In art, I’m looking for ideas for living

I was also gonna say about the CBS story about whether some artists should be … “canceled”: the interesting thing to me to me was the question of whether certain artists’ art should be downplayed, because the flip side is that we weren’t demanding this work in the first place, especially pop songs, TV shows. These were promoted by lots of money from profit-seekers. Nobody asked us if we wanted M. Jackson’s songs. I mean, of course, there was no survey — he and the corporate backers put music out, promoted it, and the people bought the records — so it was a vote by consumption, and — my short answer is, no, I don’t really care if the art from shitty people isn’t so prominent. … In art, I’m looking for ideas for living (and, no, I’m not saying all art should be didactic). I want models for living, ways of living, experiencing, etc., that come from good people. I don’t need stories of people behaving badly — and, no, I wouldn’t seek to regulate some art as degenerate, of course. I just don’t care for it. I don’t see a great loss if I no longer listen to the jokes of a Louis C.K. type, to a person who has disrespectful views and practices. Again, I’m not talking about public regulation. I’m saying, I guess, that nobody owes Louie a career, either. Should D.F. Wallace fail to gain more money because he was an asshole to a lot of women (esp. Mary Karr?) I mean, at some level, it’s a no-brainer: a person can be fired from a job for cause of being rude to colleagues and bosses. Why should artists be any different? And as someone on CBS show said, people are complicated. Sure, I’m not a perfect person, either. … I’m not perfect. Of course, I don’t deserve readers, either. 

[From journal of Sun., 28 March 2021, journal 340, page 137-8]

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