The Naughty and the Nice

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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Serpent on November 14th, 2017, 5:33 pm 

wolfhnd » November 14th, 2017, 3:43 pm wrote:Artist are likely to have openness as their dominant personality trait and therefore somewhat lacking in conscientiousness.

Not the ones I've ever known. They were all meticulous in their work-habits and attention to detail; many are political idealists and activists; most are loyal friends, generous people: some teach and several volunteer. Not even a little bit chaotic.

Chaos and deviant lifestyles go hand in hand. Nothing new about that as artists throughout history have been unconventional and inclined to abuse social mores.

This blanket evaluation is hard to test for accuracy. Unconventional doesn't necessarily mean deviant - it more often means a little ahead of their time in ideas and values; perhaps a bit braver in pointing out the hypocrisy and inequity of the establishment.
The vast majority of artists, in any period, didn't become famous enough for us to know much about their private lives. If you discount the most notorious and dullest 10%, you'd probably be left with a majority of ordinary people with normal family and working lives, at or below average income.

The question I tried to raise is why the sexual revolution has not had any effect in reducing undesirable sexual proclivities.

Why would it? How could it?
Freedom it seems is not an antidote to perversions.

No; it's an antidote to oppression.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby wolfhnd on November 14th, 2017, 7:13 pm 

I don't consider political idealism as a positive trait and many criminals care "meticulous in their work-habits and attention to detail". The habit of judging something by it's intended results instead of actual result is part of the sophomoric legacy of activist philosophy that characterized the 60s. It isn't hard to be against the failings of any culture but it is very difficult to fix anything with an equivalent level of complexity.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Serpent on November 14th, 2017, 7:36 pm 

wolfhnd » November 14th, 2017, 6:13 pm wrote:I don't consider political idealism as a positive trait and many criminals care "meticulous in their work-habits and attention to detail".

So is anyone else who cares about their work, whether you approve or disapprove of the work. In every case it's conscientious, so shifting to bad-by-bogus-negative-association does not alter the non-chaotic nature of creating art.
The habit of judging something by it's intended results instead of actual result is part of the sophomoric legacy of activist philosophy that characterized the 60s.

What? We were talking about judging the result, free from our opinion of the artist.
The ones who failed, failed. They became computer programmers or machinists.... maybe criminals, but I don't know any.
It isn't hard to be against the failings of any culture but it is very difficult to fix anything with an equivalent level of complexity.

Hence, activism, working for reform, supporting political campaigns, teaching adult literacy, writing editorials, volunteering at homeless shelters and food banks, etc.
The one thing that's guaranteed not to change a system for the better is complacency; unquestioning acceptance of the status quo. People who choose that option, however compliant with prevailing mores, inadvertently contribute to its slide into corruption.
I have no idea how many artists fit that category.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Lomax on November 16th, 2017, 12:41 am 

A friend of mine shared an article by philosopher Kathleen Stock discussing this issue. While she generally argues that we can and should separate the aesthetic value of the art from the moral value of the artist's life, she seems to concede that comedians do offer a limiting case, because their art is so often about their life, as well as about what and how they think. She discusses a phenomenon called "imaginative resistance", by which readers often reflexively ignore passages in fiction which challenge their values. For instance, while we might not mind reading a book set in a world in which there is no climate change, and while we might not mind reading a book about family drama which happens to be written by somebody who does not believe in climate change, we might balk at the following passage in a novel set on our Earth:

Ian patiently explained to Claire that there was no such thing as global warning.

This is because the fiction itself reveals such a supposition, and asks us to indulge in it in order to follow the story. This helps explain why Louis CK's sex life may seem more of a concern than, say, Jimmy Page's, when trying to enjoy their respective labours. It doesn't explain why The Merchant of Venice is still so readable, but perhaps we make adjustments for Shakespeare's era, and don't consider the long-dead man's racial views an ongoing social threat.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby BadgerJelly on November 16th, 2017, 1:00 am 

Lomax -

Yes, the comedian is directly associated with the content of the material. Often they take some attribute of themselves and exaggerate it. If we meet an actor it may be hard for some people to draw a line between the character and the individual (I remember one of my old teachers talking about how people would watch Shakespeare and sometimes climb on the stage to attack the villain - I imagine alcohol probably played a role though?)

