Keep on a-rockin’ me, baby.
In TV news, U.S. President Barack Obama is all over the place. Not only did he tape an episode of The Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, revisiting a myth about Archimedes, but he’ll be appearing on The Daily Show next week as well. What did Presidents do before television helped keep them in the public eye? Wait, were there Presidents before TV? Ought to look that up.
Lil’ Wayne, the most divisive subject in the Overthinking It Writers Lounge, released an album two weeks ago that has shot to #1 on the Bilboard charts. This makes Weezy the second MC to have a #1 album while in prison, 2Pac being the first. When reached for comment, Lil’ Wayne mumbled something.
And in video games news, Fallout: New Vegas dropped this week. The new entry by Obsidian continues the direction taken by Bethesda with Fallout 3, providing an FPS/RPG hybrid exploration of a post-apocalyptic future. If you love me, you’ll get me one for Christmas.
And in site news, welcome to the 117,000 new faces we’ve seen in the past two weeks! Shana Mlawski’s Female Character Flowchart has hit every corner of the Internet, and IMDb thought our analysis of their top 250 movies was worth visiting. Please, for the love of Mega Man, give us a little piece of money.
Will Barack Obama venture forth from the desert wastes to contest Lil’ Wayne’s rulership of a post-apocalyptic empire? Or is there something we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.
An off topic question that I was recently discussing. With the recent news of Mel Gibson being kicked off of ‘Hangover 2’, my friends and I were talking about hypocrisy between not liking an artist but liking their works. They feel that if I don’t like an artist I should not like their work as liking their work gives validation to their, for lack of a better term, douchbaggery. I feel that I can enjoy a role an actor plays, a painting they make, a song they sing or a book they right, even though I don’t like whomever did it. How does everyone here feel about supporting an artist you don’t like through their art you do like?
A few examples – I don’t ‘like’ Mel Gibson (The ‘like’ is based on his known public accounts) but I will stop everything if Braveheart is on. I would rather be attacked by rats while covered in honey then be in a long elevator ride with Kevin Spacey (Again, merely based off how much of a pompous ass he seems like in interviews. I’m sure he is lovely but I’d rather not find out) but if I find out he is in a movie I will probably enjoy him.
On the other side of this dichotomy is Shia LaBeouf. I think I would like him, he seems very affable and is a good actor. But he hasn’t been in a good movie (At least that I’ve seen). I’ve seen 9 of his movies and the best ones I feel are “Well, its okay but not good” (I, Robot), “Good story, good acting, horrible movie” (Greatest Game) and “I love because its Indy but a horrible movie”. There have only been 3 movies where I almost walked out of and two of them are Shia LaBeouf vehicles.
I completely disagree with your friends’ notion.
For one, from a practical viewpoint, this would disqualify almost all art in human history from consideration. Everyone’s an ass. Artists aren’t exempt from that.
For another, in the case of art such as musical recordings, paintings, books and movies, the work of art has an existence outside of the artist who created it. “How Soon Is Now?” is distinct from Morrissey, who has said some pretty reprehensible things. Ezra Pound’s Pisan Cantos are distinct from Pound himself. A good critical analysis – the kind of thing we play at on OTI – has to take the creator and their quirks into account, of course. But the work continues to exist long after the artist who created it has passed.
So because the work and the artist are distinct, we can judge them separately. We can say, “Yes, Eric Clapton may have said some racist things in his youth, but ‘Can’t Find My Way Home’ remains one of the most symphonic rock songs of the late Sixties.”
I think it depends on the circumstances.
Obviously, if a piece of artwork affects you based on it’s merits, that’s something you’re not really in control of. But paying for that artwork is another issue. If you dislike an artist just for being a douchebag, I’d say it’s fine to consume their work – you are validating their /talent/, after all, which you find of value, not their personality. If, however, they use their fame, revenue, and/or platform as an artist to support causes you find morally reprehensible, then you have an obligation not to contribute to their ability to do that, or be a hypocrite, even if you really enjoy their work. The third possibility is that political/cultural/whatever messages you strongly disagree with, on moral grounds, are actually major themes of their work. In that case you can still appreciate their ability to convey those messages, but consuming the artwork does to some degree validate those opinions in the public forum of ideas. I think this case is the most blurry, and you have to decide whether the artistic merit outweighs the costs of supporting the messages promoted by it.
I feel this map is relevant to the hegemonic discourse http://static02.mediaite.com/geekosystem/uploads/2010/10/true-size-of-africa.jpg but I’m not sure why.
Also, apparently OTI is worth about $15,000 dollars… but do you know what is cooler than $15,000 dollars? $15,000,000 dollars! (I assumed Sean Parker just multiplies by 1000…)