Do you need to agree with an artist’s lifestyle or politics to appreciate their art? To spend money on it?
Are you serious in asking this? Now, I am sure that how it might be more “convenient,” to be on the same page. But, I am sure Thomas Paine, Andrew Jackson, and Maximillian Robespierre; yes, even Lenin, Stalin and Hitler would say that politics and art appreciation are in the same ballpark. Well, ballpark might be a little farfetched, but lifestyle and politics, and art? We are talking about personal freedoms that the philosopher, Robespierre, devoted his life to, as did many others, and many, many more at the hands of Hitler and Stalin and Romania’s Nicolae Ceaușescu. These Westerners, however, don’t have a monopoly on evil, just ask Mrs. Feng, she’ll tell you a thing or two about Mao Tse Tung. Little Lia Lee in Laos, stricken with “spiritual” bouts of epilepsy, and the ramifications of this disease on her Hmong family have no doubt been influenced, by the lack, and lack thereof, any politics, art, medicine or anything, as we westerners know. Art, music, anything that might cost money? This is a distraction. Art, any art, cannot coexist with politics; or so says the powers that bind many. Unfortunately, many also take that freedom not to write, not to read, not to vote or use the freedoms that they have been afforded; they take those freedoms and rights for granted. Money cannot, should not, buy the freedoms that many work for. One need not go to soviet Russia or China to see the abuse. The “Great” Gatsby, here in the U.S., bought his way about vodka in one hand and a 20s picture of his own elephantine-sized ego in the other. “Our Father in Who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (I have to thank my Catholic education and the nuns for learning the Lord’s prayer. The nuns taught me most of it and I have the scars on my knuckles to prove it). These were the same nuns who saw that I get a good High School education under the Friars and the same nuns who helped me with my PolySci exams and major in college (and insisted that I get a little art studies in there). The nuns were there, though I only make it to church one time each few months. Okay, I lied, maybe once in a year? I guess I should make it over someday soon, if I have a chance.