Do you need to agree with an artist’s lifestyle or politics to appreciate their art? To spend money on it?
The answer to this question is easy. Nearly everyone who responds to this prompt mentally or by posting will say they can put a person’s lifestyle and political views aside and enjoy that person’s art regardless of what the artist does or believes.
Yet the truth is that we all have a line in the sand somewhere. I do.
I will offer an example without using a name. There is a singer with an absolutely wonderful and flawless voice. I’ve seen clips of his on stage performances and read about his lifestyle. It is repugnant to me. I will not buy his music, never consider going to his concerts, or watch him on TV – period. I don’t hate the person and will never hurt him. I choose just to ignore him. If he had a flat tire along the road I’d give him a lift or fix it – you get my point.
When ever an artist’s art becomes political, religious, or lifestyle oriented to the point of campaigning, proselytizing, or recruiting, that crosses the line. I don’t want to be preached at, I want entertained.
Entertainment TV programming will become so heavily political I will stop watching them. Many times I feel as though there is an effort to covertly convert me to something or manipulate my thinking.
The vast array of awards shows have become little more than an opportunity for entertainers to express a personally held point of view. That view may even be one held by me or the majority. Nevertheless, when I see one of them accept an award, step to the lectern, and express one of their views about the problems of the world I immediately try to find a station that has a commercial because they have now become the problem.
That said, I know it is near impossible for an artist to shy from their personal point of view, yet it does not have to be exploited and revered as the only point of view. If I go to a performance and the entertainer I’m there to see speaks badly about a political figure, whether they be liberal of conservative, they are disrespecting me – the guy who came to be entertained.
But what about me? Isn’t my point of view or lifestyle reveled by what I write? Certainly it is and for that reason everyone has a choice. I can’t please everyone, only myself. My point of view can’t help but raise its head. Sometimes one is pushed into a corner and must express their point of view to be honest to themselves. In my view there is nothing wrong with that.
Tolerance is the word most often used, yet misunderstood. Tolerance is often used to beat somebody over the head because they won’t change a point of view or accept another’s. When used in the world of manufacturing there comes a time when something becomes so far beyond tolerance it is no longer useful. It is measured by a standard. People who proclaim the loudest they are tolerant often times are the least intolerant of others. As convoluted as this is to express they become intolerant with people who don’t share their tolerance.
That said, I try not to know anything about an artist’s personal life. Yet if it is pushed on me; “hasta la vista, baby.”