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Old 02-15-2017, 03:03 PM
2Bits 2Bits is offline
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Separating "art" from the "artist"

To what degree does the behavior of an artist (in any medium) affect your enjoyment of their output?
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:05 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is online now
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Pretty strongly, if I hear about it. I don't tend to go digging into the lives of my favorites, but if something crosses my radar, it's going to affect my choices. I won't be re-reading any of Marion Zimmer Bradley's novels, for example, nor reading any more of Orson Scott Card's.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:54 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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I've had to unfollow some stars on Twitter because they were just too political. I want to hear about the shows and the movies, not their multiple daily rants on politics.
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Old 02-15-2017, 04:36 PM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
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i prefer to "hear" what they say through their art.

if and actor has something to say about the new administration; say it in a movie.

if a sci-fi writer has something to say about homosexuality, write a book.

if a singer has something to say about women's rights, sing a song about it.

if they want to do something as a person and citizen they should do something real, like donate to a cause or organize a fund raiser.

i find artists who choose non-political public events to spout off about their concerns not only annoying, but i cheapens their message. makes it seem as if its the only thing they can be bothered to do.

if i happen to hear of the pollitcal or social viewpoints of an artist thru some other way (eg, gossip mags, or biased news sources) i'm apt to not care, even if its a stance that i oppose. i figure its every citizens right to participate in the process. good for them!

if their art or business actively discriminates, rather than promotes. i will actively avoid supporting them. for example; i dont think chik-fil-a actively discriminates against any one, the owners "promote" what they consider to be a southern baptist way off life. just because i dont agree with some of the things in that "philosophy" doesnt mean they shouldnt be allowed. on the other hand, exxon and bp actively trying to get out of their fiscal responsibility to clean up their mess does make me not purchase their products.

i realize those two examples are not artists, but its what popped into my head.



mc
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:10 PM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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Originally Posted by mikecurtis View Post
i prefer to "hear" what they say through their art.

if and actor has something to say about the new administration; say it in a movie.

if a sci-fi writer has something to say about homosexuality, write a book.

if a singer has something to say about women's rights, sing a song about it.
Certainly artists can do all those things, but if you're saying that the only way they should be allowed to comment on social issues is through their chosen art form, then I couldn't disagree more.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:36 PM
Grrr! Grrr! is offline
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It's easy for me to separate the art from the artist if it's just some dude singing on the radio.


But it's a little harder to separate the art from the artists if I have to look at their face on the TV screen.

So musicians pretty much get a pass, while actors face more scrutiny.
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:47 PM
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An artist's personal views don't affect my enjoyment of their art, and I don't really see how it could unless their art is deeply couched in politics and then I probably wouldn't be interested anyway.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:04 PM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
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sorry, wheelz, if i wasnt clear, my post should be taken as a whole.

when artists talk as artists, i think they should talk thru their art. thats what theyre good at, when artists are being rewarded for their art they should say thank you, and give recognition to others who may have helped in creating the art. holding your award above your head and shouting some political words is not only rude to the presenters and the audience, but innefective and possibly counterproductive. and i've never been intersted in knowing the artist outside of there art. i dont care about who theyre sleeping with, what political candidate they support, etc.

art can be a very powerful medium in which to get a message accross. it has the power to change minds and influence thinking. artists can sometimes achieve a certain level of celebrity. and celebrity can be powerful in getting attention to a cause that you feel strongly about. the problem, for me, comes when that celebrity artist feels that they can speak about their cause whenever and where ever they want. it can come across as shrill and preachy, and can dilute its potential impact.

citizens speaking their mind can also have a very powerful effect. but there is a difference in engaging in productive debate and yelling at those who dont agree with you. artists are of course citizens as well, and these rules of decorum shoulld apply to them as well.

on the otherside of the coin, as consumers of art (which i think the op was really asking about) i think we have to walk a tightrope. artists should be encouraged to produce art freely. even art that maybe be controversial, or have an unpopular viewpoint. and the consumer should be allowed to respond with their dollars or withholding those same dollars.

i think criticiism of art too often takes the form of trying to prevent the artist from making the art. when it should be more about just not consuming art you dont like.

personally, ive never come across art that was so distasteful or offensive that it affected the way i feel about the artist. but i have come accross art that i found just plain bad or boring, but i usually try to give the artist a second chance.

prob more than you wanted to know, but there it is

mc

Last edited by mikecurtis; 02-15-2017 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:35 PM
Shakester Shakester is offline
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I like Clint Eastwood as an actor and a director despite him endorsing some utterly terrible politics.

