal that called him a horrible person. I have heard some stories from people I know who have interacted with him, and if those stories are true, then yeah, he's awful... but I'm not going to share those anecdotes because I don't know if they're true. I don't like to contribute to rumor mills.

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    I've found myself listening to Smashing Pumpkins less and less thanks to Billy Corgan. The dude is a narcissistic asshole. Trust me, I have experienced this personally with him thru private message. He can't even take a compliment without being a dick. If you want to get on his dick, just praise anything from Zeitgeist on, the newer the better. But even then, he'll turn it into something cunty.

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    yeah, I saw some Q&A with Corgan and fans, and every time one of the fans would start their question with something sycophantic like "I just wanted to say that your music and words are beautiful poetry" he looked like he was muffling an O-face.

    But you know, he's not Bill Cosby or the Lost Prophets guy. He just seems like a narcissistic, insufferable asshole, prone to flights of fancy and conspiracy theories. Siamese Dream still kicks all kinds of ass.

    EDIT: That brings up an interesting point though. I met Gillian Anderson once way back in the day at my work, and she was such a completely terrible person, I refused to watch X-Files ever again. Just seeing her face made me rage... so what does that say, that I'll make excuses for appreciating Rosemary's Baby but I completely boycott anything w/ Gillian Anderson in it, just because of a personal interaction with her. I'm not really sure what that says about me or my value system.
    Last edited by Jinsai; 06-21-2020 at 03:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jinsai View Post
    @ton, what awful thing has Manson done? I really think he's washed up and hasn't made a good record in 20 years, and he seems like a complete bastard, but I didn't know about a scandal that called him a horrible person. I have heard some stories from people I know who have interacted with him, and if those stories are true, then yeah, he's awful... but I'm not going to share those anecdotes because I don't know if they're true. I don't like to contribute to rumor mills.
    Manson provided a particularly, for me, troubling issue when it comes to the discussion at hand. It's the end of the opening post.

    Case by case stuff like this makes everything seem a little capricious, doesn't it? Like I should maybe say to myself something like, "Dude, everyone is problematic. Relax. This has been an issue since time immemorial and no one's solved it yet. Just separate art and artist—it's easier and better for everyone—and be done with it. Art is pure. Let it be pure."

    And then I think about this.

    Like I said, I grew up as a massive Marilyn Manson fan. Mechanical Animals is still a Top 50 record for me. When I was seventeen, if he'd asked me to step into traffic, I'd have said yes. And I'd crotch-punch anyone who suggested his art wasn't Great because he'd made some mistakes.

    Marilyn Manson probably raped and assaulted Evan Rachel Wood when she was seventeen. She testified to as much in congress a few years back, but never named the man. The dates and ages line up, but maybe she was cheating on him. They were dating. They were eventually engaged. Sure. It could be someone else. In his whole debauched life, aside from the security guard who didn't like being hit with Manson's dick during a live show, I don't believe we have seen anyone directly accuse Manson of sexual or racial misconduct—I don't know why we all seem to "except" that incident, but we do. Moving along. Seems pretty goddamned cowardly to take this lack of a named accusation as ethical permission to keep listening, but I seem to have done so, because I've kept listening from time to time. To his early stuff, of course. You know, before he lost it. And before he probably became an alleged sex offender. But let's narrow the focus. Let's go back to the single question of whether or not it's ethically sensible to separate artist and art.

    If Evan Rachel Wood accused him by name tomorrow, that would mean that his 2007 record, Eat Me, Drink Me—which I have loved since its release—is a work of art that he made when he was dating her, largely about her, and possibly while he was abusing and raping her. It contains a song with the chorus "There's not a word for what I want to do to you/ Murdercute, happyrape." It's honestly something he would have sung on his first record. Before that even. It's a rhetorical thing he's always done. Nevertheless.

    Do I still relax, just separate the art and the artist, and regard the record as somehow separate and pure?
    And that incident with the security guard that the whole world looked the other way on because it was just post-peak Manson being Manson? You had better believe if I were working a concert and the performer rubbed his dick on my head—or her labia—I'd feel assaulted and sexually exploited. I've been sexually assaulted. Would it be as bad as that? No. But even having that conversation about "Yeah but is this a 'bad' sexual assault?" is demeaning, upsetting, and outright enraging. And I'm not at all sure why everyone in the world decided it's not worth discussing when considering his character, but they did. And apparently, at some point, I did.
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 06-21-2020 at 04:47 PM. Reason: Typo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Yes and it’s hard for me, as a woman, to take a LOT of hip-hop and rock seriously, when it’s filled with so much sexism if not outright misogyny. That’s a no-tolerance zone, for me. I don’t care if “bitch” or “ho” etc. is common parlance in your culture, whatever culture that is, it’s bullshit and it must stop.
    When I was thirteen and getting into hip hop, I discovered the secret track on The Chronic. It's called "Bitches Ain't Shit." Here's the lyric sheet for anyone not in the know. Cool beat. But I was a suburban kid raised by a fifty-year-old single mom and I'd never heard talk like that. I kept spinning the record and, for maybe a year, my joke was, "Dude, how did they get a woman to sing on that? Can you imagine the conversation when they told her what she'd be singing?" No one ever really laughed.