Also comedy is directed purposely toward exposing social taboo's so anything a comedian talks about is going to be a taboo of some form. People like to have their own darkness explored on the stage by the comedian so they feel more comfortable in their own skin.

CK being exposed brings part of his act crashing down because the "truth" of human nature is revealed no longer as a "comedic truth" but as "real social truth".

Even now I am sure their are people out there who don't want to watch CK anymore, not because they are disgusted with what he did, but because they are disgusted by a feeling of betrayal. They most likely feel a sense of guilt attached to the pleasure they took from understanding their inner darkness and being able to face it and laugh about it rather than wallow in despair of their own personal moral conundrum.

Comedy is a very bizarre thing.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Serpent on November 16th, 2017, 3:21 am 

Imagine how betrayed people feel who liked and admired Bill Cosby. His comedy gave not a hint of anything unsavoury in his character; it was charming... and deceitful... or partly false... or one side of a two-sided coin... or part of a complex character... or something. You just couldn't tell.
That's what I meant about suspecting something "off" from the delivery: you can't necessarily tell fact from fiction; what's from the writer of the jokes and what's from the life-experience or proclivities of the performer: even if you're drawn in by Danny Kaye or repelled by Jerry Lewis, you don't know how much of the performance is genuine and how much is staged. See, I have to dig way into the past, because i find most contemporary comics too crude to watch, or bother learning their names.
In any case, comedy rarely survives its creator; in fact, it rarely survives a year.

In Shakespeare's case, you have to cherry-pick for examples - and you can, because you'll find examples of any damn thing you may be looking for. He wrote about everything, closely observed every kind of character, stereotype and caricature, pure and chaste, mean and cruel, ambitious and ruthless, gullible, corrupt, heroic, love-struck, love-lorn, victimized, noble and ignoble ... everything. That's what playwrights and novelists do: they depict the world as it is, as it was, as it might be, as it might have been, as it should be, as it shouldn't be. They dramatize and distill all kinds of human feeling, aspiration, action and interaction.

Comedy writers lampoon what is. Comedians either act out what's written by someone else or make a mockery of what they themselves experience. Whether you find it funny depends on your experience.
(Me, I do very funny dog and slightly less funny cat imitations. I can't help it if dogs are more comical! Read into that what you will.)
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby BadgerJelly on November 16th, 2017, 4:00 am 

Serpent -

If I haven't tried to force him onto you already ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99s19HBs-6A

Just meant to drop the link but ended up watching the whole thing AGAIN! XD haha!

I honestly wouldn't care if Stewart Lee turned out to be some mass murderer. His work is obviously intelligent and well thought out. The message is clear and any actions made after the effect don't devalue the message.

Note: I think it may well have been CK himself in the other link I posted with Seinfeld, Gervais and Chris Rock, where he says something along the lines of "Why do people laugh at this when it is so wrong?" - Hugely paraphrased (I think this was somewhere just before the last ten mins of the discussion.)
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby BadgerJelly on November 16th, 2017, 4:16 am 

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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Lomax on November 16th, 2017, 12:25 pm 

Serpent » November 16th, 2017, 8:21 am wrote:Whether you find it funny depends on your experience.

Which may be the problem. A friend of mine has been defending the Aestheticist position by reference to post-structuralist (ööööö) essays such as Barthes's Death of the Author and Foucault's What Is An Author?. Part of Foucault's argument is this: the author is only really a conduit for cultural forces and ideas that exist in the wider society. It's the argument of Marx's "historical forces" versus the "great man theory", applied to literature rather than politics.

But if the artist is just a conduit, then why do so many eminent artists turn out to be paedophiles or antisemites? Why are the social currents of good humour and bad sexual ethics drawn through the same pipes, to the same basin of eager audiences? In other words, does it imply there's a social or psychological connection between the sort of art so many of us like, and something much darker which we would rather turn away from?