I like Mel Gibson as an actor and a director despite him saying some utterly repulsive things.

I like Charlton Heston despite the whole NRA thing.

I guess I can enjoy film peoples' work without their unpleasantness affecting my enjoyment.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:54 PM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
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. . . I guess I can enjoy film peoples' work without their unpleasantness affecting my enjoyment.
nevermind all that stuff i said before, this is better; just change "film people's" to "an artist's" . thank you, shakester.

mc
  #11  
Old 02-16-2017, 01:01 AM
GreenWyvern GreenWyvern is offline
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It makes a difference whether the 'problem area' of an artist's personal life is related to his work or not.

Isaac Newton was a religious fanatic with all kinds of weird ideas. Does that make his vast contribution to physics and mathematics invalid? Most certainly not. It's unrelated.

Scott Adams supports Trump. Does that mean we shouldn't read Dilbert? Maybe, because it's related. Do we really want to read a cartoon which contains social commentary, by someone whose personal judgment on social issues is so bad?

Wagner was an anti-Semite. Should we listen to his music? I think even in Israel a majority of people accept that we should. The quality of his music is not related to his beliefs about Jews.

Roman Polanski apparently drugged and raped a young girl. Does that make him a bad film director, or just a bad man?

Everyone, including artists, has their faults and their mistaken beliefs. The question is whether an artist's faults and beliefs affect his art or not.

We all have to judge for ourselves on a case by case basis.
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:22 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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I'm firmly on the "not separate" side of the fence -I make an active choice not to support artists whose moral behaviour I find abhorrent. See the Marion Zimmer Bradley threads for my feelings on the matter.
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:42 AM
Budget Player Cadet Budget Player Cadet is offline
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Wagner was an anti-Semite. Should we listen to his music? I think even in Israel a majority of people accept that we should. The quality of his music is not related to his beliefs about Jews.
I agree with you here to a degree... But imagine if Wagner was still alive, and every time you heard "Ride of the Valkyries", he was getting paid in a way you could easily find out was being channeled to antisemitic or neo-nazi sources. This is why I refuse to patronize anything remotely attached to Orson Scott Card - "Ender's Game" may be a genius book, but if my reading it puts more money in the pocket of the kind of people who will fight tooth and nail against equal rights and protections for homosexuals, I'm not going to read it. There's enough good art made by people who aren't fucking awful human beings.

You can separate it to a degree, but when people start giving the proceeds of their work to hate groups like the National Organization for Marriage, purchasing it is giving those groups more money and power.
  #14  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:44 AM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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It doesn't matter, until it does.

Clearly an eye of the beholder thing.
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:44 AM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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We've done this question a few times before haven't we?

If you have a despicable figure produce a good piece of art/literature/performance that does not propagandize that which is morally or politically objectionable, I am more likely to give it a pass than one that does. It has to be pretty bad before I go into the "I don't want to put a cent in his pocket" mode, and if it's a matter of merely his/her lawful offstage political statements I am far more lenient than if he's actively contributing to the evil side.

For historic personages of course we have the added factor of "a creature of his time" at work and that's a whole other story.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 02-16-2017 at 06:45 AM.
  #16  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:52 AM
igor frankensteen igor frankensteen is offline
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I see that a lot of people here, as everywhere, have failed to think through what SHOULD be the most obvious thing about this whole subject area.

Almost everyone thinks of famous people, artists, sports figures, important people from histories, as being something other than they are. Not as the same kind of people who we each deal with every day.

At the same time as they complain that famous people should not use their fame to promote personal agendas, they fail to realize that by making that demand, that THEY are using their idea of what famous people are all about to declare boundaries for them, which they don't hold themselves to. In short, most people who make a fuss about this, are really hypocrites, but don't realize they are, because a majority of people who join the fray are just as hypocritical as they are.

I work hard to hold myself to a basic standard of consistency. I think that what THIS is really about, is how each of us react to and deal with people who we have mixed sensibilities about.

