May not be possible. I think the obligation, if there is one, is to your own conscience. If you are aware of something, if it contradicts your values, be honest with yourself about how you feel about materially supporting the person in question.
Have you investigated the global economy? If you live in a first-world country, any economic activity you generate contributes to immeasurable systemic human suffering. We are all morally stained if we don’t either revolt or kill ourselves.
Ignorance is bliss.
I dunno. It’s nice right up until the point where it bites you in the ass.
It’s why I live on an organic farm. It’s a wish and a prayer that I might live a life that grows less harmful to the planet as I improve my competence with living on it.
But I’m also mindful of the many contradictions in my lifestyle, and the degree to which it is difficult, if not impossible, to separate oneself from the society we find ourselves embedded within.
Nobody ever said that bliss was safe or secure.
Life engineering: it’s a compromise.
I keep thinking about this thread - in the context of Kevin Spacey, and now Louis CK
I have to admit something always seemed a little off about both of them, to me.
The accusations around Louis CK have been swirling around for a few years now, glad it’s finally getting more attention.
It’s good that stuff like this is coming up, but some of the NYT article comes across as moral judgements on the sexual deviancy, as opposed to the abuse (which undeniably takes the form of a sexual act). [From as far as I can tell, the situation with Goodman/Wolov and Louis was consensual (the article explicitly avoids saying anything about their response to him asking to masturbate in front of them, and later adds that they laughed through it) and that they told people about it expressly to shame him. It is possible that it was not consensual, which is a different matter altogether, but given how explicit the other allegations are, that seems like a curious omission here.]
If Louis assaulted anyone and/or abused a position of power, then he should go down for that. However, if he likes to jerk off in front of women (consensually), and proposes that to someone who he is interested in, then that should be ok. We shouldn’t equate non-normative behavior with “abuse”.
Reminds me of this really great article and take on the whole ‘grab her by the pussy’ thing with Trump, with the issue that most people had with it was the fact that it was a sexual gesture, not one of power and control:
edit: Louis has come out and apologized, although he states the incidents were consensual, this raises a different (larger?) issue about the nature of consent and perhaps how it relates to fame and fetish. (i.e. is it impossible for Louis to have consent when it comes to masturbating in front of someone because of his fame?)
With regards to the later parts of this thread, and notwithstanding that some of the accused have admitted and apologized,
a) everybody deserves a fair trial, and not by a mob,
b) some people are primarily motivated by the fact that they sell pitchforks and gasoline.
I hope that things calm down enough that what proceeds is a chance for people who have been pressured to be quiet to come out and make proper claims in court.
On an earlier note, and perhaps rather tangentially, and referring to earlier parts of the thread… there has been a debate about using Nazi data gathered in horrific experiments, but that nevertheless might save lives. When I originally heard this whole story I went through various levels of despair about the situation. I still don’t know how I feel about it.
Who in this world is without sin so defined by someone else?
thought it was relevant to drop this here…
I love this quote, especially as the British tabloid press sell advertising to gasoline and pitchfork wholesalers.
The article makes a very good point. Not only should we avoid the separation of art from artist, we should interpret the art in light of the artist’s behavior, because they are inextricably intertwined.
It’s a ridiculously obvious point, that for some reason needs to be made anyway.
So, we’ll keep saying it until everyone realizes how obvious it has always been.
This, I just don’t have the language to convey it quite so eloquently.
Yes, we can only try to do “less” harm.
As humanity goes, we have always only destroyed the environment. It’s a tragic realization, but an important one to make as we look forward.
That NYT article encapsulated what I was trying to express. I think it would be easier to separate the art from the artist if so much art and the persona of artists hadn’t been built on the exploitation of women and that women (and non-binary/gender nonconforming people) were often brushed aside, prevented, etc. from pursuing careers in the arts.
Not to say that I don’t enjoy art, music, and literature by some problematic men, but I keep it in mind with who I choose to financially support.
E (adding this quote):
The habit of treating artists as transcendent creators rather than as players in an economic system serves to protect them from typical workplace expectations. And in the same way that a sneaker or technology company tries to distract the consumer from vile production processes by churning out covetable products, Hollywood serves up spectacles that seek to conceal the conditions under which they’re made.
I don’t think I’d want to go quite that far (though it isn’t miles from the truth). But there are hopeful examples. In the 90s I discovered Permaculture (the bible for which is “Permaculture: A Designers Manual” by Bill Mollison) and I was fascinated by his tale of desert greening. More on that here:
Over the years I’ve been refining my views on permaculture, trying to sift through and separate the aesthetic noise (stuff that looks and feels good but isn’t necessarily pragmatic or wise) from the regenerative signal (stuff that actually heals the planet while also providing a livelihood for the humans tending the garden).
And so has the rest of the community. Out of these efforts, combined with the efforts of organic farmers as well as those from groups such as NCRS (a part of USDA concerned with wildlife management on agricultural land, among other things) has grown a concept known as “regenerative agriculture”.
It is happening on a small scale all over the world. And sometimes it happens on a very large scale too:
Don’t give up hope. I believe we evolved on this planet to become its gardeners, not its destroyers.
Plants, Gardening, etc
Whether or not you appreciate the tone and title (I do), I think this article intersects with this conversation and makes a lot of good points.
It’s a culture where you could reasonably and justifiably believe that men like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby achieved so much in their careers not because of a love of what they do but specifically because they knew that increased power and status would give them more access to people (women and men) they could dominate sexually. It’s a world where every physical, emotional, spiritual and metaphysical weapon known to man—including but not limited to shame, physical pain, slander, income and sexual assault—is employed to maintain this privilege.
I made my comment based on this essay I read some time ago. The point was that even “gardening” and entire agricultural intervention are ultimately ravaging the environment/nature. I will try to dig out the reference text and share it here. In any case: it was shocking to me to read that, but it resonated, and kept me thinking for a long time.
My partner retired from hi-tech and has devoted herself to local permaculture, so your post really resonated with me.
While I haven’t been the fastest to move away from a global-food, meat-heavy diet I’ve been trying. Our Thanksgiving this year (in Canada this is an October thing) was local and veg and was awesome. Nature photography, history discussions, living light on the land, …
Another resource, unabashedly dogmatic, is One Straw Revolution.
Those books look very relevant to my interests. Thank you!