Dave got kind of complicated about how perceptions of artists' works change when fans hear them say things that are offensive, and should we let that happen, and so on. I don't think it's that complex a problem, really, or at least I don't believe in being complicated about it and agonizing over it. I'm through agonizing over these people. (That is my way of dealing with it. I was not writing my post in the idea that everyone should do as I do.) For one thing, I don't believe in "boycotts" per se. I prefer to take it on a case-by-case basis, because, well, it's my money and my time. For instance, Viggo Mortenson's spouting off really annoyed me, not because he criticised the president or the war or thinks different than I do, but because what he had to say was so dumb and juvenile. But I'm still going to buy the Two Towers dvd, I'm still going to see Return of the King. And if he appears in another movie that looks good I'll see it sometime like as not. (Note: it has to fit into my rather narrow criteria of movies that I like.) I simply refuse to read any of his interviews, buy any of his "poetry" books (ugh), and so on. As for the Dixie Chicks, I have no interest in their music, but that has always been the case. I am actually getting sick of them -- their reputation has outpaced their rather feeble talent, and as for their talents as provacateuses, they disappoint, to say the least. I was merely pissed that they trash-talked the leader of their country to a bunch of foreigners; I was brought up to believe that one simply doesn't air one's dirty laundry (if one thinks it's dirty) to strangers like that. Sue me, I think my mama brought me up right. But I don't care if people buy their records and go see them; they can keep on having a nice, successful career.
What bothers me is not the anti-Bushisms and even anti-Americanisms (or stuff that can be taken that way) that the celebrities spout, it is the stupidity of what they have to say. It's barely above "Bush eats worms!" playskool taunts. It pains me to see people reveal their stupidity while their minders nod and pat their charges' heads and count the money. I get tired of having to tell myself that contrary to appearances, members of the entertainment industry are not any more jacked into what's going on in the world than the average 7-11 clerk in Podunkville, Nowhere -- often much less so. It's a mistake to think that just because someone is wildly talented in one area, or even two or three, that they are intellectual giants as well.
But that having been said, for the most part, my restaurant analogy still stands for me. I prefer not to be insulted -- to have my intelligence insulted by someone who is my intellectual inferior in everything but musical or acting ability, merely because they have fame and money and have access to millions of sycophantic fans and have "important" media people hanging on their every word and I don't. I don't need my entertainment that badly. If I happen to hear something an artist says that colors my perception of his work badly enough so that I can no longer enjoy it, too bad for me, but I think it's even worse for the artist. How sad is that, to lose a fan over something stupid you said? I'm not going to make an effort to jump the hurdles these idiots place in front of my enjoyment of their work anymore if I don't feel like it. Why should I? I have a life. For example: so Jessica Lange thinks she can keep my eyes on her after switching her heinie across the pond and telling the Euros how she's "ashamed to be American"? Screw you, Jessie, and thanks for the "honest opinion." Hope you like your new European fans, you've lost at least one American. And so on.Posted by Andrea Harris at May 7, 2003 03:46 AM