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JCC [Woody Allen, among others]Can you separate a person's art, work and/or career from their actions?

Discussion in 'Community' started by DarthTunick , Feb 3, 2014.

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Can you separate a person's art, work and/or career from their actions?

  1. Yes

    33 vote(s)
    75.0%
  2. NO

    11 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Yes, they did. Not that the book itself really has anything to say about homosexuality one way or the other.

    And KnightWriter, I don't understand where the line is. What about, for instance, the numerous directors who have done awful things to their actors in the process of filming e.g., Kubrick, Herzog, Cameron, Hitchcock? How awful does something have to be? What if the person regretted whatever he did? Does it matter if it was acceptable at the time?
     
    Ender Sai likes this.
  2. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    It's not at all my position that Odinist revivalism or broader Nordic heritage is inherently racist. But for this one fellow, it clearly is. More broadly, too, white supremacists are a major identifiable faction among Odinists, and Odinists are a major, identifiable subtype of racists. Those sort of linkages are fertile ground for all sorts of signifiers and code. I am fairly certain that if you looked at his lyrical composition alongside typical supremacist takes on Odinism, you would see all sorts of racist content in the supposedly "neutral" songs. Just because you aren't appreciating it doesn't necessarily mean he didn't put it there.
     
  3. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Well I think it's inaccurate to call Odinism inherently racist. Celebrating a cultural heritage, destroyed by the murderous force that is Christianity, that happens to be white does not mean they are celebrating it for being white. At that stage in history, there wasn't much contact between the Norse countries and Asiatic or African races (By Asiatic, we include Mid Easterners) so the racial makeup was fairly homogenous. Celebrating a viking heritage which did not hold white supremacy as a tenet, much less a core one, does not a racist make.
    The Nordic/Odinist movement is mostly anti-Christian, because when people rape your culture and murder your beliefs so you can be assimilated into their version of what's right and wrong can be a strong catalyst for anger.

    By your logic, LOTR is inherently racist because as a proxy for Western Europe at a time when it was less multicultural there were more white faces than not. Such an argument is the domain of university academics who have a zero value add proposition to society.

    Note: I can see why Odinism may appeal to those who think those with blonde hair and blue eyes are a superior race (characteristics of Germanic and Scandanvian peoples) but I think that's not sufficient to shift Odinism into being "their ideology".
     
  4. Zapdos

    Zapdos Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 7, 2013
    what do you mean i'm not superior
     
  5. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    I'm not saying it is inherently racist. Let me try an analogy.

    Libertarianism isn't necessarily linked to Rand's philosophy of objectivism. But many objectivists are libertarians, and many libertarians are objectivists. The two ideas have been closely linked for a very long time. Now, does that mean you can't be one without being the other? Of course not. You absolutely can. But it's also pretty suspect to say that, for instance, a person who does happen to be both objectivist and libertarian doesn't have some bleed over from one idea into another.

    You or I could absolutely keep the ideas separate. The average person could. That's not the case here, though. We're dealing with a person stepped in two worlds that are deeply inter-connected. They're almost never able to keep them separate. That's because: A)they have no motivation to do so B)they spend all their time agreeing and socializing with people who argue the two things are fundamentally connected. That usually comes through. I'm not making an argument about all Odinists. They're fine (on the score of racism, anyway). I'm making an argument about this one particular Odinist, that he probably doesn't keep his ideas as separate you think.
     
  6. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001

    Well, you see, I'm not sure whether Scandinavian blood is superior to Germanic blood.

    I'm Germanic, and that is pretty compelling argument in favour of the Germanic tribes.
     
    Zapdos likes this.
  7. dp4m

    dp4m JCC Playoff Pick 'Em Winner, Also a Narc star 10 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2001

    Ah, this explains the alcoholism and casual anti-Semitism... :p
     
  8. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    What anti-Semitism? Are you referring to my incredibly witty comment about you crashing into the deck screaming "Torah! Torah! Torah!" - a comment that encompassed your Jewish heritage with the way cry of Kamikaze pilots ("Tora! Tora! Tora!"? That was pure gold, dp4m, and how dare you.

    Or are you referring to Dutch bank PGGM pulling pension funds out of Israeli companies? I would accept this too.

