Malazan Empire: Michael Jackson, R Kelly, boycotting artists and creators - Malazan Empire

Jump to content

  • 2 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Michael Jackson, R Kelly, boycotting artists and creators

#1 User is online   Aptorian 

  • How you doin?
  • Group: The Wheelchairs of War
  • Posts: 20,890
  • Joined: 22-May 06

Posted 10 March 2019 - 04:42 PM

Let's discuss the current philosophical political pop culture shit storm.

The documentaries Leaving Neverland and Surviving R Kelly were released a month or so ago and the debate about banning or boycotting artists who are criminals or politically toxic has flared up again. You might call it the next phase of the Me Too movement.

Now one point we could argue is whether R Kelly and Jackson are in fact guilty. There's a lot of fans who are clinging to that sliver of doubt but I think the bigger perspective is more interesting.

A lot of people are pushing for boycotting these artists and removing them from the radio, music platforms, statues of Jackson should be removed, erc. Which begs the question, can you separate the art from the artist? And can you just expunge a part of our culture and history that easily?

R Kelly I don't really care about, he's not that significant to me, however Michael Jackson is the biggest pop culture icon of all time. His music has been influential for damn near 5 decades.

Then again that's sort of hypocritical, if Kelly goes, then Jackson should go and that's where I think the whole thing falls apart. Because what about all the other artists we know have a dirty past? How many of our favorite rock bands fucked a bunch of under age girls? How many of them have committed other crimes? Domestic violence? Drug offences? Tax fraud? What's acceptable? What's forgettable?
0

#2 User is online   Tiste Simeon 

  • Faith, Heavy Metal & Bacon
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 9,439
  • Joined: 08-October 04
  • Location:T'North

Posted 10 March 2019 - 05:52 PM

To add no answers but create more discussion, how much of a douche makes too much of a douche? As in I've seen quite a lot of discussion around people like PT Barnum and Winston Churchill who were, in many ways, awful people. But they also did some amazing things (e.g. Barnum was a big abolitionist and Churchill kept Britain going through the war...)

Is it possible to still like someone despite knowing what you do about them? Who is the arbiter of good deeds vs bad?

You mention two artists who have done some pretty bad stuff and I'm not sure it should be overlooked because of their contribution to art but say they did a load of good stuff too, does that cancel it out?

More examples I've seen bandied around here are writers such as Lovecraft who was, by all accounts, a massive racist. Do we overlook that? What about Vox Day? Can we do the same for him?

My big example of this is Adam Baldwin. I love him in Firefly and Chuck, but the dude is a bad dude. Should I not watch them any more?

Am I just reiterating Apts points? I got a bit lost methinks.
A Haunting Poem
I Scream
You Scream
We all Scream
For I Scream.
0

#3 User is online   Aptorian 

  • How you doin?
  • Group: The Wheelchairs of War
  • Posts: 20,890
  • Joined: 22-May 06

Posted 10 March 2019 - 06:16 PM

You're making great examples of how far down the rabbit hole it goes.

An important point a Danish radio satire show made is that it's about picking your battles. Just because everything is fucked doesn't mean that you're not allowed to selectively boycot artists or products you personally disagree with. However be careful about shaming others for not following your personal crusade of virtue signalling because there's always more injustice the further you dig down.

I think there's value in doing a timed blackout like some radio channels are doing, it demonstrates that the accusations are taken seriously but further down the line it means that the art lives on.

I personally think that people are being melodramatic when they say they can no longer listen to Michael Jackson Or R Kelly. Then again I have no desire to sit through the documentaries about them.
0

#4 User is offline   Traveller 

  • exile
  • Group: Malazan Artist
  • Posts: 3,714
  • Joined: 04-January 08
  • Location:GSV Nothing To See Here

Posted 10 March 2019 - 06:40 PM

And what about authors, painters etc? There are many artists throughout history with dubious life stories, it doesnt mean their paintings are removed from galleries, and their books removed from libraries.

Even if Jackson was guilty, imo, people should still be able to listen to his music, if they so choose. Radio is different I guess, as if someone listening who would prefer to boycott his music suddenly realises what's on, they'll just switch stations - so they're probably just looking at it from a ratings point of view.