In my own small life, there are some things a person can do and be that upset me tremendously, to the point where I can't tolerate them in my life at all, even when they are for the moment, behaving well. There are lots of other things that people do, which I find disgusting or annoying, but I don't care about enough to eject them from my life for. And of course there's stuff in between, where I only deal with the person under circumstances where I know I wont have to see or hear them indulge in whatever I dislike about them.

Same thing for famous people, as for non-famous people.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:26 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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I don't generally discriminate against art by an artist whose actions or views I dislike, but I hold myself open to the possibility. I don't think the "Well, I can always separate the two" perspective is any more open-minded or noble than throwing away all your MZB books. It's a huge world filled with tons of meaningful art that you can never consume in a lifetime so there's nothing wrong with being selective on a personal basis.

I've no beef about celebrities using their fame as a platform for their thoughts. Everyone does it to their own limits. If I had something I felt passionately about, I'd speak about it on a well-populated web forum or Facebook or something because that's my largest available audience. If I had a million people following me on Twitter or watching me on television then I'd take advantage of that platform instead. If someone just won an award and wants to use their allotted time to speak for a cause instead of thanking their mom, hey, it's their five minutes. Go win Best Actor and you can do whatever you want with your five minutes.

Last edited by Jophiel; 02-16-2017 at 08:27 AM.
  #18  
Old 02-16-2017, 10:45 AM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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If the artist is an awful person or did awful things it can cast a bit of a pall over his or her work, but generally it doesn't affect my appreciation of it. Key examples for me are Richard Wagner (noxious anti-Semite), Michael Jackson (child molester) and Bill Cosby (sexual predator). I like their stuff, and their work stands on its own merits. I will go out of my way to avoid putting money into the pockets of any living objectionable artist, though, and will get a book, DVD or CD from the library rather than buy one.
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:28 PM
FlikTheBlue FlikTheBlue is offline
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I like Clint Eastwood as an actor and a director despite him endorsing some utterly terrible politics.

I like Mel Gibson as an actor and a director despite him saying some utterly repulsive things.

I like Charlton Heston despite the whole NRA thing.

I guess I can enjoy film peoples' work without their unpleasantness affecting my enjoyment.
On these three artists I'll agree. I do draw the line at artists who are actively organizing and leading terrible things. In particular I won't watch anything with Tom Cruise.
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Old 02-16-2017, 06:38 PM
Trancephalic Trancephalic is offline
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I agree with you here to a degree... But imagine if Wagner was still alive, and every time you heard "Ride of the Valkyries", he was getting paid in a way you could easily find out was being channeled to antisemitic or neo-nazi sources. This is why I refuse to patronize anything remotely attached to Orson Scott Card - "Ender's Game" may be a genius book, but if my reading it puts more money in the pocket of the kind of people who will fight tooth and nail against equal rights and protections for homosexuals, I'm not going to read it. There's enough good art made by people who aren't fucking awful human beings.

You can separate it to a degree, but when people start giving the proceeds of their work to hate groups like the National Organization for Marriage, purchasing it is giving those groups more money and power.
I like to read Doug TenNaple's graphic novels and play his video games. I also find him a reprehensible person with really shitty views. I also recognize that in the grand scheme of things, he doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

I do share the ostensible values of the those involved with the Simpsons and the staff of the National Geographic. They are however both employed by Rupert Murdoch, someone who DOES have massive political clout, and also employs the likes of Fox News. Every subscription to NG or purchased box set of the Simpsons keeps Bill O'Reilly behind an anchor's desk.

http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/...34/688/af8.jpg

Last edited by Trancephalic; 02-16-2017 at 06:39 PM.
  #21  
Old 02-16-2017, 08:08 PM
Trinopus Trinopus is offline
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I'm firmly on the "not separate" side of the fence -I make an active choice not to support artists whose moral behaviour I find abhorrent. See the Marion Zimmer Bradley threads for my feelings on the matter.
Agreed. And Orson Scott Card. And a handful of others.

The reverse of this is, perhaps less true, but has some weight. If I meet an author (or other artist) who is really nice, friendly, cheerful, and good -- I'm more likely to buy his stuff, although perhaps not more likely to like it.

