Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Separating the art from the artist

This idea has been in my head since I watched a "Penn Says" on Crackle (if I get around to it, I'll add the link) where, in a story about how he was having to shill his "Bullshit" show on a Chicago radio station the same day that the news about Michael Jackson broke. And Penn Jillette, who I admire but don't always agree with, mentioned that he was okay with the mourning of MJ because he separated the art from the artist.

This made me think that I have a very difficult time doing that: two examples that come to mind immediately are James Brown, wife-beater, and Mel Gibson, crazy religion conspiracy nut. A less severe case is Harrison Ford who, after I heard him sound just dumb as a stump doing an interview, is a lot harder for me to take seriously when I see him in a serious role. I guess he's a little different because I can think of him as a blank slate who "becomes" his role. But what about Mel? This guy is in maybe my favorite movie of all time, "Payback," but actively supports (supported? maybe he's changed) a wacko-Catholic, anti-Jewish agenda.

As liberal as I am, I am still a supporter of capitalism and I hate the idea of "voting with my dollars" for people I don't want to enrich. And what if they are dead, as James Brown is? If I acknowledge that I want to dance to his music, am I adding to his legacy of rock greatness and ignoring his bad behavior?

It's not about politics: I'm still all about Tom Selleck because when he's expressed his conservative political views they seem thought out and rational (for him) to me.

Another example: Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Scientology is crazy and dangerous and I'm not going to modulate my position on that at all. How much of what I spend at the theatre is going to end up in the coffers of that brainwashing machine?

This is all kind of tricky for me. I'd like to think of myself as a live and let live sort of person, but I think I'm moving toward judgemental or at least protectivist (is that a word?) against letting the more errant members of society, especially the ones with a large public platform, have a long leash if any.

I'm happy to have written my 500 words today and vented about this, but I didn't actually resolve anything. Guess I'll have to write some more. LOL.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Update on blog status

Hi, faithful blog readers. You may not have noticed (because you are on the approved list), but I have made this blog private for the time being. With the job search going on and possibly the new job at the very conservative place as a real possibility (second interview Tuesday afternoon), I thought it would be better to keep some of my more interesting posts under wraps. Plus, I want to be able to write here unrestrictedly (is that a word?) - in an unrestricted fashion. If you find someone else who you think should read along, let me know and I'll invite them in.

So that's what's up. I owe Joe an addition to the story in the comments and I'll work on that after this interview excitement is over. Other topics to be covered: separating the art from the artist; civility in modern times, or "same as it ever was;" mommy-lit; and other subjects to considered later.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Resisting and ranting

Wow, I have been resisting writing like you would not believe. The last thing I wrote was a very short response to Joe's contribution to the fiction piece (see down a few entries). I have no good reason why. I'm going to speculate that having both kids here, as I did last week, makes it hard for me to concentrate on *anything* other than just getting through the day. (Interestingly, I sleep a LOT more when they are both here - I am definitely avoiding.) And the weekend was a complete boondoggle with Thing One getting sick and missing camping and Thing Two needing to be in Athens on Sunday and X being obtuse and stubborn about picking up and dropping off.

X: When you were being so damn clever finding a reasonably priced house near the highway, did you just not consider AT ALL that it was 15-20 minutes away from your kids and your parents? Did you not consider that you are a lazy fuck and that you would not want to get home from work, or stop working around the house, and come get and/or drop your kids off, as per your legal agreement? Do you see your parents less also, because you don't want to make the trek? There are hundreds of places to live nearby, but you choose to live just a few minutes farther away and now every visit with the kids requires negotiation with you. Do you think they won't notice? There is no chance they'll want to live with you permanently: you live too far from their friends and they KNOW THAT YOU ARE TOO LAZY TO TAKE THEM WHERE THEY WANT TO GO, namely, over *here* near the rest of their lives. You are a moron. /Rant

Okay, that's all for now. I think I feel better now.


Update: I resisted the resisting and added something to the piece with Joe. It's starting to go down a path that I've started (and stopped and stalled in) before and I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I think I've got an idea now and it's *Joe's* turn to move the story along.