Removing his music from presently accessible platforms seems daft though.
So that's the story. And what was the real lesson? Don't leave things in the fridge.
0

#5 User is offline   worry 

  • Master of the Deck
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 12,863
  • Joined: 24-February 10
  • Location:the buried west

Posted 10 March 2019 - 06:48 PM

Already one step ahead of you, Tiste. I've cut PT Barnum out of my life completely!
They came with white hands and left with red hands.
0

#6 User is offline   D'rek 

  • Consort of High House Mafia
  • Group: Super Moderators
  • Posts: 10,826
  • Joined: 08-August 07
  • Location::

Posted 10 March 2019 - 07:11 PM

 Alternative Goose, on 10 March 2019 - 06:16 PM, said:

An important point a Danish radio satire show made is that it's about picking your battles. Just because everything is fucked doesn't mean that you're not allowed to selectively boycott artists or products you personally disagree with. However be careful about shaming others for not following your personal crusade of virtue signalling because there's always more injustice the further you dig down.


There are so many artists from so many mediums (and as Tiste points out, why limit it to just artists) that I think this^^ is the only possible approach, really. Even the most hardcore proponent of the most extreme version of the "don't listen to any music by any artist who did anything remotely bad" ideology probably listens to music by some artists that they simply don't know yet did something they're opposed to.

Heck, forget recent pop music on the radio, how many enormous volumes of western classical music was written by composers with unsavoury histories or beliefs? Most people won't care enough to try and not listen to that, especially when it's public domain and piped into shopping malls and commercials all over the place. If one person wants to fight that battle, that's fine, and if another person doesn't find that that crosses their personal line in the sand that's fine, too, and neither of those people should feel the need to shame or coerce the other into changing their mind, so long as they're each accurately informed.

 worrywort, on 14 September 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I kinda love it when D'rek unleashes her nerd wrath, as I knew she would here. Sorry innocent bystanders, but someone's gotta be the kindling.
0

#7 User is online   Aptorian 

  • How you doin?
  • Group: The Wheelchairs of War
  • Posts: 20,890
  • Joined: 22-May 06

Posted 10 March 2019 - 07:36 PM

 Tiste Simeon, on 10 March 2019 - 05:52 PM, said:


Is it possible to still like someone despite knowing what you do about them? Who is the arbiter of good deeds vs bad?

You mention two artists who have done some pretty bad stuff and I'm not sure it should be overlooked because of their contribution to art but say they did a load of good stuff too, does that cancel it out?


This reminds me of that Dave Chapelle bit about Bill Cosby.

He remarks that Cosby raped a lot of people but he also spent decades on community outreach and he put hundreds of kids through college. So, you could say that he raped a lot of people but he also saved a lot of people.

He rapes but he saves. Can you reconcile that?

Cosby's name is ruined but the good he did goes on.
0

#8 User is offline   Mezla PigDog 

  • Malazan Yo Yo Champion 2009
  • Group: Mezla's Thought Police
  • Posts: 2,006
  • Joined: 03-September 04

Posted 10 March 2019 - 07:39 PM

It's a very good question about where it stops. One thing that I think is important to consider is who is profiting from the shunned persons art that you may be consuming. In the case of Michael Jackson it's his estate who were part of handling him while he was alive and obviously knew he had boys in his bed and chose to do nothing about it / continue association with him. I assume they also endorsed the publicity angle of blaming the kids parents and the latest accusers of being money hungry liars.
Burn rubber =/= warp speed
0

#9 User is offline   nicetrout 

  • Sergeant
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 64
  • Joined: 05-January 17

Posted 10 March 2019 - 08:17 PM

I see it as a personal question about whether they're going to put on Billy Jean or not. Certainly the other day I twinged on hearing, I watched the documentary last week.

That line of what you're going to consume once you know about certain allegations, I think is the personal one. For Example: I watched Annie Hall before I knew much about Woody Allen, and I read more about all that and I haven't watched a film of his since.
If somebody did watch his films, I don't know. I don't think they're wrong, but maybe they are. Tough question.

I think what creates a problem for me is that none of these people have admitted their crimes and sought forgiveness. Repentance is what's important to me. I'm not saying we can forgive R. Kelly for what he's alleged to have done, I would hope as a society we can all be open to forgiving others.
However forgiveness, to me, begins with admissions of guilt, humility. Then Victims and society can begin to reckon with how to forgive these people and deal with their legacies.

I don't think there is any right answer, and if people feel differently I can grock it. For me though, unless some of these tarnished artists truly admit their culpability, I don't feel particularly motivated to start to tackle the thorny question of how I should feel about Michael Jackson's music.
I could listen to a new record every day until I day and not get through all the music of this world. So that's what I plan to do.
0

#10 User is offline   TheRetiredBridgeburner 

  • Emperor
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 773
  • Joined: 28-March 13
  • Location:Deepest Darkest Yorkshire

Posted 10 March 2019 - 08:48 PM

Everyone's personal line in the sand is different, and should be respected as such. I'm willing to bet there'll be a lot of what we might consider virtue signalling going on with people who want to be the loudest about who and what they're boycotting because they're Good People ™ - I'm honestly not sure how I feel. Mostly I'm in the ballpark of if I started to boycott the work of those with less than ideal histories I probably wouldn't be left with all that much, given it then becomes "where does it stop". And indeed, if you extend it to let's say books - yeah, there'll be a lot of popular/important works you won't be touching again, potentially.

