To what degree will you support musicians who (openly, possibly or jokingly) include racist, sexist, homophobic, or bigoted messages in their music, or who privately hold such beliefs?

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Don't know what we will learn from these blunt instrument poll choices. I doubt if there's anybody on ILX who doesn't enjoy the work of some artists whose beliefs or actions (interesting distinction) haven't got an element of moral questionableness. I think there are good questions about how we justify these things with what we think are our own beliefs, and the extent to which we engage in special pleading or sophistry or whatevs.

I would say that partly our response to an artist might be the extent to which the offensive beliefs dominate the art: Skrewdriver's racism is a much more total fact of their work than Varg's even, and certainly far more so than say Dannii Minogue's or Morrissey's. The more room an artist gives us to overlook or ignore the stuff that offends us, the more we seem to snatch at the chance to ignore it.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

xp there's a disclaimer re that in the OP yes

I only use this style of type when I choose it (DJ Mencap), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

I used to give a shit. I basically don't now. And I hardly buy any music new so it really doesn't matter much either way.

There is a fair amount of handwringing and excuse-making about homophobic dancehall on boards that care a lot about dancehall. ILX doesn't currently so it's pretty muted these days.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

XXX-Post Which I guess was part of worshipping evil. Although killing somebody as (supposedly) evil as himself seems a bit weird in that respect...

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

has anyone mentioned that varg fuckin killed someone?

― call all destroyer,

i pointed that out to him when he started it and he said he wanted it to be about beliefs and not actions

Algerian Goalkeeper, Monday, 21 March 2011 22:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

I would say that partly our response to an artist might be the extent to which the offensive beliefs dominate the art: Skrewdriver's racism is a much more total fact of their work than Varg's even, and certainly far more so than say Dannii Minogue's or Morrissey's. The more room an artist gives us to overlook or ignore the stuff that offends us, the more we seem to snatch at the chance to ignore it.

i am tempted to side w/ this tbh, kinda how i feel ^^

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:51 (3 years ago) Permalink

i'm pretty firmly a 'death of the author' person, the grossness has to be blatantly in the music itself before i start to be uncomfortable and even then i've got a high tolerance if i'm digging anything else that's going on in it

ciderpress, Monday, 21 March 2011 22:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

It helps that a lot of black metal is less than comprehensible. Also the # of batty boy tunes that make it to mixes, albums I hear is also pretty low.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

Interesting poll ilxor
Certainly something I and many others have been thinking about this past week having heard loads of people shouting faggot and/or I fucked Mary in the ass or whatever
The important thing is less "will I listen to/purchase this music with a hateful message" and more "will I acknowledge that this message is hateful". I don't at all think there's anything wrong with hateful art, even Buju fwiw has offered some sort of apology, in a least uncertain terms; the constant reiteration that the middle class LA teenagers in You-Know-What continue to spout homophobic and misogynistic nonsense, both on record and off, and that the journalistic community (not to mention their fans) chalk it up to 'they just don't give a fuck'.
Just as I still think When The President Talks To God was a responsible and commendable statement, yet I still have no ear for Bright Eyes, not even to mention Gaga's super posi gae vibes, with Burzum and OF and others it's more complicated than buy/rent/steal/pass. The message and the surrounding context are as much a part of the art as the song itself. In the case of the two aforementioned artists, I buy them and play them; but I'm significantly much more alarmed at the media's unwillingness to acknowledge and parse the hatred present in one of them as succinctly as they have done so the other.

I just

Odult Ariented Rock (Ówen P.), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

How many hip hop artists or old blues guys have murdered someone, varg aint on his own here, so i guess that is why ilxor is meaning beliefs rather than actions.

Algerian Goalkeeper, Monday, 21 March 2011 22:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

I just nothing, whoops.

Odult Ariented Rock (Ówen P.), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

I can see objectionable lyrics diminishing your pleasure in certain music but options 3 or 4 seem crazy to me. If you like the music, financially boycotting the artist is just pissy and dishonest.

Pop is superior to all other genres (DL), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

does the "overlooking" theory hold up in say rap, where clean edits are generally not the ones people prefer?

