Someone shared this link in my Facebook feed. In the very near future, I’m deleting my facebook and all the stuff I post on it… only to create a blank profile beforehand, for maintaining my music pages as administrator. I hate Facebook SO much. But, I’m glad I saw this. First, read this LONG article….. then, my short reply, below.
That article is a long, but superb read. For me, I can separate the art from the person making it. You’re supposed to do that.
“You don’t judge a writer by his life, you judge him by his work.” (The United States of Leland, 2003).
Michael Jackson was a weird, weird guy. But the music’s tremendous.
David Bowie had sex with.. well let’s just say a lot of younger women, in his time. Way more than made headlines, and way more than you can possibly imagine. The music’s great.
Victor Salva, the guy who directed/wrote the brilliant 1995 film Powder… love that movie. I also love his film adaptation, Peaceful Warrior (2006). Salva’s a creep. No doubt.
Polanski? Same. Nabakov, sure. How about Stanley Kubrick directing Lolita, too? How about the Lolita remake with Dominique Swain? What about every film trope about the young, beautiful girl and the nerdy guy who gets her? What about every film trope about the older guy and younger, beautiful woman? What about renaissance art with the gorgeous women and royal male blood (often fat, pathetic-looking men)?
Louis CK did not rape anyone. He committed sexual misconduct. And then women (reluctantly) allegedly agreed to watch (from what I understand). Still. They allegedly could have walked away. Or maybe they couldn’t have. I wasn’t there. Neither were all of us. I’m not saying CK is not at fault. He made a mistake. Several times with several different women. But he owned it, which was something so few do. He owned it. He will be back. Just as others who fucked up in entertainment and history came back. Louis CK is brilliant. Few can argue that. He’s got some kinky fetishes. So does the priest at your local church (hard to believe, but it’s true). A lot of people have weird kinks and fetishes and as long as they’re not crossing the line and as long as there’s full consent with another party… there is no issue. But of course, when there is not full consent… yes, that’s a huge problem. and it’s wrong. And no one is immune to law. Wrong is wrong, plain and simple.
The thing is though… we are slowly destroying art and censoring it with our sensitivities and our constant “I’m offended by everything!!!”… this is not the way forward. Pretty soon there will be no films like Irreversible (2002) which has the MOST UNCOMFORTABLE RAPE SCENE EVER in it… but that is not why it is a good movie. It’s a good movie because it’s friggin’ art! The way it’s shot. The score which deliberately has frequencies within the music to make people nauseous, as the plot builds in reverse. Tremendous film. Tremendous acting and story. And special effects.
Woody Allen’s Woody Allen. I’m not saying “boys will be boys.” That has been a problematic phrase since the beginning of time. Manhattan, Annie Hall, it’s ALL important stuff, in filmmaking. These are timeless, brilliant films that changed the game every single time. The reason I still want to be a filmmaker, and hope I can eventually do a feature at some point in my life, is because of Woody Allen movies, and other “human” stories, like Edward Burns, etc. Speaking of filmmakers.. how about Vincent Gallo? He’s the biggest a-hole alive (selling his sperm online for $1,000,000, and a date night with him for $10,000), but that doesn’t mean Buffalo ’66 deserves to be in the top ten list of “best indie films EVER MADE.” Because it so does. And he’s still an a-hole, and very likely a creep, though we haven’t heard anything about his wrongdoings.
We are destroying art, though. We are destroying it. We are erasing these films, books, comedy specials, tv shows, and PEOPLE from history. That isn’t right. Ghengis Khan was a terrible monster, but historically, we still acknowledge that he existed. Many famous novelists were alcoholic, wife-beating, misogynist, sex-addict a-holes. Does that mean their books shouldn’t exist? No.
I’m not trying to open up a gigantic can of worms. Humans are complex animals. If there’s anything I’ve learned from over three years of weekly therapy, it’s to take a look from inside as well as outside. And know that people make mistakes. They can be pervy and creepy. And often are (and even the most religious, uptight people have been known and proven to be insanely kinky and/or wacky). Guys are pigs. Boys are pigs. But it is also a common fact that middle-aged/older women also drunkenly creep on entertainers: bands, comedians, even roadies for bands. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, for 20+ years. I’ve had women quickly/gently cop a feel on my crotch, after a musical performance (true, it was when no one was looking/noticing, but it happened). I’ve had women rub my thighs and arms with definite sexual intent, with a strong look of longing in their eyes, while saying “that was GREAT. You were GREAT.” I was a ball of sweat, and that was the last thing I was thinking about after my performance. I laughed, and I took the high road… and said “thank you for the kind words, I’m glad you enjoyed the show! I have to pack up now… thanks for coming!”
We are animals. Does that make it right? No, it certainly does not make it right. All we can do is teach at a young age to respect each other. Teach boys to RESPECT THE PERSONAL SPACE OF YOUNG GIRLS, and teach girls the same (I know they’re taught much differently than boys, but still). Then, teach teenagers the same. Have a class about it in 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th-12th grade…. or spend a WEEK in sex-ed or sexuality classes…. about respecting girls and vice-versa. And consent. And be real about it. Don’t be all stupid/cheesy/grade-G about it. Be real about it. Especially as kids get older and pass puberty. Every year, teach and reinforce this. And parents should always be teaching this. And further!!!
Teach our adult friends to respect the personal space of adult women and men in public places. I understand that alcohol is a social lubricant and it plays a huge part in nightlife/gross culture (which is yet another reason I DON’T DRINK AT ALL, because, let’s face it– alcohol is disgusting, and alcohol has been responsible for the most reprehensible behavior, especially in Americans)…. but, you gotta teach and CONTINUE TEACHING children, teenagers, adults… to respect the personal space of the opposite (or same) gender. Respect. Respect. Respect. Respect!!!!!
And if you see something happening……. protect the women (or men!) in situations like that…. you see a guy being touchy-feely with a girl who doesn’t want it? Step in and take his hands off of her and throw him out of the venue. Or do the same if you see an older, inebriated woman being a bit too forward with a male entertainer or musician. Just step in between and kindly, respectfully break the touch/hold/caressing…. anything. Especially if they’re drunk and aren’t thinking clearly. Silence and inaction/indifference is just as bad as something bad happening!!!
But this stuff happens EVERY NIGHT, EVERY DAY! That doesn’t make it right!!! Put a stop to it if you’re at the concert, the bar, the club, the park. ANYTHING. Do not stand idly by. Step in and correct the nasty behavior that goes on.
And empathy. Empathy.
Someone close to me shared this video with me…. that EVERYONE should see:
Back to art.
Ultimately… you’ve gotta separate the art and let the art live. No more censorship when it comes to this shit. I’m so tired of censorship in music, literature, film, television.
Censorship needs to stop, but more so… rape culture and plain old “creeping” needs to stop, too. Of course it does. We are animals, but we can learn to be more civilized. Or can we? I don’t know. But please. Keep the art separate. Stop erasing art from history. If there’s anything we as a culture need more of, it’s good art. Less stupidity and more good art. And more open discussion about this shit. The only way forward is to communicate!!!!!
F–k. We are living in strange times, indeed.