Monday, January 26, 2015

#Microblog Monday - When the deed matters more than the art

A few days ago, my daughter did something which mimicked a scene from Bill Cosby's standup. Instead of posting it far and wide and laughing, I mourned, almost like I mourned a death, because I can't imagine being able to watch Mr. Cosby's art without thinking of Mr. Cosby's deeds

This seems to be a relatively new phenomenon. Few people, even Jews, have problems walking down the aisle to the Bridal Chorus written by Richard Wagner who was a notorious anti-semite and racist. No one is even suggesting removing Ty Cobb from the Baseball hall of fame. No one is suggesting that Ben Roethlisberger retire or be thrown out of football even though he has several women accusing him of rape. Is it because that Bill Cosby is black and these other three men are white?

I don't know. I can't even say what my own threshold is for ignoring the deeds of the artist to try to enjoy the art. I do know that several people crossed it. I no longer read the works of Orson Scott Card or Marion Zimmer Bradley (I actually removed all but one of her books from my collection). I can't watch Seinfeld with the same enthusiasm since the Michael Richards rant, ditto anything starring Mel Gibson, and now Bill Cosby.

I sometimes wish that I could go back to not knowing--but then my ignorance would be a problem. I don't have any answers--how do others handle this?


  1. I won't read Orson Scott Card but I used to teach Knut Hamsun. I look at each thing on a case-by-case basis. But the whole thing with Cosby saddens me because I think of the women affected and what they've carried because of his actions.

  2. I too can not separate the artist from the art. And it's good to hear others coming to this conclusion as well.