[UPDATE: I had some images here, but removed them for copyright's sake. 2015/12/04]
I've seen a lot of material in the news about the tension between a creator's personal life and their creation:
I don't care about any of these people. If they've done these crimes, they should go through whatever process is necessary to convict them. Their celebrity status, no matter how limited, should not excuse them from criticism and abandonment.
But what about their work? It seems that—as already mentioned—I should not support and perpetuate criminals' work. I shouldn't give R.Kelly credit for Trapped in the Closet when my support might whitewash his rape convictions; I shouldn't view Woody Allen films when it appears that it might support his messing-up-of-his-family; I shouldn't treat Bill Cosby as an "elder" when he clearly feels the need to exercise unnecessary power over women; I shouldn't support an anti-fraud podcast when the creator has admitted to a form of fraud.
But I also think we should be able to separate the art from the artist. It feels slippery slope-ish. It feels like I'm going to have no media to use if I pick out all the bad stuff about everybody. Why should I allow art from people who don't show integrity? Because it's good art. Because I'm ignorant of most people's issues and have no way to know who I should support and who I shouldnt. I admit that I'm a subjective judge of how to separate the art from the artist, but I think it's much better to try to separate them than it is to not separate them.
But it still doesn't sit right to just let it all slide. They made some good work; I have no reason to not enjoy the work. Is this a "grey" situation? Certainly. However, we navigate most of our lives through greyness, and what media doesn't cater to that realm?
So I think I'll keep thinking I can separate the art from the artist, even if it may be a delusional endeavor.
What about myself, however? What parts of my personal life might change the way people look at my music? What could people expose that might threaten my own art? Why should I expect people to enjoy my music in spite of my shortcomings?
Even moreso, as a teacher, could my own music call my professional standing into question? I know I have a couple sensual bits on the upcoming demos and even drop the word "shit" in "This is the Time." It's a little frightening to put my creative music out there when I'm a member of such a closely-watched professional group.
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YouTube: ephemeral ideas