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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I don't think Wagner has to have called for genocide in order to put his nationalistic anti-Semitism in the same lineage as what the Nazis ended up doing, otherwise you are making an argument that veers perilously close to the "but he didn't dress up like a Klan member" line of defense against accusations of racial insensitivity.

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:37 (3 years ago) Permalink

Michael White, "I don't recall him as ever calling for genocide ergo he's not in the exact lineage of national socialism" is ridiculous. Most member of the fuckin' SS never "called for genocide" either - you wanna excuse them too? Does a guy gotta get "I'm a nazi" tatted on his face before he's actually a nazi, or can we look at his ideology and call it what it is?

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:39 (3 years ago) Permalink

well hold on there, chronologically speaking it was impossible for Wagner to be a Nazi, I will fully back up that argument 100%

acting like Wagner's shit was completely divorced from what inspired Hitler seems... completely wrong tho

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

chronologically speaking it was impossible for Wagner to be a Nazi, I will fully back up that argument 100%
^^^yes

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:43 (3 years ago) Permalink

Pretty sure genocide wasn't a Nazi policy in '33.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:43 (3 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but looking back, I find something offensive in almost every person in the past. Is that reason to refuse to engage with their work, especially music? I am not fond of Xtianity on the whole, should I throw out my Bach? Porgy and Bess can make me uncomfortable at times. Should I toss it and all of Gershwin?

"but he didn't dress up like a Klan member"

It doesn't matter what the Klan member wears, of course, but the quality of his/her music isn't affected either way, necessarily. Do we know the sculptor of the Venus de Milo's politics? Do we care? The mosaicist from Pompeii, was he racist against Carthaginians or Greeks or Germans? Does Ming dynast vase imply a world view that anyone not from the Middle Kingdom inferior? I dunno and I don't care.

My answer to the original question is that very often offensive people let their offensiveness ruin or marr their art. Inasmush as they don't and their work is good, I'll enjoy it at whatever level I enjoy it.

exécutés avec l’insolence accoutumée du (Michael White), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

well hold on there, chronologically speaking it was impossible for Wagner to be a Nazi, I will fully back up that argument 100%

Also while his racial views are well matched to theirs, the rest of his political thinking is not. He was on the left, not the right.

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

xp

this is the point of the thread tho! I don't think anybody's called for a background check on every artist they get into, but we're talking about the issues involved in enjoying the art of somebody who you know to be a scumbag, and by scumbag we can narrow it down to something like "actively endorsing hatred of a societal group thru their art". I pretty much fall into the "if I like the art enough I'll let anything slide" camp but I'm not sure that it's a good camp or a personally justifiable one.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

I don't know how helpful Left and Right are (at all really but especially with regard to Wanger and Nazis. Afaik Wanger was never a Socialist in any meaningful sense, whereas the early Nazi party did have several ranking members who wanted the party to take its Socialism seriously.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

My answer to the original question is that very often offensive people let their offensiveness ruin or marr their art. Inasmush as they don't and their work is good, I'll enjoy it at whatever level I enjoy it.

^^^a gentleman and a scholar, folks

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

Most member of the fuckin' SS never "called for genocide" either - you wanna excuse them too? Does a guy gotta get "I'm a nazi" tatted on his face before he's actually a nazi, or can we look at his ideology and call it what it is?

Listen, most of the Germans under the gangster Nazi regime were desperate sheep or opportunists; morally irresponsible, reckless even. (I'm reading a bio of the Warburgs and the amount of sheer confusion even amongst the German Jewish community as to what to make of the Nazis in the early 30's is heart-rendingly sad). The Nazis were pretty clear about ridding germany of Jews and their 'nefarious' influence.

Was Wagner an anti-semite? Yes. Had there been no Wagner, could you still have ended up with Hitlers and Goebbels and Rosenbergs and Luegers? Very probably.

exécutés avec l’insolence accoutumée du (Michael White), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 21:56 (3 years ago) Permalink

xpost but Wanger was active in the mid-century revolutionary movement and had to flee the country for fear of arrest, which is kind of actively left, no?

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:14 (3 years ago) Permalink

I think that when people are dyed in the wool visceral racist type people, they wont have what it takes to create mindblowing music. Maybe I am naive. But barring Siegfrieds Funeral March, everything else Wagner did was wank. People who become obcessed with racial bullshit aint ever gonna create great music. The best music has always come from people who are lost to the music.

Damo Suzuki's Parrot, Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

Left in the sense of being anti-monarchist and wanting a united, democratic Germany.

exécutés avec l’insolence accoutumée du (Michael White), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

I should admit here that I prefer Wagner's music w/o vocals, generally so I am a bit of a philistine on the subject.

exécutés avec l’insolence accoutumée du (Michael White), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

I think that when people are dyed in the wool visceral racist type people, they wont have what it takes to create mindblowing music. Maybe I am naive. But barring Siegfrieds Funeral March, everything else Wagner did was wank. People who become obcessed with racial bullshit aint ever gonna create great music. The best music has always come from people who are lost to the music.