Philip Nunez, Monday, 21 March 2011 22:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

racist, sexist, homophobic work can be very interesting, even just from an anthropological standpoint. If the work is well made and compellingly executed, it's worth absorbing and studying. Wilde said it best: "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all."

subbing out books for records, same difference

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

i pointed that out to him when he started it and he said he wanted it to be about beliefs and not actions

― Algerian Goalkeeper, Monday, March 21, 2011 6:50 PM (3 minutes ago) Bookmark

yeah ok it's kind of wacky to me to separate one from the other when the ultimate question is "will you financially support this guy" and the two are somewhat related.

call all destroyer, Monday, 21 March 2011 22:56 (3 years ago) Permalink

aving heard loads of people shouting ..... I fucked Mary in the ass or whatever

y'wot?

Algerian Goalkeeper, Monday, 21 March 2011 22:58 (3 years ago) Permalink

cad, i know, but he does as he pleases!

Algerian Goalkeeper, Monday, 21 March 2011 22:58 (3 years ago) Permalink

Don't know what we will learn from these blunt instrument poll choices.

it's more complicated than buy/rent/steal/pass

yr both right-- it's more complicated than this. my main point is just to offer up a few considerations re: to what degree one may be willing to invest in/support an artist whose moral/political/etc. beliefs may conflict w/ one's own. trying to stimulate discussion, basically

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:58 (3 years ago) Permalink

does the "overlooking" theory hold up in say rap, where clean edits are generally not the ones people prefer?
--Philip Nunez

The clean edits are just pulling out swear words? Not sure how that applies at all.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Monday, 21 March 2011 22:59 (3 years ago) Permalink

having heard loads of people shouting ..... I fucked Mary in the ass or whatever

AG- apparently this is an Odd Future lyric, i didn't know it was "loads of people" though-- do they shout it en masse? (and if so, do they say "WE fucked mary in the ass" as would be gramatically correct?)

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

financially boycotting the artist is just pissy and dishonest.

Consumer politics are condemned to be a selective game and for that reason you could consider them pointless or even hypocritical. I do, a little. Pissy and dishonest seems to be going too far if you're saying that it's pissy and dishonest not to give financial support to somebody whose politics you think are reprehensible, even tho you might enjoy aspects of their work.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

racist, sexist, homophobic work can be very interesting, even just from an anthropological standpoint. If the work is well made and compellingly executed, it's worth absorbing and studying. Wilde said it best: "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all."

subbing out books for records, same difference
--Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier)

I don't think the question is are they interesting, but more given the enormous amount books, music etc in the world do you want to give money to people who you think are for lack of a better word scumbags.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

Especially when there are libraries, torrents etc.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

xpost I agree with Wilde but in music objectionable views aren't usually just the occasional fleeting racist or anti-semitic lyric but blunt and consistent, plus music is more visceral, so the comparison doesn't quite hold up.

In the former camp - let's call it the TS Eliot problem - the Enoch Powell reference in John Cale's Paris 1919 always makes me wince but I'm not binning the album.

Pop is superior to all other genres (DL), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

having heard loads of people shouting ..... I fucked Mary in the ass or whatever

AG- apparently this is an Odd Future lyric, i didn't know it was "loads of people" though-- do they shout it en masse? (and if so, do they say "WE fucked mary in the ass" as would be gramatically correct?)

aha that explains why that thread has so many posts over the weekend. Didn't get to check it out for some reason hehe.

Algerian Goalkeeper, Monday, 21 March 2011 23:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

"The clean edits are just pulling out swear words? Not sure how that applies at all."
embedded in the cussing is most of the problematic stuff too, and you're left with a very defanged beast.

Philip Nunez, Monday, 21 March 2011 23:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

Theirs an enormous amount of writers, musicians etc in the world who could fall into the scumbag category depending how you wanna define it.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

xpost to NV. I honestly can't think of anyone whose music I like who is such an irredeemable asshole that I wouldn't want to pay them for it. I can accept boycotts when applied to certain brands or countries but it's never crossed my mind to apply one to an artist. It feels too much like being one of those jerks who burnt their Dixie Chicks records in 2003.

