Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Work vs The Creator

Cerebus Vol 9: Reads (1995)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard

DAVE SIM:
(from the Kickstarter Q&A, May 2014)
...I've never been in the situation where I would Not Read someone else's work because of political or personal differences. At least part of that I think is because I've always known the work more than the person, whoever the person was. It would seem really weird to me to have someone's personal or political views get "in the way" of their work. It's either good work and worth looking at or it isn't. If it IS good work, how would you change your mind about it? I think you'd have to be disassociate by nature to be able to do that. To keep various Realities in different compartments in your head. "I liked this work in 1994 but then I had to stop liking it." How do you STOP liking something creative? Gives me the creeps to even think of thinking that way...

13 comments:

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

I might infer from this that Dave is making a defence against people who have said they don't like Cerebus because of Dave's viewpoints. The key point is that such people most often say that the viewpoints they object to are the ones in the work itself, not just Dave's viewpoints he holds personally. Dave has refused to read religious works whose viewpoints he objects to. It's like that.

-- Damian

Killyrcomics said...

I think not reading a work because of the work itself makes perfect sense. I do rememer a lot of people calling for a boycott of Ender's Game because of the views of Orson Scott Card and not any objection to the work itself. I have not conducted a statistical poll of comic book readers who don't read Cerebus as to their reasons why. Your comments make it seem like you have access to some data so I would love to see it.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

It's a different point, but it's also perfectly fine to say, "I disagree with the views of a creator, so I don't want to support that creator with my dollars, so I'm going to boycott that creator's work." It's even perfectly fine to try to convince other people to do the same. That's what pluralism and freedom of speech are all about.

-- Damian

Gary Boyarski said...

The phrase; "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Often comes to my mind whenever I come across these sorts of differences in opinion. I think it sums up fairly well what freedom of speech should encompass.

CerebusTV said...

As Twain put it, "...in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either."

However, few there are who live up even to their own standards, allowing with Emerson that "foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."

Killyrcomics said...

Obviously, people are free to do as they please, assuming they are not breaking any laws. However, I wouldn't say it was "perfectly fine" because it is neither fine nor perfect in a progressive society. That is my opinion and it is acceptable for you to disagree.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Well, Killyrcomics, we obviously have different ideas of what a progressive society would look like. And that's perfectly fine.

-- Damian

Sandeep Atwal said...

Ideological purity is the new normal:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/thats-not-funny/399335/

"Sarah Silverman has described the laugh that comes with a 'mouth full of blood'—the hearty laugh from the person who understands your joke not as a critique of some vile notion but as an endorsement of it. It’s the essential peril of comedy, as performers from Dave Chappelle to, most recently, Amy Schumer understand all too well. But to enroll in college and discover that for almost every aspect of your experience—right down to the stand-up comics who tell jokes in the student union—great care has been taken to expose you to only the narrowest range of approved social and political opinions: that’s the mouth full of blood right there."

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

I fear, Sandeep, that young minds exposed to new ideas for the first time may, shall we say, over-indulge in those ideas. I'm not certain "ideological purity" is the "new normal", but it might be the new moral panic. If ever there was a place where it is appropriate (I would go further, and say mandatory) to have your ideas challenged, it should be institutes of higher learning.

Of course, with speaking (as with all actions), actions have consequences -- for example, look at Dave Sim. He has the right to say whatever sexist things he wants -- and other people have the right to disagree, and to argue against him, and not buy his books. As Gary quoted above, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,"; one could add, "and I will criticize what you have to say as wrong." Pluralism in action!

-- Damian

Barry Deutsch said...

Of course, people have a free speech right to organize boycotts of an artist's work for his or her political views.

But I wish people wouldn't. It turns into a form of economic coercion too easily.

Max West said...

Ad hominem is a serious logical fallacy; you can't simply criticize someone's creative work solely on what the creator is like.

I've had people attack my own work because of a personal grudge against me. And when I had Cerebus cameo in my own comics (Sunnyville Stories), some even started thinking I was a wacko just for "associating" with Dave Sim. (On another note, I don't see how putting someone else's character in one's own work is associating.)

nonservator said...

Dave Sim is as much a "sexist" as Curtis Yarvin is "racist": Only perceived as such by the intellectually feeble, conveniently hypocritical, and morally bankrupt.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Nonservator, you have either drunk the Kool-Aid, or you seriously need to work on your reading comprehension and critical thinking. Your mention of Curtis Yarvin inclines me to believe the former, but it might not be an either/or thing. Plenty of people have trotted out plenty of quotations of Dave's own words to demonstrate my claim and refute yours. Simcophants will always maintain Dave is neither sexist nor misogynist, just anti-feminist; intelligent people will always wonder how the Simcophants can ignore Dave's own words. We can get into this tiresome argument again if you wish, but is there a point? Rather than bore everyone here again, perhaps you would email me.

-- Damian