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Should support of an artist be influenced by their beliefs/attitudes?

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There is probably at least one thing about every artist, and every human on the planet, that if people knew about would cause them to dislike the person. Conversely, there is probably at least one thing about you (whether a belief you have or something you have done) that if people knew about would cause them to dislike you as well.

So I will still support the artists. At least in these instances the unpleasantness is out in the open instead of remaining concealed as it is with the majority of people.

Keep in mind though, that my definition of support is merely consuming the art. There are so many games, books, albums, and movies out there that for me to select and bestow my attention on one of them is a great honor and the artist should be content with that.

     
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rtrooney - 29 May 2013 09:04 PM

He has been vilified for decades as being the musical composer for Hitler and the Nazi regime. Wagner died on February 13, 1883, almost sixty years before Hitler invaded Poland.

True that Hitler had a great fondness of Wagner’s music, but he also had a great fondness of his strong anti-Semitic writings......which is what he is most vilified for.

Can you seperate the Man and his Music?

Wagner’s Controversies

Back to your regularly scheduled broadcast…........

     
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thejobloshow - 29 May 2013 06:43 PM

I can’t even imagine what it would be like if every single content creator was politically correct. It could get grating after a while like watching Rachel Maddow on an endless loop - after a few hours of her you’d become a hardcore conservative.

Are you actually trying to say that if we don’t financially support fascists, anti-Semites, racists, homophobes, misogynists et al., that art would become too boring so we should just hand over our cash because it’s entertaining? Because that’s what it sounds like you are saying.

It also seems to imply that bad people are better at art. This might possibly be true, but I certainly haven’t seen any convincing empirical evidence of this. If you know of any, please share.

     
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I think political correctness is an issue if said artist self-censors themselves out of fear of offending someone. Empirical evidence about art, lol. It’s good because I say it’s good.

     
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Everybody draws the line where they want. As it’s been said several times already, every person has definitely some views that we dislike - if we just dig deep enough. One can say that this is very far from being openly racist for example, but it’s not really. The line is very blurry and everyone decides whether it’s in the actions, promotions, public views, insinuating views, hidden views or whereever.

I agree with Jackal and as I said in the other thread, finding out about very unpleasant characteristics definitely affects me, makes me less eager to support their art, but I don’t intentionally start a boycott every time I find out something bad about a person. Lot of it is rumours or at least coloured stories. And I don’t usually bother finding out so much about the people behind the art anyway, though in some cases it can be interesting to reflect the maker’s thoughts from the symbolism or innuendo of the pieces.

     

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Bonsai - 30 May 2013 12:29 AM
rtrooney - 29 May 2013 09:04 PM

He has been vilified for decades as being the musical composer for Hitler and the Nazi regime. Wagner died on February 13, 1883, almost sixty years before Hitler invaded Poland.

True that Hitler had a great fondness of Wagner’s music, but he also had a great fondness of his strong anti-Semitic writings......which is what he is most vilified for.

Can you seperate the Man and his Music?

Wagner’s Controversies

Back to your regularly scheduled broadcast…........

Not to defend Wagner and I don’t know much about what he said, but I actually think anti-gay sentiments in the modern day is worse than anti-Jewish ones in the 19th century, when there was much less knowledge about genetics and race and when it would have been a more common opinion about the inferiority of other peoples (not necessarily racially). The basis for equality is much more established now, culturally and scientifically, and discrimination on the basis of race or sexuality less justifiable. There’s also a difference between being against Judaism/Jewish culture and its influence in the arts and being against Jewish people themselves.

     
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I think it depend on whether you can seperate the artist and the art.

I think exposing yourself to alternate viewpoints, even extreme ones that you don’t believe in, make you a more rounded person. Huckelberry Finn is certainly a book of it’s time. Is it racist and would it stop me reading it…Nope. Lewis Carroll has been rumoured to be too friendly to kids, does that taint Alice in Wonderland?

Someone mention Orson Scott Card earlier and he has been getting a lot of vile thrown at him in the comic community as he’s been picked for a new Superman comic and has openly made some controversal statements on religion and gay marriage.

Does that mean I should boycott reading Enders Game again, or never play Secret of Monkey Island or The Dig again?

Nope.

I’m sure there is probably a line I wouldn’t cross, Esp if the art promoted a viewpoint I wasn’t happy with, but I would rather judge the art itself on it’s merits and not the artist.

     

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Zifnab - 30 May 2013 02:39 AM

Not to defend Wagner and I don’t know much about what he said, but I actually think anti-gay sentiments in the modern day is worse than anti-Jewish ones in the 19th century, when there was much less knowledge about genetics and race and when it would have been a more common opinion about the inferiority of other peoples (not necessarily racially). The basis for equality is much more established now, culturally and scientifically, and discrimination on the basis of race or sexuality less justifiable. There’s also a difference between being against Judaism/Jewish culture and its influence in the arts and being against Jewish people themselves.