    Jabba-wocky, right. Understood. Look, Varg is a d*ck. I'm not going to pretend otherwise. A ridiculous clown-shoe of a man, but I'll give you some insight into why his racism isn't on my radar when listening to his music.

    This is the lyrics to a song off 2010's Belus:

    Belus' Død

    Seidmannen klatrer opp i tre
    finner der jords gamle smerte,
    kutter den ned i høstens fred,
    med saks skjærer ut dets hjerte.

    Eikens løv mot bakken faller,
    seidmannen åndene kaller!
    Eikens løv mot jorden faller,
    seidmannen tryllevers traller!

    Løken legges i lintøy ned,
    hellige eiketreånden.
    Seidmannen sikrer verdens fred;
    fruktbarhet, solmakt i hånden!

    Eikens løv mot bakken faller,
    seidmannen åndene kaller!
    Eikens løv mot jorden faller,
    seidmannen tryllevers traller!

    Der er solens brennende kraft;
    der er jordens fruktbare hav;
    i seidmannens mektige skaft;
    i drottens beåndede stav.

    Now, this could be a song extolling the virtues of pure Norse blood over Jews and "Nergo races" (shudder). But more likely, from the tiny bits of Norwegian I know, it's a song about Belus' death. Zapdos could confirm. Plus I think the phrase "Eikens løv mot bakken faller" could either say "Oak leaves fall to the ground" or "Hey guys, did you hear the one about the Jew and the Arab..."

    (Rest of the album lyrics are here: http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/burzum/belus.html#1 Near as I can tell race isn't a factor).
     
  9. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Oh here's another one which I can't see any race in:

    Dauði Baldrs
    Pat er upphaf pessar sogu at Baldr inn goda dreymdi drauma stora ok
    haettliga um lif sitt. En er hann sagdi Asunum draumana pa baru peir
    saman rad sin, ok var pat gert at beida grida Baldri fyrir alls-konar
    haska, ok Frigg tok svardaga til pess at eira skyldu Baldri eldr ok
    vatn, jarn ok alls-konar malmr, steinar, jordin, vidirnir, sottirnar,
    dyrin, fuglarnir, eitr, ormar. En er petta var gert ok vitat, pa var
    pat skemtun Baldrs ok Asanna at hann skyldii standa upp a pingum en
    allir adrir skyldu sumir skjota a hann, sumir hoggva til, sumir berja
    grjoti. En hvat sem at var gert, sakadi hann ekki, ok potti petta gllum
    mikill frami. En er petta sa Loki Laufeyjarson pa likadi honum illa er
    Baldr sakadi ekki. Hann gekk til Fensalar til Friggjar ok bra ser i konu
    liki. Pa spyrr Frigg ef su kona vissi hvat Esir hgfdusk at a pinginu. Hon
    sagdi at allir skutu at Baldri, ok pat at hann sakadi ekki. Pa maelir Frigg:
    "Eigi munu vapn eda vidir granda Baldri. Eida hefi ek pegit at gllum peim."
    'Pa spyrr konan: "Hafa allir hlutir eida unnit at eira Baldri?"
    'Pa svarar Frigg: "Vex vidarteinungr einn fyrir vestan Valholl. Sa er
    mistilteinn kalladr. Sa potti mer ungr at krefja eidsins."
    'Pvi naest hvarf konan a braut. En Loki tok mistiltein ok sleit upp ok gekk
    til pings. En Hodr stod utarliga i mannhringinum pvi at hann var blindr. Pa
    maelir Loki vid Hann:
    "Hvi skytr pu ekki at Baldri?"
    'Hvann svarar: "Pviat ek se eigi hvar Baldr er, ok pat annat at ek em
    vapnlauss."
    'Pa maelir Loki: "Gerdu po i liking annara manna ok veit Baldri soemd sem
    adrir menn. Ek mun visa per til hvar hann stendr. Skjot at honum vendi
    pessum."
    "Hodr tok mistiltein ok skaut at Baldri at tilvisun Loka. Flaug skotit i
    gognum hann ok fell hann daudr til jadar, ok hefir pat mest ohapp verit unnit
    med godum ok monnum. Pa er Baldr var fallinn pa fellusk glumm Asum ortodok ok
    sva hendr at taka til hans, ok a hverr til annars, ok varu allir med einum
    hug til pess er unnit hafdi verkit. En engi matti hefna, par var sva mikill
    gridastadr. En pa er Esirnir freis tudu at maela pa var hitt po fyrr at
    gratrinn kom upp sva at engi matti gdrum segja med ordunum fra sinum harmi.
    En Odinn bar peim mun verst penna skada sem hann kunni mesta skynn hversu
    mikil aftaka ok missa Asunum med Asum er eignask viildi allar astir hennar
    ok hylli ok vili hann rida a Helveg Baldr heim i Asgard. En sa er nefndr
    Hermodr inn hvati, sveinn Odins, er til peirar farar vard. Pa var tekinn
    Sleipnir, hestr Odins, ok leiddr fram, ok steig Hermodr a pann hest ok
    hleypti braut.

