Re: ethical issues
- GaryLeeG wrote:
> This is an interesting ethical question. If someone currently making musicwell, I am not so sure. There is for example the case of Muslimgauze. He
> declared themselves a racist, I'm sure a lot of us would avoid their stuff
> like the plague.
represented some pretty extreme views with regards to the conflict between
Israel and palestinians, but that doesn�t seem to have bothered those who buy
He was *not* a racist, but I�d say his views were so extreme that *if* the
political side of his artistic personality were important, they should be
"extreme enough" to matter when deciding whether or not to buy his material.
Personally, I don�t know what I�d do if I found out one of my favourite artists
were a racist (thereby declaring myself a hypocrite in terms of what I said
earlier about artist vs. art). It certainly wouldn�t be pleasant if I found out
Stockhausen is actually from Sweden or if Autechre claimed their support for
Seriously, though, I guess it becomes an economical issue, doesn�t it? Paying
for a CD made by a racist/bigot/whatever means this or that person will receive
money, which means his/her life could actually be upheld/prolonged/made easier
through your (the buyer/listener) money. Not a good feeling, IOW. Or is it
perhaps more of a principal matter: by supporting an artist you directly
support his cause? Or give him/her reasons to think his/her work somehow
redirects the financial part of the aesthetic transaction towards the political
Either way, it seems difficult, because there is nothing inherent in for
example an instrumental piece of work that makes it policital in such an
extreme way. Political, perhaps, in the same way as the theories of the ever so
talkative T. Thaemlitz, that is: a work does not exist in a "pure sound"
environment but is the result of an interactive process between composer and
the social, cultural and economical climate he/she operates within, but not
political in the sense that it represents a clear, concise and direct point of
view, as fx. racism or whatever. Of course, the music originating from
So, economical or principal? Or perhaps principal as a result of the
economical? Would one listen to the racist�s (instrumental) music if he/she,
say, gave it away? Or is maybe the listening experience in itself tainted by
the racism? First I read about Muslimgauze, then I was appalled (sp?) by his
political views, then I bought my first and only Muslimgauze CD, and remember I
didn�t feel anything in particular towards the actual person behind the music
(which I thought I might do) -- I simply listened to his music. Again, perhaps
M. is a bad example, but, still.
In any case, I guess we should seperate two things: one, the feeling of
discomfort when listening to or buying a piece of work made by fx. a racist, in
other words the supportive/political issue; two, the *interpretation*/reception
of a piece of work, which can still be seperated from the policital views of
the artist (which is what I was talking about to begin with).
Just rambling. It�s late.
(BTW, has anyone in Oslo received their March-Wire yet? I�m
> From: Oeivind Idsoe <oivind.idso@...>Excellent point. There's no question that if you dig around enough, you'll find a lot of unappealing things about any artist that you admire. Granted, some are much more repulsive than others but if you're really going to be so principled that you'll listen to NO ONE you don't agree with or anyone you find questionable, there'll be no music for you. The same is true not just for musicians, film makers or painters but... people in general!!!
> Subject: Re: ethical issues
> In any case, I guess we should seperate two things: one, the feeling of
> discomfort when listening to or buying a piece of work made by fx. a racist, in
> other words the supportive/political issue; two, the *interpretation*/reception
> of a piece of work, which can still be seperated from the policital views of
> the artist (which is what I was talking about to begin with).
> Date: Mon, 01 Mar 1999 09:27:12 -0800
> From: Matthew Weber <mweber@...>
> The problem with this is that you can end up not listening to anything,
> because everybody has some sort of unpleasant character trait(s).
> My personal solution is to avoid supporting living anti-Semites and bigots.More specifically, I'd say that I wouldn't support anti-Semites or bigots who use their work to spread their sick hate. The problem is going overboard and saying 'we can't have any of this available to anyone.' Your heart might be in the right place but then you're siding up with such notables as Stalin and Hitler who also thought that 'dangerous' thoughts should be illegal.
Perfect Sound Forever
online music magazine
- Oeivind Idsoe...
>In any case, I guess we should seperate two things: one, the feeling ofracist, in
>discomfort when listening to or buying a piece of work made by fx. a
>other words the supportive/political issue; two, the*interpretation*/reception
>of a piece of work, which can still be seperated from the policital viewsof
>the artist (which is what I was talking about to begin with).good points.
Referring to your first point; maybe a lot depends on your feelings for
someones work before learning of their views. If I heard bad things about an
artist I was unfamiliar with, I'm sure it would affect my opinion of their
work (I know that's not being very objective but...I guess that's the
humanist in me :) ). Conversely, if you hear bad things about a personal
hero, you find excuses/reasons for them. I found myself doing this last year
with PJ Harveys pro-fox hunting comments (being an admirer of her work and a
pretty staunch anti-hunting supporter). I know it's stating the obvious, but
it really is what you personally see in someones work. If you see some logic
or integrity in the work of, say, Muslimgauze or Hunter S. Thompson or Steve
Albini, you'll accept it.
>Just rambling. It�s late.but at least you know what you're rambling about :)
>The problem with this is that you can end up not listening to anything,of
>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
>Mussolini (though both of them later repented).....No, I agree. I'm certainly no PC puritan, vetting every purchase. I believe
>......You may feel the need to be more restrictive, and that's okay.
there could be something in the idea of the best art coming from those most
troubled/damaged (I'll avoid 'tortured', some cliches should die). I admit
it troubles me to read some of the stuff about Miles Davis but I still love
his music. Human ethics is a strange contradictory beast. Oh to be
religious and have it all mapped out for me...