I can see why radio stations etc want to do a timed blackout, and agree with Alternative Goose in that it suggests the matter is being taken seriously rather than just ignored. I suppose if a station wishes to make the boycott permanent that's a decision for them individually.

This post has been edited by TheRetiredBridgeburner: 10 March 2019 - 08:50 PM

- Wyrd bi ful ard -
0

#11 User is offline   Maark Abbott 

  • [MAXIMUM DISGRUNTLEMENT]
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 2,553
  • Joined: 11-November 14
  • Location:Barnsley, UK
  • Interests:Bringing literacy to the folk of Yorkshire

Posted 11 March 2019 - 08:25 AM

Take the Savile approach.
Facebook - www.facebook[dotcom]/MaarkAbbottWriting / Twitter - @MAbbottWriting / I'm on Goodreads somewhere as well

XBL - Shoryukos / Steam - Angryμaark / PSN - AngryMaark

Debut novel 'Incarnate' now available on Kindle
0

#12 User is offline   Silencer 

  • Manipulating Special Data
  • Group: Administrators
  • Posts: 5,575
  • Joined: 07-July 07
  • Location:New Zealand
  • Interests:Malazan Book of the Fallen series.
    Computer Game Design.
    Programming.

Posted 11 March 2019 - 09:10 AM

View PostTheRetiredBridgeburner, on 10 March 2019 - 08:48 PM, said:

Everyone's personal line in the sand is different, and should be respected as such. I'm willing to bet there'll be a lot of what we might consider virtue signalling going on with people who want to be the loudest about who and what they're boycotting because they're Good People - I'm honestly not sure how I feel. Mostly I'm in the ballpark of if I started to boycott the work of those with less than ideal histories I probably wouldn't be left with all that much, given it then becomes "where does it stop". And indeed, if you extend it to let's say books - yeah, there'll be a lot of popular/important works you won't be touching again, potentially.

I can see why radio stations etc want to do a timed blackout, and agree with Alternative Goose in that it suggests the matter is being taken seriously rather than just ignored. I suppose if a station wishes to make the boycott permanent that's a decision for them individually.


Yeah, it's definitely to each their own.

But in the vein of separating the art for the artist, I would note that there is a difference between not wanting to support the artist and not wanting to listen to the music any more.

E.g. you can still listen to Michael Jackson's music. You can, per personal stigma tolerance and ability to look at the music as it's own thing or have it tainted as well, listen to it while still boycotting the artist (Or in this case, his estate). Not to get into Code of Conduct breach territory or anything, but it is possible -especially if you already own his stuff. And in this case, I really see no issue with that approach. Provided you can personally separate the music from the artist and find a way to enjoy the music without supporting the artist, you can, effectively, have your cake and eat it too.

So that is one way to solve it. But it should definitely be a personal choice. Much like idiots can burn their pair of Nikes they either already paid for or went out and purchased to burn, because Nike got into bed with a sportsball star you don't like, people are welcome to burn their Jackson albums. And they can even ask others to do the same and judge them if they don't. But they probably shouldn't. It's symbolic by nature and as such shouldn't be requisite to agreeing that the artist did bad things, or was a bad person.

God knows, there are entire genres of music out there that were, at one point, largely the domain of criminals. Doesn't mean you couldn't enjoy the music, right?
***

Shinrei said:

<Vote Silencer> For not garnering any heat or any love for that matter. And I'm being serious here, it's like a mental block that is there, and you just keep forgetting it.



"For the record, I'm pretty sure my mind was shouting 'CLICHESTORM' over and over again during the opening of Skyrim...just putting that out there.." - Me.


~Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.~
1

#13 User is online   Aptorian 

  • How you doin?
  • Group: The Wheelchairs of War
  • Posts: 20,890
  • Joined: 22-May 06

Posted 11 March 2019 - 11:42 AM

I know Worry's watched Leaving Neverland. Any other members watched the Jackson and R Kelly documentaries and what did you think?