    Zapdos... is this about Baldur?
     
  10. dp4m

    dp4m JCC Playoff Pick 'Em Winner, Also a Narc star 10 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2001
    Ender Sai -- it's more a call-back to your defense of Wagner because of course people hated Jews back then! :p
     
  11. Zapdos

    Zapdos Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 7, 2013
    dude i don't know. that's gotta be icelandic or something
     
  12. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    Counterpoint.

    Consider what happens when Barack Obama says " The idea that we're all in this together. I am my brother's keeper. I am my sister's keeper. That's a value." Is he just trying to express his ideas innocently, in the best way he knows how? Or is he in fact making a dog-whistle reference to the story of Cain and Abel from the Bible, and thereby signaling to Christians that they have a religious motivation to support his agenda for an expanded social safety net?

    It's really quite easy to talk about something without saying it directly. That's sort of, you know, the whole point of symbolism.
     
  13. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Zapdos, or old Norwegian? Varg has a boner for that stuff. Plus he's crazy.

    Yeah but I learned that from a Jewish professor. I keep calling out American anti-Semitism during WWII as an example of how widespread it was, and have consistently raged against the Catholic church for supporting the Holocaust because of the charge of deicide it levelled against the Jews.

    If you want to me to acknowledge we spent centuries being idiots about anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust was the culmination of that (i.e. we didn't figure out we were jerks about it until 6 million died) - done. I'm not remotely interested in anti-Semitic arguments and I'll tear anyone a new one if they're advocating the demise of the state of Israel, war crimes and all.

    (I also said if you read Wagner's essay on the question of Jewishness in music it'd make your skin crawl, to be fair).

    I just want clarity on that point for my next one.

    Wagner, as I pointed out earlier, had close Jewish friends. His own stepfather, whom Wagner imagined for many years to be his actual father, was Jewish. Where he was at that point in time was a society and culture that did not consider anti-Semitism problematic, offensive, stupid, backwards, or dangerous. It was probably more "harmless" in the common man's eyes than the digs at America or Christians are today. That doesn't justify it - objectively, it's wrong. But I think it's inappropriate to judge historical figures by modern standards.

    For example, in the late 17th or 18th centuries, we might have passed in the street, and I'd have said to you "They're executing that beezel chap at midday tomorrow. You going?" and you'd say, "Of course! Bringing the kids and everything. I'll see you there."

    And we'd go and watch beezel be executed in some horrific and barbaric way, with our kids in tow. We'd cheer loudly for more violent methods and think nothing of seeking entertainment from this bloody affair.

    Nowadays, if you went to watch an execution, you'd be deemed barking mad, Texan, or both. Standards change.

    Please understand; I'm not saying Wagner's views on Jews are ok. They're not. But I refuse to apply modern common sense to ancient stupidity. That most people were of that view indicates that it was probably en vogue to write essays about it, but like the Kony2012 crowd of today ("Occupy Wall St. Someone? Anyone?") nobody actually thought about it too deeply.

    For me, that Theodor Herzl was an avid Wagner fan is really telling; and had Hitler not misappropriated his music, then his anti-Semitism would be forgotten in time.
     
    Zapdos likes this.
  14. Zapdos

    Zapdos Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 7, 2013
    could be. either way, i can't read it. it's just hkkrr pkkrr to me..
     
  15. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001

    True. But I just checked a few sources and Varg's said that he does not use Burzum to promote his political views. So my question is; are you able to find contrary evidence, or are you suggesting you tacitly support his views if you buy his music?
     