The best of all is when a really nice chap is also a sterling and inspired creator.
  #22  
Old 02-16-2017, 08:47 PM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
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.
I've no beef about celebrities using their fame as a platform for their thoughts. Everyone does it to their own limits. If I had something I felt passionately about, I'd speak about it on a well-populated web forum or Facebook or something because that's my largest available audience. If I had a million people following me on Twitter or watching me on television then I'd take advantage of that platform instead. If someone just won an award and wants to use their allotted time to speak for a cause instead of thanking their mom, hey, it's their five minutes. Go win Best Actor and you can do whatever you want with your five minutes.
well, for me, yes and no. celebrity can be a platform to get your message out and get some things done; anjelina jolie, and george clooney pop in my mind.

on the other hand, while i'm no fan of trump, i do find all these actors using every moment of their 15 minutes screeching "fuck, trump" to be incredibly annoying and message diluting. if you really hate trump so much use you valuable celebrity to actually do something. the award show thing really comes across more like, "look at me, i'm saying something important."

mc
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Old 02-16-2017, 11:08 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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... "fuck, trump" ....
Boy, there's a mixed message for you. I'm in favor of the first and against the second.
  #24  
Old 02-16-2017, 11:26 PM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
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that comma will get you every time!

mc
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:53 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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How many top-drawer directors are not psychopaths? My hunch is that Ron Howard and Betty Thomas can be trusted around my children, but their work defines "mediocre."
  #26  
Old 02-17-2017, 04:18 AM
Ignotus Ignotus is offline
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He may well have been an asshole, and even a sexual criminal, and there's evidence that he did some of his performance on camera under gun-threat, but I would still vote for Klaus Kinski as The Greatest Actor Ever, and Werner Herzog the Greatest Film Director, respectively. Aguirre is, and will for long remain, the Greatest Movie Ever!
  #27  
Old 02-17-2017, 08:38 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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on the other hand, while i'm no fan of trump, i do find all these actors using every moment of their 15 minutes screeching "fuck, trump" to be incredibly annoying and message diluting. if you really hate trump so much use you valuable celebrity to actually do something.
Who is to say they don't? You assume that they just walked up and said "Hey, Trump sucks" and then thought "Well, that solves that!" but I'm guessing many of them are more engaged (if only through financial contributions, fund raising appearances, etc).

Besides, the same applies to everyone. I can find any random person on Facebook posting about, say, abused greyhounds and start haranguing them about how come they're not spending every moment rescuing greyhounds if they really care so much. If you care so much about actors "misusing" their speeches, why aren't you talking to the Academy about setting rules instead of screeching about it on the SDMB -- see?

Ultimately though, it's their five minutes that they earned by winning the award so throwing a snit over how you think they should spend it seems rather petty. Just change the channel if it bothers you.

Last edited by Jophiel; 02-17-2017 at 08:40 AM.
  #28  
Old 02-17-2017, 08:52 AM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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I never particularly liked Woody Allen, but then the whole Soon-Yi thing totally turned me off him.

On the other hand, Roald Dahl was a genius writer. And a horrible human being.
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Old 02-17-2017, 02:45 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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For that matter, Frank Lloyd Wright was a gifted and visionary architect, but a mooch who cheated on his wife, abandoned his children, bled his clients dry and sucked as an engineer.
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Old 02-17-2017, 04:24 PM
Elemenopy Elemenopy is offline
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Good question. I honestly don't care too much about an entertainer's politics, unless they are obnoxious about it (looking sideways at you, Madonna. ) But when it seems clear that the entertainer is truly morally or ethically impaired, I do, eventually, have a hard time enjoying the work and might just avoid it altogether. C.F. Bill Cosby , Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Anne Rice, Piers Anthony, Michael Jackson...
  #31  
Old 02-17-2017, 04:54 PM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
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Who is to say they don't? You assume that they just walked up and said "Hey, Trump sucks" and then thought "Well, that solves that!" but I'm guessing many of them are more engaged (if only through financial contributions, fund raising appearances, etc).

Besides, the same applies to everyone. I can find any random person on Facebook posting about, say, abused greyhounds and start haranguing them about how come they're not spending every moment rescuing greyhounds if they really care so much. If you care so much about actors "misusing" their speeches, why aren't you talking to the Academy about setting rules instead of screeching about it on the SDMB -- see?