    Eventually I got two very loud answers to my question. The first was someone screaming "She got paid. A lot. Jesus. Shut up with that." Which seemed true at the time; I assumed every record had a movie budget and bit players were getting a million-dollar payout. I'm sure she actually got an hourly fee. The second was the "It's a Black thing" argument. And while there's some truth to a Black American version of Mexico's machismo/marianismo culture, that doesn't make it not an issue.

    Thankfully, there is hip hop out there that I've found that doesn't include peak-Dre's level of misogyny (though I'll assume Snoop, RBX, or The DOC wrote the lyrics on "Bitches"). And when I see that kind of shit, I can at least talk about something other than separating the art from the artist—that shit is always right in the art, front and center. You don't have to make tricky ethical or aesthetic decisions. This one's simple.

    "Bitches Ain't Shit" and tracks like it are works of art including or focused on a celebration of misogyny. No discussion needed. Do with that what you will.
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 06-21-2020 at 05:01 PM. Reason: Hyphen.

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    I had this kind of trouble with a MAJOR french singer, probably quite unknown in the USA : Bertrand Cantat. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Cantat) - fr wikipedia is more more longer

    He was the iconic singer of the rock band french Noir Désir, a major band in the 90s/2000. every french know at least 5 songs from this band !

    On July 27 2003, he killed with his hands Marie Trintignant, a great french actress. They were in an hotel, will probably too many drugs. But he hurt her something like 20 times and at least 4 times on face.. quite horrible...

    He was judged and was in jail during more or less 7 years.

    in 2013 he's back on stage with an other band, Detroit. They played their album and of course Noir Desir songs.

    I was more than happy to see this guy live. Near the middle of the show i was ill at ease.. something was wrong. He was seducing very young girls in front row and they were giving his "love" back.. and I saw the monster he can be.. and I can't love him on stage.

    Few months after, I did a second show, just to be sure of my first feeling. He had a bad article a day before by a woman journalist inside a local newspapers.
    He stopped the show between two songs and was horrible on stage and even made a connection about her name and the Nazis. I definitly understood I can't separate art from artist.

    I still love Noir Desir songs but I don't want to see this guy on stage anymore.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ton View Post
    Of all the individuals mentioned, Kanye is probably the most complicated one.
    I think he's maybe the easiest, actually. That's why he was the opening example. I no longer support him politically; he puts his money and considerable platform to use when he believes in something. He has influence. Therefore, I choose to no longer support him financially.

    I was considering that very issue when #metoo made me realize I had more than one artist in my iTunes library about whom I needed to have a discussion. In fact, I had 50 or 60. And virtually all of them had done shit worse than vocally support Trump and Candace Owens. Up to that point, Kanye had just always been an unignorably loud asshole—it's part of his brand. So, I'd been aware of it and choosing to ignore it. Asshole is asshole and, as I said, most artists are probably some flavor of insensitive egotist.

    But my question—which I should clarify in the original text—quickly became this: If I'm willing to constantly have a debate about supporting someone who is often an unremitting asshole with some questionable opinions which may in part be due to an unmedicated mental disorder, why am I unwilling to at least consider that David Bowie fucked a fifteen-year-old? Or the guy from Real Estate maybe raped everyone he met? Those are actual sex crimes.

    And the answer is, it seems, because thinking about the artist when considering his/her/their art might force me into a position where I either cannot ethically do a thing I like or, instead, a position in which I must admit that I don't care enough about criminal sexual misconduct if I happen to enjoy a piece of pop music.

    Unless I can somehow solve the eternal philosophical question of whether it's right to always divorce artist from art. If that is the right thing to do, then hell, I can spin all the R. Kelly I want while watching a Polanski film fest, so long as I don't pay either of them—ethics of commerce are a different issue.

    Nope. Kanye's the easiest discussion to have. It's just where it began for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by ton View Post
    He was also one of the earliest artists to speak out against homophobia in hip hop music, back around 2004-2005. He's also stood up for the transgender community.
    I didn't know this! Thank you. That honestly would have balanced the scales a bit for me, back in the old days.
    Last edited by Sesquipedalism; 06-21-2020 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Hyphens.

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