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Supporting problematic artists

Many celebrated artists have been involved in scandals or socially problematic situations. From today’s Chris Brown to the deceased David Foster Wallace, many popular artists of their trade have been tangled up in scandals and/or crimes. Is it possible to separate the art from the artist? Is it possible to celebrate someone’s work without supporting the artist, too?

  • A very timely topic. I think it's important to define what problematic means. It seems certain celebrities are "cancelled" for comparably minor offences compared to what is swept under the rug for others. There's also a difference between modern scandals that are known to be problematic as they occur, and generations past who do things that we now today see as problematic but were not considered so at the time. – Erin McIntyre 3 years ago
  • I would argue that it is possible, especially if the artist in question is no longer alive. If you're simply reading (or watching or listening to) the work of someone who's dead, then they can't get any benefit from it. In that case, I'd argue, separating the artist from the work is a fairly straightforward process. Where it gets complicated is where the artist is still alive, and your purchasing the work would be rewarding their efforts (or lack thereof). – Debs 3 years ago
  • I absolutely love this topic, and it's a discussion that I have often. Personally, I choose not to support artists, dead or alive, who have been tangled up in any crimes or scandals (although, Debs's comment above about the dead not necessarily gaining anything is quite insightful). I think that the tricky part with this conversation and the reason why I always opt for not supporting the artist or their work because I think that no matter the person, their actions need to be held accountable – sabinaramroop 3 years ago
  • "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." Albert Einstein – AntonioFarfanFiorani 3 years ago
  • I think this is a very important thing to discuss; unfortunately, almost any public figure will have their fair share of controversy. My mind immediately went to John Lennon. I am a huge fan of The Beatles, yet I feel a little bit uncomfortable when I think to his treatment of his wives and children. It is hard to ignore when a favorite writer, artist, singer, et cetera is problematic. I think maybe "celebrate" is the wrong word; you can still enjoy "Strawberry Fields Forever" without thinking John Lennon was infallible. The only distinction I will make is if someone commits a heinous act, especially one against children. – allisonhambrick 3 years ago
  • There was a recent article posted by Rolling Stone in reference to the new Hulu original series High Fidelity. In one of the episodes, the owner, Robin, gets into an argument with her co-worker about whether or not it's okay for her to sell a customer Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" record. Robin retaliates by arguing that her co-worker can't judge because she (a black American) still listens to Kanye West, who has been vocal about supporting Trump and "raps in a MAGA hat". You should check it out! I guess the question is, when do we stop supporting the artists, regardless of their accomplishments? Is it okay to outcast them because they disagree with our political, religious, social, or economic beliefs? Or do we stop supporting them when they are perpetrators of violent crimes? Or... do we separate the art from the artist, and if so, how can we justify the ability to do that? – hilalbahcetepe 3 years ago

Rebuilding The Future

The year 1960 saw the release of George Pal’s imaginative production of H.G.Wells’ ‘The Time Machine’, considered by many to be a classic. At the end of the film, the main character ‘George’ returns to the distant future to help the newly liberated yet child-like Eloi build a new society, taking just three books with him to aid his venture. As his friend comments to another character ‘…which three would you have taken?’. Considering the wealth of knowledge we have access to in the 21st Century, which three books (factual or fiction) would you choose and, more importantly, why?

  • A great topic to consider as it will require addressing the roles of particular texts - do you take manuals, do you take "great literature", do you take religious texts? What is most valuable in literature in relation to history and cultural change and how do we measure this? – SaraiMW 5 years ago

Gaming and its impact on society.

Today more people than ever play video games. There are professionals and streamers who can truly make a living out of a past time many never thought could be such a thing. Working at a game store I see people I also would never have thought playing video games. I do not believe there is an age range that does not play or has been exposed to video games. Its impact on society I believe is a good one as people can connect with others with a similar passion such as game cons or playing online MMO’s and meeting new friends. Its industry also creates thousands of jobs and brings people from all aspects of the world together to create a masterpiece. Artists, sound designers, programmers, you name it and they have a place in game design! That is one of the great things about the new age we are in. No matter your hobby or your interests there always seems to be an option for you.

  • *its Not to be a grammar Nazi but mistakes like that really do make your writing look sloppy. Cool topic idea, though! I'd love there to be an article that focuses on like gaming and an unexpected audience of people, like grandparents or 40-year-old women. – thekellyfornian 7 years ago

What makes the good historical figure for historical fiction?

To be exact, what kind of historical figure attract writers and audiences’ attention? There are plenty of historical figures out there with interesting life stories, but only portion make into history books, some into novels, and few into movies. What would be the standard? For example, has there been a movie about Alexander Graham Bell and his invention of telephone? If there was, how many were there and how recent were they? Compare that to the life of Napoleon, or Elizabeth I. It may seem apparent that war heroes make into movies more than others, but even then there seem to be striking differences in the attention they receive. This could lead to the study of what type of individual people consider to be "hero", and examine the psyche of the society.

  • Absolutely this examination could lead to an exploration of the "psyche of the society" on the whole - you could even explore the considerations of the individual and how it relates to that of society for this topic (and many others in general). As for what makes the standard of what sorts of historical figures we tend to utilize for historical fiction, I think that you're on the right track. I would consider examining the personal lives of several specific characters (Freddy Mercury, Abraham Lincoln, TE Lawrence etc) as well as their renowned accomplishments. For Mercury, how his personal life influenced his music and made him such an endearing figure. For Lincoln, how his politics were effected (I'd even explore why he was fictionalized into a vampire hunter, as that is completely incongruous with the widely known President). For Lawrence, how his exposure to a different culture affected his decisions and why we would be intrigued by this (perhaps from a desire to escape from our own realities). There's definitely more that you can do with this subject, I think it's going to be a fun one to think on! – 50caliburlexicon 7 years ago