General Chat > Help!

A Moral Dilemma - separating the art from the artist

<< < (2/14) > >>

It's a tricky one, alright, and I was thinking it over only last week.  I was listening to The Smiths, see, and thinking about what a racist, far-right little gobshite Morrissey has turned out to be.  I think the Stone Roses' first album is one of the most beautiful albums ever made, and Ian Brown is currently spouting life-threatening bullshit about not wearing masks and the 'lamestream media'.  I've loved the Pistols since I was about 14 and now Johnny Rotten is poncing about in an XXXL MAGA T-shirt.

But I won't stop listening to their music.  I will just suspend my disbelief as I listen, and mentally transport myself back to when these people either weren't complete gobshites, or were and I didn't know it.

Link Prime:

--- Quote from: Greg M. on 04 October, 2020, 10:03:48 PM ---Personally, I couldn't care less what an artist's opinions are, even if they're extreme, deemed unpleasant, or wildly divergent from my own - if I like the art, I like the art. For the most part, the same goes for their personality and conduct.

--- End quote ---

Agree with this stance 100% - I couldn't give a monkey's toss.
If I did, I probably wouldn't be reading or watching much - including 2000AD.

This is something I've struggled with and that I don't think I'm consistent with. The one positive thing is that I learned early to separate the art from the artist when I met a musician who I absolutely idolised and he was a bit of a dick. Maybe I caught him on a bad day, but it made me realise that I could like his music without liking him.

An interesting non-contemporary case is HP Lovecraft. He had absolutely vile views, even by the standards of his era, and they make it into his books. Yet he is one of the most influential horror authors of all time.

To me, the character of the creator is completely irrelevant to the quality of and my enjoyment of their work, unless their views and values find their way into their work, in which case I'm then still judging the work on its own merits. I'm not going to enjoy a book or a song any less just because of who it's by.

I don't listen to Gary Glitter because his music is shit. I still listen to Michael Jackson, although I wouldn't have hired him as a babysitter.

I am completely inconsistent on this. I think I've come to realise that, like most people, I am more likely to forgive creators extreme views or behaviours if I like them. And by 'like them' in this instance, i mean of course their work: which is all I can judge them on. Since I dont hold any musicians in high esteem (I'm not interested in music at all) my reactions to them when they do a Morrisey/ Ian Brown/ John Lydon/ Gary Glitter/ Michael Jackson is easy for me to process- I just dont like them. Van Morrison was harder for me, as his Moondance is my "favourite song" if I have such a thing.
I have more attachment to writers, so I feel more of a sense of disappointment when Dan Simmons/ Brian Wood/ Warren Ellis/ JK Rowling/ Orson Scott Card turn out to be a bit of a nightmare. But do I stop reading their work? Not really. I dont like Stephen King's beliefs about Intelligent Design or Alan Moore's supernaturalism either, but the phrase "feet of clay" was made for heroes.

I have yet to be faced with a monumentally serious transgression by someone I really admire though. Were that to happen, I might find it more difficult to process.



[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version