This idea of a hierarchy of suffering or discrimination is silly. But, if you want to go there, anti-semitism has been around since antiquity. Pogroms, scapegoating, etc. I’m not Jewish, but I’m well aware of this.

As for extreme anti-gay environments today, you can find them in many Islamic countries, where gay sex can get you serious prison time or even lead to your being put to death.

Not wanting to change what marriage means is not necessarily anti-gay. Vilifying and smearing someone (who doesn’t want the definition marriage changed) as a “homophobic” bigot is an Alinsky tactic meant to use personal ridicule to get others to dismiss the person and not consider their ideas. It is cheap smearing and vilification, not honestly challenging the opposition’s ideas. The goal is to shut down debate by branding your opponents’ positions as “hate” and your opponents themselves as evil bigots.

If people want to be stupid and pick a cultural battle over the TenNapel thing, then they should remember what happened with Chick-fil-A in the United States. It’s disgusting how people would want to try to hurt the career of someone just because they have different political and cultural views. Who are the real hateful ones here? If a boycott effort were to get lots of attention, then the backlash against the boycott and in support of TenNapel’s project could be enormous, especially if American conservative media sound the alarm. These are the same kinds of things we saw during the last few elections. Supporters of marriage ballot proposals were attacked, vilified, targeted at their places of business, etc. It makes me sick. And I am someone who believes in equality for all sexual orientations, etc. But vilification and forced acceptance of changing what marriage means, under the nice sounding and misleading guise of “equality,” is something else.

     
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Now, in reference to the original question…

I would be willing to support projects by artists with opposing views, for the most part.

Let’s say a group of “Occupy Wall Street” types (you know, the worthless, welfare-demanding crowd who belong to Obama’s base of voter support) were able to stop pooping on police cars long enough to cobble together an AG development team with the goal of producing a charming point-and-click reminiscent of the Sierra and LucasArts classics. And let’s say these takers were able to refrain from playing the race card and demanding the wealth from society’s makers for long enough to put together a Kickstarter for such a game, the plot of which would have nothing to do with their political views. And let’s say the project showed promise. Despite the fact that these people are the dregs of society with repugnant and idiotic views, I would consider backing the project, since I really like to see good adventure games.

Now let’s consider something else. Let’s say members of Al Qaeda launched a Kickstarter to produce a DOTT-inspired, multi-playable character comedy adventure. I don’t care how good the graphics are or how excellent the script is (even if it approached Josh Mandelian levels of greatness), I’m not backing. I will never support jihadists, period.

In general I try to separate how I feel about people’s political views from their art. Unless the people are murderers, rapists, promoting terrorism, etc., I am usually able to keep that stuff separate, assuming the work is not political in nature.

     
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Quest1 - 30 May 2013 10:30 AM

Let’s say members of Al Qaeda launched a Kickstarter to produce a DOTT-inspired, multi-playable character comedy adventure. I don’t care how good the graphics are or how excellent the script is (even if it approached Josh Mandelian levels of greatness), I’m not backing. I will never support jihadists, period.

Now that’s too much of “let’s say” Wink - it will never happen. Never, in the history of games, did any sort of a “labeled group” other than game company group (whether it’s a political or criminal group) did produce a game. Tongue The only thing that could potentially hurt the game company in that regard is if the company in question would officially state some attitudes on politics, social life… but that didn’t happen either.

CoyoteAG - 29 May 2013 01:54 PM

Everyone has the choice to support or not support a project for whatever reason makes sense to them, whether it is based solely on the merits of the project itself or is influenced by their feelings about the creator. Who are we to tell anyone they are wrong in their personal choice?

Blackthorne - 29 May 2013 07:13 PM

Ultimately, it’s up to the consumer on a case by case basis.  There is no hard and fast right or wrong answer on this one.

This and this. And there’s one other very important point here - games are not always the “child” of one man, no matter if that man might be the main designer. It’s quite different to compare (and thus, judge) composers, writers, sculptors, painters… with people who work on games. Games are more like movies - would you condemn a movie featuring your favorite composer even before you’ve seen it only because the director or screenwriter stated some things you don’t agree with?

The point is that beliefs/attitudes of one man, in most cases shouldn’t be enough to have any sort of prejudice when it comes to games.

     

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Blackthorne - 29 May 2013 07:13 PM

Ultimately, it’s up to the consumer on a case by case basis.  There is no hard and fast right or wrong answer on this one.


Bt

Completely agree, and there isn’t really much more to say about it.

Quest1 - 30 May 2013 09:25 AM

It’s disgusting how people would want to try to hurt the career of someone just because they have different political and cultural views.

I can agree with that, but choosing not to give a guy money from your own wallet, because you dislike him, can’t really be compared to actively hurting someone’s career.

