11 December 2006

Art, not for the sake of Artiste?

From Michael Jackson to Mel Gibson, Borat to Michael Richards, should you judge their creations because of the shortcomings in them?

Do you stop buying MJ’s CD’s because you believe he could be a child molester?

Do you stop watching Mel Gibson’s movies because he is anti-Semitic?

Do you stop laughing at Michael Richards jokes in Seinfeld because he thinks less of African-Americans?

Where does one draw the line? The immediate reaction is of NO. I love “Beat it”. Why would I not listen to it? Brave heart is one of my favourite movies. Why can’t I enjoy a creation of art for the sake of Art? Who am I to judge someone else? But the moment you think you are enabling someone by paying for their skill, who, then uses that money to do horrible things, where do you stand morally, ethically as a human being?

If Nike makes soccer balls employing kids in Pakistan, do you PAY for that merchandise? If a diamond has been bought in a conflict zone which has the blood of poor miners, do you not care and pay thousands for them? You cannot stop the whole world but you can always say NO from your end, within your circle of influence. Granted you may not know all the hands an item has exchanged before buying it, but once you know, it matters what you do with that information. There was an “extrapolated” ad a few years ago to tell us, if you buy gas, you are enabling the Sheiks, who enable the terrorists, so stop filling gas. NOW, that is extreme activism. I wouldn’t go to that extent. But you do have a choice.

Perhaps the bigger question is “Why relate related-things in unrelated activities?” Say, Sports and Politics. Should we allow India and Pakistan to play Cricket when our soldiers are fighting the very country in the border? It may not matter so much to me but if I had my brother in Army fighting in Kashmir, putting his life on the line for the country, while a bunch of civilians want to enjoy Sachin hitting Shoaib Akhtar for a six, it belittles and makes his sacrifice and the sacrifice of thousands of lives less meaningful.

Like everything else, if the insult is directed at me/my country, then you decide to take some action. If Mel Gibson had said, “Stupid...f***king Indians!”, I wouldn’t be caring to question whether I should be watching his movies or not. But when it he curses about some other race, if you don’t join them in their protest, how long would it take for him to move to the next? If you don’t punish the artiste by ignoring his art, especially artistes with influence, you could be next on their list!

Maybe it’s time to sacrifice our few moments of pleasure in arts for the greater good of generations to come!


iamnasra said...

Its been awhile..hope all is well with you

Season greeting from me to u

MotoRama said...

Hi Nasra,

Everything is going great here..hope the same there too!

Seasons Greetings to u too!

Manic Street Preacher said...

wat u mean, in a few words, is: how do we get along ina world whr we all do crap in our toilettes n flush it off n then come out pretendin nothin really happened.
we all do wat we do. dont we? but if we don judge others, the entire burden of wisdom alls on us.
wudn that be too much?

MotoRama said...

Hi Manicstreetpreacher,

I think you mean "if we DO judge others, the entire burden of wisdom alls on us". I guess that is a lot of burden and i dont wanna convict anyone until proven guilty..but it is important to take a stand on issues...and not swayed by the thought that "everyone does it..what diff one person can make?" attitude.

Thanks for dropping by.

small squirrel said...

I think we have to care. I think these people think we *should* divorce their art from their ridiculous personalities. But I don't. I won't support that shit. R. Kelly will never get a dime of my money. Why? Because he is a pedophile. Some people ride a fine line which is up for interpretation. But when it's blatant, these ppl need to learn that they are not God, they cannot get away with whatever smug bullshit they shell out there and try to cover up with a half-hearted apology. Tell all these racist bastards that it's not acceptable.


MotoRama said...

Amen to that Squirrel!

Priyamvada_K said...

For the same reason I have boycotted Woody Allen movies - any guy who goes after his longterm girlfriend's daughter, someone who is barely a teenager, and who should have been treated like a daughter - is a borderline pedophile. He is free to make movies, and I am free to choose not to support him.


shamini said...

Hey this is a great post a subject that I've often battled to come to terms with. Where does one draw the line?.. where and how it suits you I guess.Will it make a difference?I think so.. miniscule perhaps but a difference none the less.. but what's more important here is "you" .. being able to sleep better at night.. B.T.W happy new year to you.. Wishing you everything of the best.

Maltova said...

Wah! Finally a good post to read in the new year! HAPPPY NEW YEARS Rama! :)

I agree with some of the contents in this blog w.r.t. taking a stand on issues, but the comments have put me on a backfoot.

Sure take a stand, and by all means take a ladder too if that helps. but im not realy keen on buying this argument thaat we opine with what they do in their personal lives and link it to their work, movies, art, books etc and it is our ethical/'right' thing to do moral.

Sure, you can't ignore news that puts the person in question and his questionable personal life or his views out in the open. But will i, should i stop listening, reading, watching their work?

M sorry, can't do! I jus hope few years down the lane i don't read that M. Scorcese, Rushdie or Maniratnam was a crossdresser, pedophile and Nazi sympathizer respectively. I would die...

Kavitha said...

hey good to read ur blog, after long time and as always u write so well,heres one more admirer to ur list..