Friday, October 27, 2006
The Artist vs. The Art
Ok, internets, I've got just two things to discuss with ye.
First, please rate the [former band name}] video a "10" at this contest on Paste magazine's website. And yes, that's a still of yours truly from the video.
Watch it, then rate it here.
Second, and more disturbing: There is a disturbing story on cnn.com today which tells of the Republican senator in Virginia, George Allen, who is attempting to besmirch the reputation of his Democratic opponent, Jim Webb. His accusation? Not any crime, not sexual misconduct, not funny money business. No, none of these things. George Allen is calling into question the moral content of several novels that Jim Webb wrote. Jim Webb is accused of "demeaning women" and "dehumanizing women, men and even children". What the kind of world is this? If we are to judge people in real life based on the world they portray in their art, then all hope for artistic integrity is lost.
Certain people I know have said they can't watch Woody Allen movies because of his questionable relationship with Soon Yi. This argument makes no sense to me, because he made a lot of brilliant movies; his personal life doesn't interfere with that whatsoever. Does a person need to read a biography of Michelangelo before they can decide that the statue of David is brilliant? Do I enjoy "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" any less since learning that Matthew Broderick is guilty of manslaughter?
There's a distinction we have to make between an artist and their art. There's an entire field of study devoted to the interpreting works of literature, and I can only assume that George Allen is unaware of literary theory. The meaning that he extracts from Jim Webb's writings isn't necessarily the meaning that you or I or anyone else would extract from it. This points to the sad state of politics and profound, arrogant ignorance when it comes to thinking about works of art.