If I had to take a stab at my own amateur-psychological theory, I would speculate that the capacity to produce brilliant art and the tendency to overstep sexual boundaries do have a common root. Low inhibition, and resistance to social conditioning. What we are witnessing may be a twinning of the positive and negative effects of those traits.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Lomax on November 16th, 2017, 12:40 pm 

To make a related but more concrete point: when Louis CK goes on stage in Jerusalem and begins his set by saying "So the thing about the ****' Jews...", I laugh. When Roy Chubby Brown makes jokes about "the Pakis" I don't, because I have the impression he means it. When we enjoy comedy we are enjoying the comedian's personality - we are, in other words, socialising. Which makes their social (or not so social) behaviour relevant. Finding out a comedian is a sex pest may be somewhat like finding out a friend is a sex pest.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Serpent on November 16th, 2017, 1:03 pm 

Lomax » November 16th, 2017, 11:25 am wrote:[Whether you find it funny depends on your experience.]
But if the artist is just a conduit, then why do so many eminent artists turn out to be paedophiles or antisemites?

First, I'd like some proof that there is a higher ratio of bad behaviour in artists - even eminent artists - than the general population. Hearing a lot about people in one profession may seem as if you're hearing about a lot of people in one profession - it's not the same. You hear nothing about the misdeeds of stockbrokers or stock clerks, unless they're tried for a high-profile murder - and then their occupation is barely mentioned. That tells you nothing about all the other people who work in stocks.
Second, "artist" is a vague sort of collective term. Performing artists are held in the same kind of regard as performing athletes, while artists who work in isolation have a much smaller presence in the public consciousness.
Third: When and where? Antisemitism is perfectly normal in some times and places, abhorrent in others; so are all kinds of racism, religious prejudice, national and sexual chauvinism. You can't censure a commonly-held sentiment in writers, when you don't censure it in doctors and blacksmiths - the only reason you even notice it is that their work survived the period in which it was created - presumably because of artistic merit unrelated to the deplored sentiment or conviction.
(ETA: You might also wonder how much the artists of that period, holding an unpopular, disapproved or even persecuted view, contributed to the general disapproval of the then-popular view. In other words, how much did Mark Twain, of banned or sanitized Huckleberry Finn fame, have to do with your now-popular censure of racism?)
Why are the social currents of good humour and bad sexual ethics drawn through the same pipes, to the same basin of eager audiences? In other words, does it imply there's a social or psychological connection between the sort of art so many of us like, and something much darker which we would rather turn away from?

Everything produced in a society, from clothing to houses to food to to vehicles to songs, is drawn through the same conduits. All societies are blind - either unconsciously or willfully and selectively - to their own flaws. America has always been particularly good at depicting itself as equitable and just, virtuous and tolerant; very adept at believing its own publicity, when even the most cursory reading of its actual history shows a very different picture.
What I've been seeing in the psychological trends that run through popular culture, from the late 1950's to the present, is an almost uninterrupted coarsening. (There was a hiccup of compassion in the 70's - no new, overt war that decade.) I have a longish theory about the reasons and methods with which I won't bore you, but I believe desensitization coinciding with anti-intellectualism is no coincidence at all.

If I had to take a stab at my own amateur-psychological theory, I would speculate that the capacity to produce brilliant art and the tendency to overstep sexual boundaries do have a common root. Low inhibition, and resistance to social conditioning. What we are witnessing may be a twinning of the positive and negative effects of those traits.

Now, try drawing up a chart of violent sex offenders by occupation, say, over the last ten years, and see what percentage are brilliant artists, compared to their ratio to the general population. You may have trouble discovering the occupation of many of them, simply because it was not considered relevant.

Finding out a comedian is a sex pest may be somewhat like finding out a friend is a sex pest

That's my observation about the cult of celebrity in an age of mass media. Performers and sports stars become heroes to their fans; admired from from afar when they perform on a stage or field. Now they come into your house, pseudo-live, just as the avatar in a video game comes into your physical consciousness: they're far more real than they used to be, and infinitely more real than painters, writers or composers.
That still leaves open the question of whether comedy should even be included in "art".
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Serpent on November 16th, 2017, 5:29 pm 

BadgerJelly » November 16th, 2017, 3:00 am wrote:
Just meant to drop the link but ended up watching the whole thing AGAIN! XD haha!

I honestly wouldn't care if Stewart Lee turned out to be some mass murderer. His work is obviously intelligent and well thought out. The message is clear and any actions made after the effect don't devalue the message.

