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Re: ethical issues

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  • Oeivind Idsoe
    ... well, I am not so sure. There is for example the case of Muslimgauze. He represented some pretty extreme views with regards to the conflict between Israel
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 28 4:32 PM
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      GaryLeeG wrote:

      > 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.

      well, I am not so sure. There is for example the case of Muslimgauze. He
      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
      his records.

      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
      Manchester United.

      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
      stance?

      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
      right-wing

      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
      still...sigh...waiting.)

      > G.

      /Oeivind/
    • Per-Christian Hille
      ... It s probably stuck in customs!! (Sorry, couldn t help myself)
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 1, 1999
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        > (BTW, has anyone in Oslo received their March-Wire yet? I�m
        > still...sigh...waiting.)
        >
        >> G.
        >
        > /Oeivind/
        >

        It's probably stuck in customs!!
        (Sorry, couldn't help myself)
      • Perfect Sound Forever
        ... 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,
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 2, 1999
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          > From: Oeivind Idsoe <oivind.idso@...>
          > 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).

          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!!!

          > 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.

          Jason
          --
          Perfect Sound Forever
          online music magazine
          perfect-sound@...
          http://www.furious.com/perfect
        • GaryLeeG
          Oeivind Idsoe... ... racist, in ... *interpretation*/reception ... of ... good points. Referring to your first point; maybe a lot depends on your feelings for
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 2, 1999
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            Oeivind Idsoe...
            >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).


            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 :)


            Matthew Weber...
            >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).....
            >......You may feel the need to be more restrictive, and that's okay.


            No, I agree. I'm certainly no PC puritan, vetting every purchase. I believe
            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...

            G.
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