Pop is superior to all other genres (DL), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

and you're left with a very defanged beast.

which then, perhaps, would make a perfectly good house-pet! right?

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

do you own any RAC or NSBM or homophobic dancehall or rap?
xp to dl

Algerian Goalkeeper, Monday, 21 March 2011 23:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

Theirs an enormous amount of writers, musicians etc in the world who could fall into the scumbag category depending how you wanna define it.
--a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague)

Sure it's pretty subjective.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

the Enoch Powell reference in John Cale's Paris 1919 always makes me wince but I'm not binning the album

why does this make you wince? pretty weird to read that song as an endorsement of Enoch Powell. Or do you shun that Elvis Costello's "Less Than Zero" too.

as far as financial compensation being the cruz of the question, um everything is free now.

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

Or at least anything you want to be free can be.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:08 (3 years ago) Permalink

I wonder what's the difference between boycotting a brand and an artist? Do you feel that a brand boycott is more likely to have a reformative effect? It seems more likely that an organised boycott of an artist would have a quicker financial impact. If a brand or an artist changes the way they behave publically because of financial pressure, does it matter if this change is "sincere"?

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:08 (3 years ago) Permalink

seems more likely that an organised boycott of an artist would have a quicker financial impact. If a brand or an artist changes the way they behave publically because of financial pressure, does it matter if this change is "sincere"

anybody who does this probably isn't worth listening to as an artist

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:09 (3 years ago) Permalink

are you guys all comfortable with reducing ethics to a capitalist market mechanism y/n

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

"Everything is free" feels like a v. bad faith argument to me in this case. Not that I'm opening up the death of copyright argument.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

re: rap as a good house-pet
but people generally don't want domesticated rap! (unless they have kids, or want to blast it at church or something)

Philip Nunez, Monday, 21 March 2011 23:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

I'd like to know how a feminist like tuomas can listen to some sexist hip hop or say the lex can listen to homophobic dancehall. Is it a bit like mordy listening to NSBM just to kinda "know your enemy" stuff?

Algerian Goalkeeper, Monday, 21 March 2011 23:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

pretty sure I've got tons of books/records by casual and not-so casual antisemites

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

I wonder what's the difference between boycotting a brand and an artist? Do you feel that a brand boycott is more likely to have a reformative effect? It seems more likely that an organised boycott of an artist would have a quicker financial impact. If a brand or an artist changes the way they behave publically because of financial pressure, does it matter if this change is "sincere"?
--a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague)

Threats to boycott only work if the artist in question gives a shit if you their stuff. Sizzla for example has been pretty vocal in the past about not caring.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

pretty sure I've got tons of books/records by casual and not-so casual antisemites

yeah and to me this is a real problem and not one with an easy answer. I really amn't sure on what level I can go "gee Ezra Pound that anti-Semitic stuff was really dumb of you, still you are a great poet come here you big lug I forgive ya". I think facile justifications for our behaviour in these circumstances aren't very honest at all

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

I guess the other question is, uh, these restrictions only applying to people who are currently alive and working, right? Like I'm not really worried about giving renowned anti-semitic Roman writers money. But should I hold it against Penguin Classics for publishing it? Where do you draw these lines? slippery slope.

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

still you are a great poet come here you big lug I forgive ya

is this what buying a work amounts to? a hug and a validation? it's just a financial transaction, not an ethical endorsement.

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

I think the ethical question of should I give money to X should be solved by whether money changes hands, yes.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

Threats to boycott only work if the artist in question gives a shit if you their stuff.

This is an argument against the efficacy of boycotting somebody, sure. There's still the question of whether you personally feel indifferent to supporting them. I'm assuming nobody here would drop some money in the bucket if the KKK Choir came a-caroling.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

Shakey, I don't "shun" the Cale song, I just wince at that line, which could easily be read as an endorsement. I basically agree with you but I don't think it's outrageous to find occasional lyrics jarring, anymore than it's unusual to wince at anti-semitism in Eliot.

AG, what's RAC or NSBM? I'm not a big dancehall fan but I own plenty of rap with sentiments I don't agree with. Sometimes, like Black Korea or a rapey skit, it makes me want to skip the track, other times not.

