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.