I like this guy! In spite of the mumbly Brit delivery which makes him hard for the North American ear to follow, and of course I'm unfamiliar with the referenced names.
He's in the tradition of Dave Allen and Lenny Henry: classy comics who get their laughs from content instead of potty-mouth. I used to like Ricky Gervais, too, before his head swelled up.

As a frequent Colbert watcher, I'd caught that Seinfeld interview. Enjoyed it again -- far more than I ever did his tv show. Presumably that had writers supplying material - which was often mean and callous, while the stand-up routine is presumed to be all original from the performer's head, and an interview his real self ---- ? How do we know? It's a performance on a stage: it's an act, (I found Robin Williams more convincingly spontaneous than any other comedian. But then, he wasn't in control, right?)

Note: I think it may well have been CK himself in the other link I posted with Seinfeld, Gervais and Chris Rock, where he says something along the lines of "Why do people laugh at this when it is so wrong?" - Hugely paraphrased (I think this was somewhere just before the last ten mins of the discussion.)

I couldn't take more than 15 minutes of semi-articulate self-admiration from four of them. I'm reeling from ego-overdose. But it does point up just how much of their a persona is contrived: invented, or at the very least, cultivated, for public display, and how much of it is tailored to reflect the audience - its fashions and moods and reactions. Stand-up comedy is interactive, even if it's on time-delay: "I'll write out the bits you don't appreciate, though I really believe it, and write in more of what you do want, even if it's not my true conviction." "Do you like me better this way?" "Are you rotfl yet?"
It's not wholly sincere and it's not wholly artificial. It's a consumer product. Ephemeral.
Is it art? I'm not sure.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Lomax on November 16th, 2017, 6:33 pm 

Badger - I hadn't realised what a pedant Seinfeld is. I have a whole new layer of appreciation for him. If I had listened to those links before I wrote my immediately following post, I would have known they'd pre-empted my point, when they said "there's love there".

Serpent - I'll have to take your point about being unable to support or demonstrate my perception that great artists demonstrate an unusually high prevalence of not-so-great sexual ethics. I'll never have time to statistically analyse all artists, or do the necessary journalism, or even figure out an appropriate methodology. The best I can do is write up a list of my own favourite artists, and among them, the prevalence of scandalous sexual behaviour is almost 50/50. It may even be that this is commensurate with the human population at large, but we tend to devote more energy to exploring the private lives of popular artists. As others (including, I think, yourself) have said, that this topic should arise at all may be a function of celebrity.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Lomax on November 16th, 2017, 6:36 pm 

My instinct is usually to defend aestheticism against the boycott culture, but here's a thought experiment: if we had developed computer technology to the point where it could create something like the LostProphets albums without any human input at all - including artificing the human vocals - would we still enjoy that music the same way? (For the sake of argument I'm imagining that I liked the LostProphets' music, since it was a friend's example, and Ian Watkins is probably the strongest example of a deplorable popular musician.) I'm not convinced we would. I think there's something fundamentally social about the appreciation of art - it's an exploration of human nature. Which would make the artist's private life, and their social (or antisocial) behaviour relevant. The only objection I can think of is that we have to accept that humans are complex and multifaceted - which would presumably render our appreciation of the deviant's art equally so. So when I listen to Louis CK now I might find his stuff both funny and creepy, and perhaps I have to accept that that's the way it's gonna be, and settle for that.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Lomax on November 16th, 2017, 6:48 pm 

*Columbo voice* Oh, and one more thing.

Somebody earlier - may have been Serpent again - suggested that the artist's deviance may even be what makes his or her art interesting. Lying awake thinking about this last night (I know, I need to get out more) I remembered an article by Christopher Hitchens on Roald Dahl, arguing that it's silly to censor Dahl's work on moral grounds - a man without a sadistic streak simply could not have written what Dahl wrote. That even his virtues owe to his vices. In Dahl's case I think this is hard for anyone who has read much of his fiction, junior or adult, to doubt. Whether this argues for or against aestheticism (and "New Criticism"), I leave for the individual to decide.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Serpent on November 16th, 2017, 8:13 pm 

Lomax » November 16th, 2017, 5:33 pm wrote:Serpent - I'll have to take your point about being unable to support or demonstrate my perception that great artists demonstrate an unusually high prevalence of not-so-great sexual ethics.