Don't believe any of this, sorry.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

I should admit here that I prefer Wagner's music w/o vocals, generally so I am a bit of a philistine on the subject.

This box set is your friend:

http://www.amazon.com/Ring-Tristan-Parsifal-Orchestral-Adventures/dp/B0043VLWXQ/ref=sr_shvl_album_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1300832866&sr=301-2

Maazel's "Ring Without Words" concoction hits all the good bits but is too breathless presto-change-o; the standard orchestral chunks miss too much good music. I recommend the above for the vocal-allergic.

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:29 (3 years ago) Permalink

I pretty much fall into the "if I like the art enough I'll let anything slide" camp but I'm not sure that it's a good camp or a personally justifiable one.

this is generally me too actually, but I don't think this principle is one worth defending - think more it's one to be overcome personally, as it places one's own pleasure above all - to take things over to metal, I care more about the friends who'd think "aerosmith you're better than that" if they found out I was listening to nazi metal & diggin' it than I do about the pleasure I might take from said metal, and that's actually a functioning principle for me (not a "what if my friends found out principle" since as been discussed elsewhere I don't have irl friends): would I want people to know I take pleasure in racist music by racists? No; I'd be ashamed; so I avoid Wagner. I don't argue that others should not listen to him, but when somebody says "I just look past the racism," I feel kinda like "it's a bourgeois privilege to be able to overlook racism."

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

and yes I am keenly and painfully aware that both Wagner is responsible for some of the most achingly gorgeous melodies in the history of music.

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:36 (3 years ago) Permalink


...and it actually happens too.
― Siegbran, dinsdag 22 maart 2011 20:58 (1 hour ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
?
― Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), dinsdag 22 maart 2011 20:59 (1 hour ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink
Siegban
― pc-ness pump (lpz), dinsdag 22 maart 2011 21:17 (1 hour ago) Bookmark

OK I'll spell it out: I expected this thread to derail into rediculousness, and lo and behold, it does. With Geir barging in this really is Usenet '96 all over again.

Siegbran, Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:36 (3 years ago) Permalink

Geir is hardly indicative of the ridiculousness tbh

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:37 (3 years ago) Permalink

this is generally me too actually, but I don't think this principle is one worth defending - think more it's one to be overcome personally, as it places one's own pleasure above all

OTM. I'm in the same spot.

Rich Lolwry (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:39 (3 years ago) Permalink

Geirbomb was more of a blip, we're onto Wagner now dontchaknow

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:39 (3 years ago) Permalink

"it's a bourgeois privilege to be able to overlook racism."

pretty sure the proletariat overlooks racism in music all the time, dunno where yr coming from with this

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

xpost Richard Wagner, not Robert Wagner, in case you get the two confused

VegemiteGrrl, Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

(not a "what if my friends found out principle" since as been discussed elsewhere I don't have irl friends)

can't tell if this ^^ is lol or not but anyway my main question is-- aren't you a big darkthrone fan/apologist & aren't they somehow associated w/ "nazi metal" or otherwise a bit questionable? doesn't seem to gel w/ yr statement

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

went out to dinner the other night and our Mexican waiter was wearing a Burzum shirt ... didn't really know what to think.

David Allah Coal (sexyDancer), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:43 (3 years ago) Permalink

jon, i always wanted to hear the instrumental stuff ever since hearing a piece at school i liked but couldn't remember what it was. Just never took to opera. Gonna see if its on spotify, thanks!

Algerian Goalkeeper, Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

Dont believe any of this, sorry.

I dont have the energy to defend this idea, but it rings true with a majority of my musical heroes. It rings true in life as well. Sorry I am just nipping out to the pub with this terminally boring cunt who moans about foreigners all night.

Damo Suzuki's Parrot, Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

this is generally me too actually, but I don't think this principle is one worth defending - think more it's one to be overcome personally, as it places one's own pleasure above all -

I can't conceive of any workable principle that this could be replaced with. the other options lead to a) censorship and b) never enjoying anything

xp

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

Aesthetic pleasure is a complex thing tho. It's pleasure, sure, but you're also engaging with a complex of ideas or discourses. I don't think you should avoid those ideas because they're uncomfortable or even sometimes repellent, but I don't think you shd look for "excuses" for the artist either.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

this is probably this tenderest tune about beating up foreigners ever:

David Allah Coal (sexyDancer), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

ilxor

It was followed by their fourth album, Transilvanian Hunger, which was released in February 1994. This was Darkthrone's first album to have just two members, Nocturno Culto and Fenriz. The band would remain a duo from this point onwards. Transilvanian Hunger was characterized by a very "raw" or "low fidelity" recording style and musical simplicity. The album's release caused some controversy: some of its lyrics were written by the infamous Norwegian black metal musician Varg Vikernes, and its booklet contained the phrase "Norsk Arisk Black Metal", which translates into English as "Norwegian Aryan Black Metal".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darkthrone#Early_black_metal_years

Algerian Goalkeeper, Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

ahhh okay right

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

I can't conceive of any workable principle that this could be replaced with. the other options lead to a) censorship and b) never enjoying anything

um, self-censorship is not only not a bad thing, but it's something everyone does all the time anyway by virtue of having things that they "like" and "dislike"

