Jan 9, 2023Liked by Adam Nathan

Intellectually, I think we should separate creations from the creator. Emotionally, I struggle with this. Sometimes I hear a great song or watch an inspiring movie and I don't need to connect to the artists in order to find value. But when I do associate the art with the artist, suddenly the WHO made it matters. This is a tough one.

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Jan 8, 2023Liked by Adam Nathan

This is tricky sometimes... I think about someone like Richard Wagner, an unrepentant anti-semite, but he also wrote some of the most beautiful music ever written. But the dissonance is partially grounded in the time difference between his world and mine today. I know that is not an adequate justification, but he's long dead and his social/political impact is nil to none, yet the overture to "Tannhauser" still exists... "Tristan and Isolde" still reverberates in my soul. It's a little different if it is someone still trying to "influence" the world today (eg: Kanye Fucking West) with their hateful rhetoric (and frankly shitty music) that I feel it is ok to vote with my wallet and not support. That's not cancellation, it's just "you and your music suck". But of course, there are more contemporary examples... Kevin Spacey, brilliant actor... for example.

On the other topic, character in literature... I would find it nearly impossible to write one myself, but it is certainly one that I have examples of in my collection. Richard Powers creates amazing, complex moral characters that show development throughout the narrative. But some. less literal ones would be the sketched out inhabitants of the short stories of Magnus Mills (who I highly recommend), or the complex morality of Joy Williams' characters ("Breaking and Entering"... a must read).

Food for thought, Adam!

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I can’t answer the cancellation question for the same reason I can’t answer the question “When did you stop beating your wife?”. It requires me to accept a premise with which I don’t really agree, which is that cancellation - or at least what is commonly understood by it these days - is a moral act. I wonder if we have the same understanding of the term.

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Jan 8, 2023·edited Jan 8, 2023Author

A challenge of character in this post, and this will reveal something about me and make my point. I believe that a) you shouldn't assume people are guilty when you don't have enough information and they haven't been convicted and b) you have the perfect example and a record cover that says "BAD." A better person than I would not have used the example. Polanski would have been better. But, I, having a lesser character, went with the one where I would have been ashamed to meet the person directly. Sorry, Michael. I did meet you directly, and I would never have said any of this to your face.

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