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2179Re: Digest Number 258

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  • Matthew Weber
    Mar 1, 1999
      At 08:20 PM 2/28/99 -0000, GaryLeeG wrote:
      >From: "GaryLeeG" <gary@...>
      >> From: John Everall <john.sentrax@...>
      >>Wagner wasn't a Nazi....
      >>Talking of separating an artist's personality and their work, I recall
      >Steve Albini
      >>saying one of his favourite bands was Screwdriver! I think he may have been
      >trying to
      >>wind-up an NME journalist at the time...

      I can imagine Albini having been serious about that--Skrewdriver's sound
      probably appeals to him, whether he agrees with their politics or not (and
      he's certainly been ambiguous about racial & political issues in the past).

      >This is an interesting ethical question. If someone currently making music
      >declared themselves a racist, I'm sure a lot of us would avoid their stuff
      >like the plague. But it's OK for historic figures... Does it boil down to
      >current social impact? Wagners long dead so his views can't do any harm?
      >This isn't something I've really thought about before so any points...

      The problem with this is that you can end up not listening to anything,
      because everybody has some sort of unpleasant character trait(s). Say we
      axe Wagner for anti-Semitism; what about Miles Davis smacking his wife
      around? Do we not read Eliot or Pound because of their misguided support of
      Mussolini (though both of them later repented)? There are any number of
      medieval motets or chansons with shockingly anti-Semitic texts (one of
      Alfonso's cantigas concerns the public burning of a Jewish woman, followed
      by an extended Alleluia)--should we boycott those as well?

      My personal solution is to avoid supporting living anti-Semites and bigots.
      If I want to read something Noontide Press publishes, I wait until I can
      find a used copy. If I'm curious to know what RAHOWA sounds like, I'll
      scrounge the used-record bins. You may feel the need to be more
      restrictive, and that's okay.

      Matthew Weber
      Library Assistant III
      Music Library
      University of California at Berkeley

      Which is it: is man one of God's blunders, or is God one of man's blunders?
      Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), notes for _The Will to Power_ (1883-1888)
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