Pop is superior to all other genres (DL), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

with shakey 100%

the '' key on my keybord is not working (darraghmac), Monday, 21 March 2011 23:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

What the fuck does the singer have to do with the song anyway? Once it's released, it's my song now.

Jazzbo, Monday, 21 March 2011 23:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

It sounds like he's talking about God in the Old Testament.

oɔsıqɐu (nabisco), Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:20 (3 years ago) Permalink

That's Steuner for you

Tom D (Tom D.), Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

Steiner, even

Tom D (Tom D.), Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

i can buy that people who succumb to the small-minded assholery of their day are capable of remarkable achievements in a variety of fields, but I think art is an arena where such small-minded assholery is a good indication that your art is infantile, easily-replaceable pedestrian junk as well.

Wagner does seem to be full-on bonkers though, rather than casual douchebag, but I guess being one doesn't preclude being the other.

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

It sounds like he's talking about God in the Old Testament.

― oɔsıqɐu (nabisco), Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:20 (1 hour ago)

Apposite! Both create the world in their respective texts, both were hateful raging assholes who inspired their followers to a religion..

glumdalclitch, Thursday, 24 March 2011 18:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

The amount of focus and ambition and effort required to achieve those monumental works of art is not necessarily going to come from someone who is well-adjusted. I think that a basic knowledge of human frailties sooner or later was destined to undermine the High Seriousness school of thought.

Destroy A. Monsters (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 25 March 2011 02:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

ayo old testament god is a bro, he always had the dankest manna

Bleeqwot the Chef (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 25 March 2011 02:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 27 March 2011 00:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

thank fuck we'll finally know how many ilxors enjoy the Macc Lads

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 27 March 2011 03:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Sunday, 27 March 2011 23:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

now you know, noodle vague

Algerian Goalkeeper, Monday, 28 March 2011 03:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

wow way to go ilx, you amoral beast

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Monday, 28 March 2011 04:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

OK, let's bite the elephant..

It's understandable how Wagner's 'beliefs' can run alongside his need to create beautiful/masterful works, rather than informing them directly.

Whereas Gary Glitter's works quite often (OK, more than once) have examples of how his predilections form a part of his.

(check the lyrics of this one, for instance)

Mark G, Monday, 28 March 2011 11:29 (3 years ago) Permalink

Glitter Band >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Gary Glitter anyway

Tom D (Tom D.), Monday, 28 March 2011 11:32 (3 years ago) Permalink

At least 10 Eric Clapton and/or Elvis Costello fans who voted. Two of the more racist musicians of the rock era.

Thraft of Cleveland (Bill Magill), Monday, 28 March 2011 13:39 (3 years ago) Permalink

XXX-Post At least he didn't do a cover of "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen"...

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Monday, 28 March 2011 13:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

I guess I abstractly understand the impulse to not stifle art that led so many people to vote the way they did but really this just reinforces to me the difference between feeling like you have the luxury to overlook or academify beliegs that run counter to your own and feeling like you do not.

One reason why I do my best not to support people whose views I find inimical is because success implies acceptance/approval. I do not want to give racists the mistaken impression that I am okay with their beliefs by giving them money; ditto homophobes and sexists, but there I have the luxury of being able to sometimes abstract my feelings from the sentiments being expressed because I am not their target.

This is also a case where falling into a side career of classical music via performance and connections rather than formal study is awesome/troubling, because while I knew a lot of the shit discussed upthread I'd never really gotten too in depth with it; I would have had much more of a problem doing "Der Meistersaenger" had I known all of this in this detail (although I bagged out of that concert anyway for a paying gig, lol).

'lol u stuck with me now watch this ass expand, joeks on u' (DJP), Monday, 28 March 2011 13:51 (3 years ago) Permalink

XXX-Post At least he didn't do a cover of "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen"...

The song involves being in bed with a girl, and waiting until midnight on the eve of her birthday, at which she becomes of legal age, and he enters her.

so.. !

Mark G, Monday, 28 March 2011 13:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

Confess to being on firmer ground discussing Gary Glitter's oeuvre than Mad Richie Wagner's

Tom D (Tom D.), Monday, 28 March 2011 13:56 (3 years ago) Permalink


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