Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Artist versus Art

Recently there has been are serious debate over The Artist versus his Art, meaning does one support the art of someone whose views one finds repugnant.  This argument is an old one not a recent one.  It came up in recent news due to the controversy over Orson Scott Card writing for a Superman comic book.  Mr. Card has extreme anti-Same Sex Marriage and anti-LGBT Rights views.  He has advocated rebellion against our government if Same Sex Marriage laws were passed on a national level.  The problem is some people want to separate Mr. Card’s political views from his work.  While others want to boycott him for what they believe is a hate filled political opinion.  The question is can one divorce the art from the artist or should one.  Mr. Card has been using the proceeds of his work to fund organizations and campaigns that work against equality when referring to the LGBT community.  Due to that, people in that community or supportive of it want to boycott him.  They do not want him to be able to fund a Hate campaign.  Mr. Card has every right to believe what ever he wants.  One the other hand folks have the right to refuse to support something they find repellent. 

One argument in this situation is that Mr. Card’s views contradict the heart of the character of Superman.  Superman is the defender of the weak, the downtrodden and the oppressed.  Many feel that Superman, if he was real, would not support Mr. Card as his story teller.  I agree that Mr. Card’s personal beliefs do not synch up with what is the heart of the character.  Superman could not in good conscience advocate withholding rights and institutions to any segment of society.  So I wonder what DC Comics was thinking when Mr. Card’s stances are public knowledge.  They should have been able to anticipate this public outcry or at least someone in Time Warner’s legal department.  I myself was not planning on reading this.  Not due to the political and social ramifications, but because I am not a big Superman fan.  I do agree with the principles of the boycott.

I enjoyed Mr. Card’s Alvin the Maker series of novels.  I was a big fan of them.  That was before I discovered his political views.  Some people are able to divorce an artist from his work.  People will listen to Wagner’s work despite his being an Anti-Semite.  People like Michael Jackson’s music despite allegations against him for child sexual abuse. Mr. Jackson was never convicted, so they are only allegations.  As for Wagner he is gone so he does not get any money to support his racist views.  Mr. Card is supporting and funding his hateful ideology.  I personally cannot support someone like that.  That is My Not So Humble Opinion.

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