     

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Dag - 30 May 2013 11:30 AM
Quest1 - 30 May 2013 09:25 AM

It’s disgusting how people would want to try to hurt the career of someone just because they have different political and cultural views.

I can agree with that, but choosing not to give a guy money from your own wallet, because you dislike him, can’t really be compared to actively hurting someone’s career.

Very true. I assume he was referring more to cases where people organize a boycott to try to stop something from being made, or get somebody kicked out of a job, like the situation with Orson Scott Card (don’t know if any serious boycott was organized with respect to the Ender’s Game movie, but such tactics certainly had an effect on his writing for the Superman comic).

     
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The thing is that when you back a kickstarter, then you are not just buying a product or supporting a specific project, you are also supporting and helping the people behind the project. This means that what kind of people we are supporting also becomes a relevant issue, and if the people are political active, then it also means there is a political aspect to it.

I am not talking about that I wont support artists unless their political views etc. are exactly the same as mine, it is perfectly possible to respect someone even if their views are the direct opposite of your own. But there has to be a line somewhere, there is simply a limit to how extreme views an artist can have, before i cannot support them with a good conscience. It might be a difficult line to draw in advance, and something I have to decide from case to case, but there has to be a line.

Someone also talked about the difference between the artist and the art, that just because an artist has some political views then it doesn’t necessarily has to be reflected in the art. But things aren’t created in a vacuum like that, even if it doesn’t turn into some kind of political manifest, then the views of the artist still manages to find its way into the art, and i wouldn’t have it any other way. Art that is chemically cleaned of any kind of opinion or world view, is in my opinion just dull and uninteresting.

Some of you have already given some good examples, but lets try with a different kind of example:
Would you buy shares in a weapon manufacturer?
You could argue that you are just making the best investment that you can, and that if you didn’t do it many others would, that it wouldn’t stop weapons from being made or people from killing each other.
Or if you happen to believe that weapons are a good thing, and the world would be a better place if we were all armed, then there wouldn’t be any dilemma at all.
But if you are a convinced pacifist and you still buy shares in a weapon manufacturer, then it is in my opinion just hypocrisy.

Then there is the whole issue of self-censorship. I believe in free-speech and that it should apply to all to, also artist, but just because you can say anything you want, then it doesn’t mean that you should just say everything that pops into mind, in order to have a civilized debate some self-restraint is also needed. Imo a bit of self-censorship isn’t a bad thing, eg there has been many occasions here in the forum, where i have felt the urge to call someone an idiot or something similar, but i haven’t, partly because it is not a very productive form of debate, and partly because it would most likely just fall back on myself and damage my reputation.

     

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Quest1 - 30 May 2013 10:30 AM

Now, in reference to the original question…

I would be willing to support projects by artists with opposing views, for the most part.

Let’s say a group of “Occupy Wall Street” types (you know, the worthless, welfare-demanding crowd who belong to Obama’s base of voter support) were able to stop pooping on police cars long enough to cobble together an AG development team with the goal of producing a charming point-and-click reminiscent of the Sierra and LucasArts classics. And let’s say these takers were able to refrain from playing the race card and demanding the wealth from society’s makers for long enough to put together a Kickstarter for such a game, the plot of which would have nothing to do with their political views. And let’s say the project showed promise. Despite the fact that these people are the dregs of society with repugnant and idiotic views, I would consider backing the project, since I really like to see good adventure games.

Now let’s consider something else. Let’s say members of Al Qaeda launched a Kickstarter to produce a DOTT-inspired, multi-playable character comedy adventure. I don’t care how good the graphics are or how excellent the script is (even if it approached Josh Mandelian levels of greatness), I’m not backing. I will never support jihadists, period.

In general I try to separate how I feel about people’s political views from their art. Unless the people are murderers, rapists, promoting terrorism, etc., I am usually able to keep that stuff separate, assuming the work is not political in nature.

You do realize that calling a group of people “worthless” is at least as bad as anything anyone has said on the forum, or worse. There’s no small hypocrisy in that. You also need to stop using a tiny, highly stereotyped group of people which probably exist somewhere in the world (like everything does) as a scapegoat for your views. It’s not applicable here and no one is trying to ruin anyone’s career.

     
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The people that are not supporting Armikrog because of political issues, with a hand in your heart: Do you think The Neverhood is a bad game? Do you think Armikrog looks like to be bad game? Do you think it makes a difference about your political point of view if it never gets done? It improves something? Gets people attention about anything?

I don’t get it. I didn’t know about this Doug Tennapel controversy until know. But i do not regret my backing. While Doug might be a jerk, his work still amaze me. And the group of people that work with him might not be as big jerks as himself.
Besides, guys, someone says something you do not agree with and suddenly he is Hitler or a terrorist? Really? What’s up with those silly comparisons?

     

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