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Celebrity Killing Spree
01-17-2013, 02:22 PM
When I think back to my formative years in early high school and onward I can't also help but reminisce about Manson's rise to notoriety and the influence it had on me at the time. This was during the triptych years when Manson was still considered "scary" and threat to good and decent people everywhere.

I went to a fairly clean, upper-middle class school, mostly comprised of preps and jocks and though I was myself a dedicated outsider ("drama fag" as I was often labeled) I certainly wasn't "gawf" or however people had imagined a stereotypical Manson fan in those days to be. I was, indeed, though a ravenous fan and would go on and on to people about his brilliant stage performances, performance art aesthetic and ironic and insightful lyrics. Most often these appeals were made towards "the smart kids" because I thought they were the ones who would really appreciate it.

I was a little disappointed to hear 99% of the time "Yeah, I like that song, or whatever, but I just don't like HIM." Usually this idea of "HIM" was based on a very superficial look at his videos and things they had heard and dismissing him as being a "freak for the sake of being weird." And there was often an unspoken feeling that if they were to ever acknowledge his work as valid and come out as a fan that they would suffer social consequences and therefore would distance themselves.

Whatever, the question is:

DO YOU HAVE TO APPROVE OR EVEN LIKE THE ARTIST TO APPRECIATE THEIR ART?

For me, I like to think I look at things objectively. I'm an H.P. Lovecraft fan. I disapprove of the man's racism but that has nothing to do with why I like his writing. I have a huge objection to Roman Polanski but I still like enjoy his films. I'm neither a racist nor a rape apologist and I don't think that enjoying either of their artworks makes me one.

But what about something a little less scandalous. What about someone who is just a dick and not very nice or bright? You know how people always ask someone who has met someone famous "Oh, were they nice?" Does that really have to matter? If you find out that your favorite actor, writer or musician doesn't sign autographs, made an offhand sexist comment or has a habit of flipping out at people on set, does that really devalue the song, film or book you once loved?

What do you think people? Is this something you see a lot of? Agree ? Disagree?

M Tragedy666
01-17-2013, 03:56 PM
I agree and disagree. When I first read the title of this thread, on instinct I thought, "of course. You can appreciate art without loving the artist". Then I thought in some ways this is sort of just a re-wording of the whole "Can you be a christian and still love Marilyn Manson" question. And everyone knows by very strong NO to that question. But then again, Christianity, or religion in general, is very different and unique in sense. After all, In my opinion, religion is a loop hole delusion and a strong brainwash tool used to shape people whether it's their morality or otherwise. And although there are some aspects of your points that could be used in the religious debate, I found the whole of your question and points to be much more broad than the religious questions.

You mentioned the kids who say "I like some songs, but I don't like HIM". That's a loaded question. It's easy to jump to the conclusion that they are just ignorant and, like most people, don't bother to take the time to see the true beauty within any given subject. Most of the time, that probably really is the answer; that they are ignorant. If they are more informed, maybe not so much?

Take Mel Gibson for example. Everyone hates that guy now and thinks he's a misogynistic-Jew hating nut. If you agree with this, well, it shouldn't really stop you from enjoying his movies. Why does him as a person have to compromise his acting ability? It's just nonsense. Then again, I'm an exception because I really could care less if he beats his girlfriends and hates Jews. I don't hate him for that. In fact I'll go as far as saying he's cool for doing that shit. Fuck it. But I may have some problems.

People are only human and we all make mistakes. I can see how in the heat of a moment, someone like Mel Gibson or Roman Polanski can make some bad decisions that carry with them their whole life. And it's a snowball effect. I don't really care what anyone does so long that it doesn't hurt me directly. I may be a terrible person, but I simply just don't give a shit about what anyone does. They could all be serial killers and I wouldn't care at all. I'd be entertained. Just don't kill me.

I think ignorance and stupidity makes people cling to a strong "belief" based on nothing, whether it is morality, religion, or liking/disliking whatever behaviors and they jump band wagon and it becomes popular to hate someone because of something they have done. But not a single one of us is innocent.

My father is a very strong christian and despises everything Marilyn Manson does and has done. I've had many conversations with him. Mansons lifestyle and whole person just is the exact opposite of what my father thinks would be good for society. He represents everything wrong with the world. ...But I still have gotten him to admit Manson is very smart. And my dad can appreciate...in some way...not in a very deep way...how much time and thought Manson puts into his art.