Ultimately though, it's their five minutes that they earned by winning the award so throwing a snit over how you think they should spend it seems rather petty. Just change the channel if it bothers you.
i never said they didnt do anything else, i said the award show stuff makes them look bad, imho, and possibly turns people off to their message. timing is everthing.

i've worked as a scenic technician for live theater for 30 years, and i cant count the number of times i've discussed this issue with my cohort; both informally over drinks and as part of groups at industry events. most of us have comes to the same conclusion: actors (and its almost always just actors, designers and techicians ussually are more quiet) should give it a rest, already! its not just their time theyre using, these award shows are expensive and time consuming for all involved, have a little courtesy!

mc
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:03 PM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
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i'm all for using celebrity for advancing you cause; whatever your cause. but read the room!

- meryl streep preaching at the golden globes = bad
- ashley judd entertaining the troops at the womens march on washington = good

celebrity can be a powerful weapon for change, but if you dont use it right, its just a stink bomb!

mc
  #33  
Old 02-17-2017, 05:25 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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its not just their time theyre using, these award shows are expensive and time consuming for all involved, have a little courtesy
It is their time. You win an award, you get to give a speech. Seeing the actors speak is a major draw to the show, otherwise you could just read the results in the next day's newspaper.
  #34  
Old 02-17-2017, 05:56 PM
Steophan Steophan is offline
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It would have to be someone who's actions truly repulsed me, the only example I can think of is literal baby-rapist Ian Watkins.

There's a tiny handful of things I won't listen to due to sheer offensiveness, although I can only think of one off the top of my head, a country song called "God Makes No Mistakes" claiming that babies born horribly deformed and suffering are still part of god's plan and something we should be thankful for.

So anything short of actually torturing babies is fine, really.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:34 PM
mikecurtis mikecurtis is offline
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i realize youre probably just egging me on, but ok, i'll take the bait. . .

these award ceremonies all started out as small industry dinners, where mucky-mucks could pat themselves on the back for all the good work theyve done. not much different for the corporate events many businesses put on today. there where NO speeches.

in the golden age of Hollywood they would film the event and show some clips during the trailers at the movies. these were mostly silent with voice-over narration, ". . .and there's joan fontaine accepting her award for suspicion; doesnt she look great. . ." still NO speeches.

when tv became the medium of choice, they would might show a highly edited ceremony as a half hour special, still no speeches.

then somebody got the bright idea to turn the oscars in to a star studded celebrity special by televising the entire ceremony. and they LET, the actors (and it was just actors at first, the academy gave out all non acting awards at a different ceremony) have a couple of seconds in front of the cameras to look glamorous and say thank you.

eventually the thank yous got longer and longer, with the actors trying to outdo one another! and the ceremony got longer and longer, almost immediately the academy tried to put out rules governing what was acceptable and how long they should talk, even going so far some years to turning mics off at the end of their time. but since most actors only exist when the spotlight is on them, they of course disregard these guidelines every year!

every year the academy does a nationwide telepoll after the event and thank you speeches are at the bottom of the list of the reasons people watch and what they like about the oscars.

so, the audience doesnt want these speeches, the academy actively tries to prevent them, most of the recipients abide by the guidelines and are embarrassed by those that dont, its not just me that finds these loudmouths annoying, its most everyone involved and watching that feels this way, too

its a few arrogant actors taking time thats NOT THEIRS to say things that most people would rather they didnt!

of course there are plenty of hollywood types that think any press is good press so they actively encourage these actors to go rogue; its all just a big game to them.

well, now that i've done just exactly what i'm ranting about by taking time out of a thread to spout off and make everyone listen to me, i guess i should stop the hijack.

mc
  #36  
Old 02-18-2017, 12:21 PM
sleestak sleestak is offline
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It depends on what the artist did that bothered me.

I won't read Orsen Scott Card anymore due to his views.

I also recently decided I won't read Stephen King and he has been my favorite writer for a long time. King doesn't like Trump. No big deal, neither do I. However King went after anyone who voted for Trump and basically called them worthless, evil people. I know some exceedingly good people who voted Trump. King, instead of trying to understand, chose to instead get his hate and moral indignation on.

I wrote a rather long email explaining why I think King is wrong on this and emailed it off to everywhere I could that might bring it to his attention. Will he read it? Probably not but oh well.

I won't buy any of his books, see any movies or otherwise give him my money from here on out. It won't affect him much but, once again, oh well. There are plenty of other writers out there that i can read who won't describe my family members (who are some of the most honest, helpful, generous people out there) as evil and hateful.

For other people, actors and such, I generally don't care enough about them to notice.

Slee
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