  16. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001

    To be fair, that's Norwegian to us.

    "En skikkelse lå der på bakken
    så vond at de blomster rundt visnet
    en dyster sjel lå der på bakken
    så kald at alt vann ble til is"
     
  17. Condition2SQ

    Condition2SQ Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 5, 2012
    As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I had to confront this dilemma this season after Riley Cooper became one of the most productive members of the team just months after his indefensible, repugnant racist comments. I felt a twinge of....I can't find the right word...guilt? sorrow? every time I cheered as he caught a pass or scored a touchdown. But ultimately, the only reason I ever cared at all about Riley Cooper was that he was paid to play football for the Philadelphia Eagles, and how well or poorly he did that had nothing to do with what kind of person he was. Incredibly, that dynamic actually applied equally well not only to the person catching those passes, but to the person throwing them: Michael Vick.
     
  18. Zapdos

    Zapdos Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 7, 2013
    that's normal norwegian. so is the first song you mentioned.

    and wocky, i can confirm.
     
  19. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    I'm not really interested in digging through the weeds of Aryan supremacists tracts and websites to see whether there is convergence between that sort of thing and whatever this fellow's music is. You, on the other hand, probably should. If you do find something I'm not saying you need to never ever listen at all to him again. I'm saying that you should, from now on, be cogniscent of the way his racism informs his Odinism, even if they are ways he's not entirely conscious of. As I said before with Said, the goal is to achieve complimentary readings, not to throw out texts.
     
  20. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Which would be relevant if I was a) an Odinist (Wocky, I'm not sure my ancestors - Dutch and English both - fared too well the hands of @Zapdos' people) b) able to understand his lyrics or c) paying for his music.
     
  21. Zapdos

    Zapdos Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 7, 2013
    wocky. it's just a lot of nature and descriptions of death (not killings).
     
  22. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    yeah, but the death of people who thought poorly of non-pure blood.
     
  23. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    Why is it only relevant in those circumstances? I would argue they are relevant because you enjoy his artwork. Why should we be taking a "don't ask, don't tell" approach to potentially uncomfortable subjects? That makes it seem like you aren't looking for a rational approach about how to deal with controversial elements of an artist so much as you are just looking for an excuse to ignore them.

    What if I dealt with the Cosby issues by saying it's not relevant because I never have paid to watch the Cosby Show before? How much sense does that make?
     
  24. Ender Sai

    Ender Sai Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2001
    Well because Varg Vikernes may be a racist, but his character of Count Grisnakh isn't. And Grisnakh is Burzum. All he's doing is singing songs (I assume; I don't speak Norwegian) about Norse mythology and a pre-Industrial land. If I have to stop listening to the music because Varg is full of stupid views, and the music doesn't reflect those views, then must I stop listening to people who have stupid views and reflect it in their music?

    Dave Mustaine is a born again Christian. I find that idiotic. He's a birther. That's insipid. He doesn't believe in evolution. Absurd. He thinks prayer helps situations. Tenuous. I should bin all my Megadeth records, right?

    I like the band Thrice, despite the fact their lyrics are heavily influenced by Christian scripture. Because I find Christianity to be offensive, I should stop listening, no?
     
  25. Jabba-wocky

    Jabba-wocky Chosen One star 9

    Registered:
    May 4, 2003
    Are you reading my posts? No. Not at all. I never said you should "stop listening" to anything. I said when there is something controversial, you should attempt to do a complimentary reading. That means, alongside appreciating the parts that you enjoy, considering the parts about the artist that are repugnant, and figuring how and where they inform his supposedly neutral work.

    Look at the actual example I used, of Chinua Achebe. Joseph Conrad's idea in writing "Heart of Darkness" was certainly not just to be a huge racist. He was trying to create something that criticized the colonial experience in the Congo. He did. But, as Achebe pointed out, he unintentionally put in a bunch of deeply racist stuff along the way. Why? Probably because people aren't as good as filtering out their views as they'd like to be. The stuff creeps in, and I think it absolutely pays off to try and track down where that happens.

    You don't owe it to everyone to hate everything an artist does, just because an artist did something was bad. I absolutely think there's a case to be made that you owe some sort of accounting of the attempt you made to reconcile the bad artist and their output. Just shrugging it off with "it's separate" isn't enough.