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

agree with Noodle that "pleasure" is probably a mischaracterization too. To go back to Death Certificate, there are plenty of distinctly UNpleasant things about listening to it that are nonetheless worthwhile, as the album raises a number of questions, paradoxes, contradictions that are important to wrestle with (like "gee I wonder why homophobia really is so prevalent in the black community of early 90s US, hmmmmm. maybe I can learn something useful by pondering this question")

xp

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

I didn't say self-censorship Dan

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

the other options lead to a) censorship and b) never enjoying anything

not even remotely true! what you seem to advocate is throwing up your hands and saying "whelp...I dig it, so who gives a shit what the content is, or who might be impacted by it*, or what the effect of privileging aesthetics over all is on broader cultural discourse. the other options lead to a more complex dialogue with art that this surface-only "if it sounds good, I dig it" which I think is noxious, privileged stuff

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

(it's not an innate virtue, either; it's just something everyone does already, for entirely idiosyncratic subjective reasons, so I don't see why holding it up as a potential bugbear in order to shame someone into listening to a racist is a useful thing to do)

xp: lol then perhaps you are not actually understanding aero's post

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

Aesthetic pleasure is a complex thing tho. It's pleasure, sure, but you're also engaging with a complex of ideas or discourses.

Yeah, this. I try to avoid results-based criticism, but who knows? Maybe I do it. I've had to deal with my own revulsion this week at The Singles Jukebox, where we're reviewing a bunch of old Nate Dogg collaborations with Snoop and Dre which, after several years' distance, still sound as clumsy as they did in 1993. So dismissing the misogyny was even easier.

And what's wrong with self-censorship?

whoops -- this was covered already

Rich Lolwry (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

and yeah deciding you don't want to listen to something because its politics are icky doesn't "lead to censorship" on any planet I've visited

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

"it's a bourgeois privilege to be able to overlook racism."

I always feel it's awfully bourgeois to worry about bourgeois privilege.

Anyway, Nazi metal and Wagner are two different things to me. Nazi metal is just ridiculous; the Nazis would have hated such entartete shreck and any German nationalist venerating the Nazis is even stupider than his grandparents, assuming they were Nazis, of course. Wagner's celebration and romanticisation of Germanic folklore is no more blameworthy than the Jews holding on to their culture and folklore (or any ppl doing so for that matter) and I have a smidgen of sympathy for the Germans in the 19th century (though, to be quite clear, not for any anti-semitism); the Italians, the French, the English, heck, even the Spanish could be admired but, apart from a few left-handed compliments from Tacitus, early German history and folklore was supposedly the history of barbarians who destroyed Rome. Germans weren't supposed to have much to be all that proud of and the sooner they adopted French or Italian ways, the better. That they tended, like pretty much everyone else, to take pride in their heritage in a way that denigrated people not from their 'tribe' is deplorable but no more so than most other countries.

That said, Wagner isn't even in my top five 19th century German composers.

exécutés avec l’insolence accoutumée du (Michael White), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

If people decide they don't want to listen to something because of its content, that is not censorship; that is supply/demand.

If an external actor is keeping you from listening to something because of its content, that is censorship.

I don't see anywhere where aero is advocating having a board set up that polices people's music/musicians for offensive; I do see him saying "I think it's a good idea to reflect on the source".

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

what I was getting at was that the alternatives - refusing to commercially support or read/listen to/watch anything that is morally questionable - if carried to their logical conclusions, result in some very, VERY undesirable scenarios. On the one hand, if everyone adopts this position or is enforced to adopt this position, um great we are living in a police state where ideas are forbidden. awesome. Similarly, if you start parsing who/what institutions hold/support beliefs you disagree with, pretty quickly you find that this will preclude you from engaging with the vast majority of art. Most of it, at one time or another, has passed through the hands or bank accounts of those with ideas you disagree with.

xp

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

btw my own reaction to death certificate when it came out was "well, shit - my favorite rapper seems kinda like a dick now," not "this anti-semitism is really complex"

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

"whelp...I dig it, so who gives a shit what the content is, or who might be impacted by it*,

lol come on dude

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

Michael White wow you'll jump through any hoop to excuse Wagner's anti-semitism, won't you?

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

btw Police For Offensive is the name of my white-hating minimal techno side project

On the one hand, if everyone adopts this position or is enforced to adopt this position

can you spot where you are making a ridiculous, unwarranted logical leap? (HINT: it is here or is enforced to adopt this position)

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

lol come on dude

dude even though I know you & me are like nearly identical animals politically afaik that really does sound like what you're saying to me

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

One of the problems with 19th Century Nationalism is that it comes generally out of an Enlightment culture. It would be one thing to be an anti-Semite in 13th Century Europe where the prejudice was so ingrained as to be almost unnoticeable as a prejudice, and quite another thing to be Wanger and to have friends telling you to your face that your prejudices are idiotic and evil and going "hey ho" anyway.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 22:54 (3 years ago) Permalink


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