This is of course just my opinion, and it is very subjective.

Basically, it's not a black and white answer. It's not a "Yes" or "No" question. It's a "maybe", and "sometimes" with potential for strong "if's" and "but's".

Dysmorphia
01-17-2013, 05:23 PM
I don’t think that liking or approving of an artist is important or necessary in the appreciation of their work. There are plenty of artists whose work I love, but as people I dislike. That said there are artists that as people I admire and respect whose work I can’t stand.

The creation of artwork is undeniably self-indulgent; people who devote their lives to it more than likely will have traits and egos that people will find disagreeable.

Sans Agendum
01-17-2013, 06:57 PM
nope

J.Lecter
01-17-2013, 11:42 PM
nope

Ditto.

The Empirical Guy
01-18-2013, 08:12 AM
I don't think so. I listen to a lot of bands that have conflicting views or lifestyles - Manson has made no secret of his (some might say excessive) drug and alcohol use, but I also listen to bands who are straight edge. Obviously if I had to approve of the artist as a person and of their overall lifestyle choices I couldn't listen to both. Ultimately they both make art I enjoy, and that's what matters.

Perhaps the best example here is the band The Agonist. Their singer is very outspoken about a vegan lifestyle, animal rights and being environmentally aware. Her art has never provoked me in to going vegan myself - I like meat, and believe that it's good for you as part of a balanced diet. However, I appreciate her art for how passionate she is about it and how she expresses that. She has caused me to at least think about the issues, and while I didn't come to the same conclusions as she clearly did, I made up my own mind after being more informed on the topic, which is I'm sure what any artist would hope people viewing or hearing their work would do.

Mexicanfiend
01-18-2013, 11:44 AM
Think about this: How many things can you say you truly love/enjoy/like at a complete 100%? Not many, huh?

I love the music and work of Marilyn Manson, but that doesn't mean I agree completely with everything he says/does. There are songs I don't like, albums I enjoy less, lyrics that I find boring... but that doesn't affect me to enjoy the general picture.

Plus, if I learnt something in life is: the more you push something you like to others, the less chances they will end up appreciating and enjoying it. If people don't like HIM, that's their decision. From our eyes they are "loosing the greatness", but maybe for them is not a neccesary thing in their lives; as simple as that.

So, I believe that you don't have to approve the artist in order to enjoy what he does.

Celebrity Killing Spree
01-19-2013, 11:11 PM
I don't think so. I listen to a lot of bands that have conflicting views or lifestyles - Manson has made no secret of his (some might say excessive) drug and alcohol use, but I also listen to bands who are straight edge. Obviously if I had to approve of the artist as a person and of their overall lifestyle choices I couldn't listen to both. Ultimately they both make art I enjoy, and that's what matters.

Perhaps the best example here is the band The Agonist. Their singer is very outspoken about a vegan lifestyle, animal rights and being environmentally aware. Her art has never provoked me in to going vegan myself - I like meat, and believe that it's good for you as part of a balanced diet. However, I appreciate her art for how passionate she is about it and how she expresses that. She has caused me to at least think about the issues, and while I didn't come to the same conclusions as she clearly did, I made up my own mind after being more informed on the topic, which is I'm sure what any artist would hope people viewing or hearing their work would do.

Oh man. I've listened to The Agonist for a couple years but I guess not closely enough to have picked up on the vegan thing... That... is lame.

Doesn't diminish my enjoyment of the music, though. ...Maybe just her hotness a little.

The Empirical Guy
01-20-2013, 03:33 AM
You never picked up on the vegan thing? It's pretty much rammed in to your face in half the songs, especially their earlier stuff. Take another look through the lyrics, it's all over the place. I don't think it takes away anything from it though, as I said. If anything, it adds to it that she's so in to it because she's got some fire behind her.

Sans Agendum
01-22-2013, 09:01 PM
I doubt that anybody here would agree with Marilyn Manson on every aspect of his morality and/or sociopolitical beliefs.

Golden Eel
01-23-2013, 12:27 AM
My favorite band is Tool. The music is constantly intertwined with a mix of new-age spirituality woo, occultist symbolism, and general hippie bullshit. I disagree with the members on about 75% of the things they say, yet they're still my favorites.

It's always nice when your views align with an artist, but it's not a necessary aspect of enjoying the art in the slightest bit for me.