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Re: Digest Number 258

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  • GaryLeeG
    ... Steve Albini ... trying to ... This is an interesting ethical question. If someone currently making music declared themselves a racist, I m sure a lot of
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 28, 1999
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      > 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...
      >


      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...

      Speaking of Albini...

      >Is there anyone out there who would be kind enough to sell me the
      >Shellac's The Futurist LP.
      >Tomi


      Is this a new album? Please tell me it's better than Terraform...

      G.
    • philip rhoads
      Hmm, interesting concept about artism vs morality. I think it all depends on the reasoning behind the ideas and whether the ideas are personal beliefs or just
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 28, 1999
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        Hmm, interesting concept about artism vs morality. I think it all depends on
        the reasoning behind the ideas and whether the ideas are personal beliefs or
        just something that is used for effect or message. Personally speaking, if
        an artist promoted ideals that are (for example) racist I would be
        immediately put off their work - this is because the ideal disgusts me so
        much I could not separate the art from the ideas. If, though, the ideals are
        used in the art (e.g. Michael Gira, whose lyrics/prose frequently feature
        glorification of abuse and/or rape) for 'the greater good' (whatever the
        fuck that means!) then I can stomach it. I suppose it all comes down to
        personal feelings and personal freedom. Albini is a case in point - an
        objectionable little prick who happens (or happened, up till the shit last
        album) to make great music - witness the fantastic Shellac live in Japan lp
        for all you non-believers!
        -----Original Message-----
        From: GaryLeeG <gary@...>
        To: thewire@onelist.com <thewire@onelist.com>
        Date: 28 February 1999 20:51
        Subject: [thewire] Re: Digest Number 258


        >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...
        >>
        >
        >
        >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...
        >
        >Speaking of Albini...
        >
        >>Is there anyone out there who would be kind enough to sell me the
        >>Shellac's The Futurist LP.
        >>Tomi
        >
        >
        >Is this a new album? Please tell me it's better than Terraform...
        >
        >G.
        >
        >
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      • Matthew Weber
        ... 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
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 1, 1999
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          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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