There are times, dear reader, when I love a song, I’ll even know it by heart, and don’t know who the artist is who is singing it. This happens more often than not. There are times when I’m enjoying a movie and don’t recognize or even know the names of the actors in the film, and I almost never know who has directed or produced the film because I honestly do not care who has directed or produced any move anywhere. Those facts are not important to me — never have been, never will be. I can look at a photograph, a picture, a sculpture and not once, ever want to know the artist who created it. Because I don’t care. The only reason I even know who wrote most books is so I can find more by the same author, and sometimes even then I forget the author’s name. Like, if a series has a similar name (say: Harry Potter and the… ) I probably won’t bother to learn the author’s name unless it becomes meaningful in another context. It’s the art that is important to me — the art, dear reader. I only care about the beauty that is before me, that thing I am enjoying and that makes me forget the world around me for a little while. I can acknowledge and thank the artist in my mind anonymously — by buying a ticket to the movie, by purchasing a book, by listening to the song, and so on. I don’t need to have a personal relationship with them by knowing their name or about their personal lives.
And so, when people cry out that I must have a personal relationship with the artists in my world by getting to know their intimate details — good and bad, I reject this claim. I honestly and truly do not care what famous people do, who they sleep with, what they say, or where they go on their vacations. I don’t care if they’re fat or thin. It doesn’t matter to me whom they marry, or how many times they marry. I don’t care if they’re doing drugs or in rehab. It’s of no importance to me what political party they belong to or what religion they follow. And honestly, I don’t care if some famous person is just as awful as my neighbor down the street or just as wonderful as the neighbor who lives next door to them. Because why should I care about the famous people any more than I care about my random neighbors simply because they’re famous? The answer? I don’t. Never, not since I was a child, have I cared about these far off artists whom I will never meet in person. The only thing I’ve ever put my eyes and heart to is the art that they produce. It’s all that’s mattered to me. Because their personal lives are their own, and not mine. If an artist was my personal friend or family, that would be different. But most are not, so live and let live.
When Social Justice Warriors insist that I must stop buying this, watching that, or enjoying the works of an artist because of something they’ve said or done, it baffles me. One, because I rarely pay attention to who made what film or who sings what song, and two because why should we hold artists to higher standards than we hold our neighbors? If we stop talking to everyone who’s ever said anything untoward — like ever in their lives — there would be no one left to talk to at the end of the day. An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind and all that. And it’s honestly come down to that, dear reader. This person said or did something that SJW’s find disagreeable at some time in that person’s past, therefore I, personally, am not supposed to like their art anymore. So say the SJW’s in my life. It’s all over my Facespace.
And I vehemently disagree. I will keep listening to the songs l like, watching the movies I enjoy, and looking at any and all art that brings me joy. I don’t care who made the art. I will not cleanse things from my life simply because people I don’t know and disagree with say I must because they find the artist offensive. Screw that noise. Especially when many of the things that the SJW’s are pulling up are things that people have said and done decades before and have since acknowledged and apologized for. Like, people grow and change. I know I have.
I agree that people who have a criminal past that is being brought to light need to be charged and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The law, mind you, dear reader. Not internet vigilantism. I despise today’s culture and the whole idea of the outrage du jour . But I have no problems with, for example, Bill Cosby going to court being prosecuted and paying for his crimes. None. And I place all of the blame of his crimes squarely on his head. The women who accused him did not ruin anything. He did. By being a monster. And yes, my enjoyment of his art has diminished — I used to really enjoy his early stand up — but his is an extreme case. He didn’t just express a viewpoint that people disagree with, nor did he do something foolish as a teenager or young man. He drugged and raped at least five and possibly 50 women. So yeah, it’s difficult to laugh at his jokes about the angry wives and “brain damaged” children knowing that at the time he was on stage making fun of his family, he was also a sexual predator.
But having said all that, I still have fond memories of sitting in the dark with my siblings, waiting for my mom to come home, and listening to her records of Bill Cosby. We weren’t supposed to touch her records, but we did. ^_^ I particularly liked the one called to russell, my brother, whom I slept with. There was one where he talked about when he and his brother Russel listened to radio show called the chicken heart that ate Chicago. And I will, if I want to, find that recording again some day and listen to it, and I might, dear reader, enjoy it. Because the memory of listening to these records with my siblings is mine, and that particular bit is funny, despite the man who told it. And no one will take that away from me. Because, dear reader, I have always loved the art before the artist, and I always will. That’s just the way I see the world.