Clarification: When I write, I don't prepare or organize my ideas, I just write what I would say if I was talking to you in person, so sometimes my blogs end up a little messy. I don't even proof-read what I write before posting it so you may find grammatical mistakes and poorly written sentences. Sometimes I'll read my blogs a day or two after publishing them and I may re-write things that weren't too clear and any embarrassing grammatical mistake. Also, English is not my first language, so I apologize if reading my blogs become a struggle. Of course, if this is the case, I would imagine you wouldn't continue reading.

Mar 15, 2013

Separating The Art From The Artist.

I started writing this blog a couple of weeks ago, so when I say "a few hours ago", "last night", or "yesterday", I'm referring to that moment.

Just a few hours ago I watched a documentary on YouTube called The Bridge, about the people who choose to end their lives by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. It was interesting and haunting at the same time. It made me sad. The film shows actual footage off a number of people jumping to their deaths at the Golden Gate Bridge (making it even more intense), as well as interviews with the victims' relatives and close friends. I call them victims for lack of a better term.

I knew nothing about the film or the way the morbid footage of the suicides was obtained, but I didn't find anything wrong or offensive about it. It certainly doesn't seem to have been done with the intention of ridiculing the people shown committing suicide. It was definitely different and interesting, so I decided to share it with my friends on Facebook, as I always do whenever I find something really good, really funny, or really interesting. This resulted in yet another one of those situations that only I can get myself into.

Not even five minutes after posting The Bridge on my Facebook wall, I get a message from an online friend where she expresses her repudiation of the documentary. The reason was that one of the people shown jumping of the bridge was a close friend of hers. She said that the director of the film shot the interviews with family and friends of the "jumpers" without telling them that he had footage of the actual suicides which was going to be included in the documentary. She also said that she spent a long time in court fighting against the director of the film, in order to get her interview pulled from it. Dayum! The message ended with something like "do whatever you want with your post", which I didn't really understand.

It was a very unexpected message. I started writing her a response offering my condolences and assuring her I didn't post it to hurt or offend her or anyone, when I got interrupted by a comment made on my post by someone who had seen the documentary. After I commented back, which didn't take but a minute, I resumed typing my reply, but before I was done I received a second message from my cyber-friend reaffirming what she had said in her first message and saying terrible things about the director of the "snuff" film, who I was helping make money and supporting with my Facebook post. She ended her message by saying that I "just don't understand". Then she unfriended me. It all happened in just a matter of minutes.

Before she unfriended me, I did think about deleting the post, but she never asked me to, if she had, I would most certainly done so. I was going to ask her if that was what she meant when she wrote "do whatever you want with your post" at the end of her first message. After she unfriended me it was clear that was the only reason she was messaging me, but it was too late. So, I had to delete half of the message I had written and take a different approach. We exchanged a few messages where I expressed that I knew nothing about the film, or her friend, or the director, and that I didn't even have time to react, among other things, but I couldn't say anything to make her change her mind, I was "not a friend". I understand this must be a very delicate subject for her, but I find her judgement and actions compulsive and unfair.

This awkward situation made me think about all the artists and celebrities that we admire that might have hurt other people in unimaginable ways, which I'm sure happens all the time, especially when they become rich and famous at a very young age. We even know about some cases, but I'm willing to bet there's a lot more that remains private. How many lives have been forever fucked by these people? How many of these situations have resulted in people taking their own lives? We'll never know, but do we care about it when we're not directly affected? It appears that sometimes we do but most times we don't, even when we dealing with fairly similar situations, it's hard to predict how the public will react. Of course, there's a line that when crossed it will erase all possibilities of redemption or forgiveness, like child molestation, for example. For the most part, it appears as we don't mind supporting people who we know have caused a lot of pain and who are perceived by some as selfish pricks.

Acknowledging this does make me feel a little guilty, I must say, because I don't like the idea of admiring assholes, and I'm sure if I or one of the people I love was personally affected, I wouldn't be so supportive of the offender artist or celebrity, but that's natural. How do we deal with people who produce excellent work but who aren't that great as human beings? What if that was the reason these people produce brilliant work? Shit, I don't know, but I think I would be a little turned off if I knew about certain things, but because we're never really certain, we can't do much about it.

Let's talk about some cases of celebrities that have done doodoos that the public became aware of. First one that comes to mind is Chris Brown, of course, he fucked up big time, and he has gained a hating following, but it doesn't seem to have affected him that much at a professional level. Did he even go to jail? I think he got away with a too sweet of a punishment. How about Mel Gibson? Shit, the dude is demented and a certified asshole, but I admit I enjoyed Apocalypto. How about someone like Nikki Sixx? This is an asshole that I like, but it may be because he apparently found the way to redemption with his brutally honest autobiographical books, The Dirt and Heroin Diaries, because he probably was a worse person than Brown and Gibson together. Taking responsibility for your mistakes will go a long way, I think. There are celebrities which haven't been so lucky, like Paul Reubens, for example. He just jerked off, like 99% of the people, at a movie theater where people go to jerk off, he did not deserve to be condemned to a permanent retirement like he did. There are also the sex scandals, which could result in rejection from the good and honorable Christian people because it offensive to their morals, and who are a big percentage of the people in this country. At least if you're a Miss America contestant, otherwise you can pee on a prostitute's mouth on film, like Chuck Berry, or have sex with a tranny in a parking lot, like Hugh Grant (or was that Eddie Murphy? Or both), or fuck your fans with a shark, like Led Zeppelin, and no one even remembers in a couple of weeks. Steve Jobs supposedly was such an asshole that many of his employees ended up in tears after being publicly humiliated by him, but that never stopped anyone from worshiping him. Perhaps certain deities are allowed to be dicks, just read the Bible if you want to know about a dick who's loved by billions. So, the only thing I know is that it's really interesting to observe how the public perceive celebrities after they have fucked up.

Now, going back to the beginning of this blog, one thing is how we feel about what celebrities do, but I think that, for the most part, it's not right to judge people because of the celebrities or artists they happen to admire, regardless of what they've done. That makes no sense, unless they are celebrating the pain these celebrities have caused to other people. In my case with the post of The Bridge, I didn't even know anything about the director, and I don't think posting a pirated YouTube version of the film that was probably watched by 3 people made the dude any cash either. Also, after the whole incident with my ex-cyberfriend, I did a little research and discovered that most of the people who's loved ones are shown in the film jumping off the bridge were not offended by it, nor did they try to take legal action against this horrible person to stop him from releasing the documentary. Actually, her opinion was the odd one of the bunch, I'm afraid.

It's never my intention to offend anyone whenever I post something (well, usually). Had I known the situation with my friend and The Bridge, I wouldn't have shared my post with her, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case. It's still totally unreasonable to think I'm doing anything questionable for just posting something, anything, and being slow at typing. I can't really check the records of all the people behind my posts to make sure they haven't done anything to you or your friends, it's impossible. So for example, if I ever post an AC-DC video and it happens that Angus Young fucked your mom and then called her a slut and asked her to leave, I'm very very sorry, I didn't mean to disrespect your mother and I'm not justifying the actions of a rock star, I'm just rocking out, that's all.

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