What makes an artist great? As compared to moderately successful, or briefly popular or steadily productive or adequate but dull or a complete leper that nobody will touch in his lifetime, though he might possibly become an icon half a century after he dies, or remain obscure forever. Do the merely competent and mediocre behave better than the great ones? Where is the rating system?
The most successful (pre- or post- mortem) are the only artists you ever hear about. In some cases, the bad-boy reputation is cultivated for publicity. Do you know what percentage of successful artists have sexual ethics that are not-so-great by the standard of their own time? (No fair including same-sex relations, unless abusive.)
Which reminds me, are we considering female artists?
How do artists compare to doctors and dentists? (They get sued a lot, so their misconduct is recorded.) What about politicians? They would be an apt comparison to artists, since politicians are also limelight seekers, and will also be reported widely if caught in compromising situations. How about military and police officers? (I happen to know that the latter have a very high rate of sexual as well as domestic aggression, compared to the population at large. I don't know how they compare to artists.)

The best I can do is write up a list of my own favourite artists, and among them, the prevalence of scandalous sexual behaviour is almost 50/50.

If that is so, I have to wonder:
1. whether you are considering all artists or only performing ones. If the second, they may well be channeling a societal dysfunction.
2. what kind of art they produce and how closely it represents their personal proclivity
and
3. what attracts you to those particular artists and their work. How much has the dark side of your culture influenced your tastes and sensibilities?
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Lomax on November 16th, 2017, 8:23 pm 

Some of those questions have been asked already, so I'll focus on those that haven't. Regarding what attracts me to artists who (often later) turn out to be deviant, I've asked that question a couple of times myself through this thread. I don't know the answer, and the best I can do is to repeat my earlier cod-psych theory: that there's something anarchic or subversive about the art I like, and therefore something (morally) anarchic or subversive about the artists who produce it.

I am not exclusively considering performance artists - writers feature heavily on my list. There are no painters, architects etc because it's an area which I know less and feel less strongly about. Picasso might deserve a place and as far as I know he was morally sound, but I know little about him. There's a story which (if true) portrays his sense of irony and wisdom: when the Gestapo stormed his home in Paris, he had Guernica on the wall. "That's very good", mused the officer. "Did you do that?"

"No", replied the painter. "You did."
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Serpent on November 16th, 2017, 8:34 pm 

He was a complete bastard to his wives, but not so as it would cause much comment among the men of his time and culture. Social context matters.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Lomax on November 16th, 2017, 8:41 pm 

I'm not much of a moral relativist. I'm of the opinion that people should take responsibility for their own decisions, at least insomuch as they're smart enough to do so, and I'll do the same. I'd make a degree of exception if, for example, it was legally required to be a bastard to your wife, on punishment of death. Context matters but herd behaviour is less than admirable.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby BadgerJelly on November 16th, 2017, 8:48 pm 

Lomax -

I think there is certainly weight to the whole "sex" thing, in the sense that we're very sexual creatures and always laughing about, and embarrassed about, sexual contents.

"Art" in general I see as being about an "emotional" exploration. For an artist to be successful I believe they need to tap into something emotional and by doing so I can see that this could be destabilizing (although not always), and it's not a stretch to consider that they would purposely stretch themselves to explore different subjects.

I don't really have any kind of hero worship for artists except one, Bjork. I think if you're looking for sexual depravity you first have to define it. If someone wishes to dress up in PVC or whatever then so be it (what should we class as 'scandalous sexual behaviour'?). I think though we'll all agree that consent means it's ethical and the weirdness is simply down to tastes.

I can certainly agree that artist become popular by deviating from the norm, but does this really make them deviants in the psychological sense? I don't think so. I think it makes them more attuned to the flow of cultural change, or just a product of it unconsciously.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Serpent on November 17th, 2017, 12:18 am 

Lomax » November 16th, 2017, 7:41 pm wrote:I'm not much of a moral relativist. I'm of the opinion that people should take responsibility for their own decisions, at least insomuch as they're smart enough to do so, and I'll do the same.

