Guilty Music – Not a review

I like to listen to music, especially when I have to do monotonous tasks like folding clothes, or scrubbing sinks. One of my most often listened to cd’s is by a musician who recently got into a heap of legal trouble. And rightfully so. So, I am very clear about the fact, that should he make another album, I would not buy it, because I do not want to support this kind of behavior. However, I still like his old music.
Now the question becomes, do I listen to the songs, regardless of what I know about the singer? Do I not listen to the songs and miss them? Do I make myself hate the melodies, because they come from a tainted source? Or should I just not make a big deal out of the whole thing?
My answer to this is: I don’t know.
It opens up a bigger questions though. Can we separate the art from the artist? Can we use and make ours the finished product, while morally disagreeing with the creator of that product? At what point is the hand-over from creator to consumer complete? And does knowledge about the creator have to influence the product after the fact? I have no definite answers to those questions either.
There have been many scientists, musicians, authors, inventors, and artists over the centuries, who have made very poor personal decisions; who’s artistic or scientific contributions are still widely in use. Maybe it is a question of public improvement versus personal pain.
Maybe I just need to get some new music.
In any case, I think these questions are worth discussing. Have at it in the comments, if you so will.

P.S. If you think this post is about Chris Brown, you’re dead wrong. I wouldn’t listen for 2 seconds to that stuff.


About scratchingcat

Writer, mother, friend.
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3 Responses to Guilty Music – Not a review

  1. wysiwyg88 says:

    I think I’ve got a pretty good idea to whom you’re referring but I think my answer would be the same in any case. Seperating people from their content is very important. You can’t force yourself to change your opinion about something that someone makes nearly half as easy as how that person conducts themselves. If you choose not to support a person anymore because of this then that is a valid reason. You may still like the content that they create while still disapproving of them you are just regestering your disapproval by not buying their work. I think how someones work can be perseaved can stand seperate from them as a person but they cannot stand seperate from how they are perseaved as a person. In short, their work has been judged on its own merits and so are they, people then act as they see fit.

  2. I’m thinking that if I made judgements on the morals of artists and if I only listened, watched, or felt the works of those artists who have led blameless lives, there wouldn’t be much art in my life. It seems to be that good art is often made from the turmoil and troubles in life. Once a song is sung or a painting painted, its out there, the genie is out of the bottle. If it says something of value to me then its good art.
    If the artist is a kiddy fiddling, ax-weilding misogonist, psychopath then I may well be inclined not to contribute to his royalties. However in general I don’t go out of my way to sit in judgement of the artist, I just judge the art.

  3. Meg says:

    I think the big reason, if I may postulate, that you feel such a dilemma is probably because the person in question is part of a very small community and, in effect, someone you feel much closer to than, say, a mainstream artist. Because, in some way, it’s a person you know, and know much about, it becomes incredibly difficult not to associate the music with the person, whereas in popular music it’s… well, who cares?
    (I hope all this makes sense, I inconveniently discovered this post post-beer. Heh. Post post. See what I mean?)

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