I started watching Leaving Neverland the other day and nope'd out after 5 minutes. Not gonna watch 3 hours of pain out of morbid curiosity.
0

#14 User is offline   nicetrout 

  • Sergeant
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 64
  • Joined: 05-January 17

Posted 11 March 2019 - 01:39 PM

I haven't watched the R. Kelly one, however I did watch Leaving Neverland.

I thought it was really powerful. Really well made and moving. I was surprised because it's mostly the story of the two victims, James Safechuck and Wade Robson. The Documentary talks less very little about MJ and his life, more focuses on how they first came into Jackson's orbit, how they were kind of coached and taught by Jackson and how they left his orbit and came to deal with it. Following their journey was the most resonant part of the documentary. It was less graphic than I suspected it to be since it so focused on their emotions. However when each of them describe the abuse in detail, it is as horrid as you would imagine.

Worthwhile watching for me, I was a child when he was on trial both times in the 90s and 00s so I didn't know the details of the allegations. I'd understand if anybody didn't watch.
0

#15 User is offline   Mezla PigDog 

  • Malazan Yo Yo Champion 2009
  • Group: Mezla's Thought Police
  • Posts: 2,006
  • Joined: 03-September 04

Posted 11 March 2019 - 01:53 PM

I absolutely love Bad and Thriller. I've had Bad for 30 years and Thriller probably for at least 20. Anyone who could listen to Billy Jean and not dance is dead inside.

I have seen Leaving Neverland and am never going to be able to hear a Michael Jackson song now without the mental image of him cracking one off whilst looking at a 7 year olds bum hole. To be blunt. And that's kind of less worse than the cold calculated grooming he obviously did. To the boys and their families.
Burn rubber =/= warp speed
0

#16 User is offline   Malankazooie 

  • Soletaken
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 2,385
  • Joined: 21-June 16

Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:37 PM

How could you listen to that music after what he did?
I don't know, headphones?


0

#17 User is online   Aptorian 

  • How you doin?
  • Group: The Wheelchairs of War
  • Posts: 20,890
  • Joined: 22-May 06

Posted 11 March 2019 - 02:50 PM

That opening bit about the Catholic Church is a doozy. It's amazing how that institution keeps running.

Also on a side note, I'd never actually watched Trapped in the closet before comedians started making references after the scandals resurfaced.

Forget Kelly's music, Trapped in the closet is a good damn master piece.
0

#18 User is offline   Nevyn 

  • Shield Anvil
  • Group: Malaz Regular
  • Posts: 1,405
  • Joined: 19-March 13

Posted 11 March 2019 - 04:49 PM

Its a personal line. If you can't enjoy their material without thinking about what they did (or are alleged to have done), you are probably going to boycott.

If you can separate the art from the person, you probably won't.

I just don't go in for the notion of pressure on others to boycott as if anyone who still consumed the art is compounding the alleged crime.
Tatts early in SH game: Hmm, so if I'm liberal I should have voted Nein to make sure I'm president? I'm not that selfish

Tatts later in SAME game: I'm going to be a corrupt official. I have turned from my liberal ways, and now will vote against the pesky liberals. Viva la Fascism.
When Venge's turn comes, he will get a yes from Mess, Dolmen, Nevyn and Venge but a no from the 3 fascists and me. **** with my Government, and i'll **** with yours
0

#19 User is offline   Lady Bliss 

  • Shameless Minister of Silly Catwalks of the Abyssmal Army
  • Group: The Abyssmal Army
  • Posts: 275
  • Joined: 08-December 11
  • Location:New York

Posted 11 March 2019 - 05:22 PM

I've been boycotting MJ's work for years, because I always thought he was guilty. I think the difference between modern day scumbags and historical ones, is that we get to see the evidence against them.
"If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?" - Shylock
0

#20 User is offline   Vengeance 

  • High Priest of Shinrei Love and Worship
  • Group: Administrators
  • Posts: 3,393
  • Joined: 27-June 07
  • Location:Chicago
  • very good...;)

Posted 11 March 2019 - 06:42 PM

I have never been that big of a Fan of R Kelly. So not listening to his music has never bothered me. My mom used to play the Jackson 5 when I was a kid and I listened and watched Michael's video's growing up. Thriller was and is a great video. Billy Jean is great. As an artist he was brilliant. His childhood was horrible, his life was about the same. I would never let my kids stay with him. But I will probably still listen to his music occasionally.
How many fucking people do I have to hammer in order to get that across.
Hinter - Vengy - DIE. I trusted you you bastard!!!!!!!

Steven Erikson made drowning in alien cum possible - Obdigore
0

Share this topic:


  • 2 Pages +
  • 1
  • 2
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users