Admirable. Except that you didn't invent your very own code of ethics; you absorbed one, growing up, and seasoned it according to personal taste.
All I meant was, since Picasso learned a different one, his behaviour didn't raise a public ruckus at the time, so nobody much heard about it. They might, however, have been scandalized to discover Berthe Morisot using nude male models, which I think is no big deal.
Everybody has to operate in their own world - not in the moral courtroom of the future. Everybody pays their dues, one way or another.
You're applying your own standard. That's right for you. It's also your right to lose respect for men who have fallen short of your standards, and to reject their work retroactively. We all have standards, and I suppose we all do allow our judgment of the artist's character to colour our assessment of their work.
Not so much in science or technology. Doesn't matter how despicable a business rival Edison was, we keep turning on the light; no matter how ruthless Newton was, we don't fall up. If we discovered that Felix Hoffman didn't really invent aspirin, most of us wouldn't rather keep our headache than take the tainted fruit. We can't do anything with our disapproval of dead presidents and generals, either; can't change the history they made.

Nothing depends on our evaluation of art: look at a picture or stop looking at it; read a book or throw it at the wall - it's too subjective to matter. There are plenty more. Anyway, you've probably sucked it dry on the first two readings and you can't put back what you learned from it, how it influenced your thinking. Besides, you can always watch the movie, until you discover whatever you'll discover about the director or the leading man.

Context matters but herd behaviour is less than admirable.

It doesn't need to be admirable to affect you. Mostly without your ever realizing how much. The pejorative 'herd' doesn't alter the fact, or the effect, of societal mores and values.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Lomax on November 17th, 2017, 12:40 am 

I take your point as to why we didn't hear about it. As to the point that I "learned" a code of ethics, it can't account for why I disagree on various points with those who "taught" me it. One learns a code of ethics as an infant; much of life is about growing to surpass the teacher. And as to whether I too am guilty of herd behaviour, I already said I'm willing to take the same responsibility I inflict on others.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Serpent on November 17th, 2017, 12:58 am 

Lomax » November 16th, 2017, 11:40 pm wrote:I take your point as to why we didn't hear about it. As to the point that I "learned" a code of ethics, it can't account for why I disagree on various points with those who "taught" me it. One learns a code of ethics as an infant; much of life is about growing to surpass the teacher. And as to whether I too am guilty of herd behaviour, I already said I'm willing to take the same responsibility I inflict on others.

We all - above a certain IQ and if we're not terrorized into submission young enough - season according to taste.
We may even challenge our society's mores directly and become dissenters, upstarts, activists, criminals, rebels, deviants or whatever various of our contemporaries may choose to call us. Many artists do that, and take the consequences.... in the form of income loss, derision, censure, censorship, prison, exile, hiding from a fatwa... . For breaking the rules, there are always contemporary punishments. For Ezra Pound, your disrespect is one of the least meaningful penances.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Lomax on November 17th, 2017, 1:02 am 

Haha. I'd have included Pound on my list, if only he'd written a decent poem.
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Re: The Naughty and the Nice

Postby Serpent on November 17th, 2017, 1:55 am 

As it is, we can dismiss him without a second thought. But can we be sure the people whose work we still value - after 2000 years, or 600, or 30, or 2 were as morally pure as we'd like them to be? How deeply must we delve into the lives of total strangers to feel okay about liking a book or a picture or a song? How morally justified is it to intrude so on their privacy, anyway? Does having heard of someone, or bought their book or tickets to their concert give us that right? Even if this particular work was done before the transgression took place? What if we borrowed their movie from the library or been given a pirated copy? (Obviously, we would never steal it ourselves!) What about if they've been caught and sentenced? Will it be okay to laugh at their comedy routines again, once they've served a prison term?

I don't think I've done a very good job of putting this separation of man from work in perspective.
Art is trivial. Suppose it were something that did matter? When considering a medical treatment, do we ask whether its inventor cheated on his wife, or at cards, or on his income tax? Would we refuse the treatment if the answer to any or all of those was Yes? More to the point: How often do we ask how ethically the research was conducted? Suppose the vaccine was tested on unwitting orphans and the control group died? Of course, that was 80 years ago; three generations of respectable (as far as we know) scientists have developed the original formula... and our kid is at risk to polio.
Serpent
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