Aug 09

We are now in the Information Age, it is inevitable to hear things about people with whom you will never ever meet in your limited time on this earth. Back in the day an artist could be the vilest most pungent individual and it would not affect his sales being that news about the scores of young women he ran through and the illegitimate children he left behind was kept quiet. A celebrity could still live in relative privacy from his/her adoring fans’ probing concerns into their daily lives

The Information Age ushered in all sorts of change to media; the professionals who went to school and learnt investigative reporting has been replaced by nerds with a computer, a cheap camera and minimal writing skills. We know way too much about our celebrities and even worse, we care too much about our celebrities. People like Tom Cruise who had an enviable career that spanned decades was torn to shreds within minutes after a few interviews pissed off his fans beyond measure. Tom Cruise was replaced with TomKat, a melding of his name and Katie Holmes due to them being an item and people wanting to know everything about them. Fans of Angelina Jolie’s movies began to get turned off by the beauty when (no fault of her own) the paparazzi turned hers and Brad Pitt’s life into the Bradjolina watch. In many ways our beautiful Information Age has revealed a lot of ugly for celebs.

Recently I read a post where a young man went in on Erykah Badu for her Twitter messages during the whole “Window Seat” controversy. He had been a “fan” of hers since her debut and it killed him to realize that his Nubian Queen of song was acting like a paranoid, angry and bitter black woman stereotype on Twitter. This prompted him to completely remove her albums, her namesake and her work from his life, chalking it up to his naiveté that  made him believe she would be the same person as the one that was in her songs. Is this very fair to Erykah?

Do You Love The Art or The Artist? Must it be Both?

Fellow Dragons you have to decide for yourself whether you are into something for the beauty and the art or if you are into it for the creator. Art is 100% subjective, yet we consider everything to be art. This means that judging a painting for what it does to you personally can be equated to judging a song for what it does for you personally. The artist Seal once remarked that he does not like to write his lyrics for people to read because when you hear his music you should take from it what you will personally. This means that if you misinterpret his words and it ends up having a deep meaning for you, then it should not be ruined by you finding the lyrics and having it say something completely different. The same can be said about the creator of the music and your liking/disliking the sound based on him/her.

The Supporting Them Financially Argument

Many of you haven’t bought a CD in years, so let us stop being hypocritical with this argument. Sure you may avoid a concert because the group sucks live or you think the lead singer is a douchebag, but you love the hell out of THAT song and there are a million ways to get it sans paying. When you use this argument to lie to yourself about hating a song that you are really crazy about then you are displaying traits of a person who refuses to separate the art from the artists. How many beautiful paintings do you see and then ask the curator to tell you the lifestyle, personality, race and background of the artist? Exactly.

So let us be better fans to the art that we love so much, regardless of what it is: Movies, music, drawings, paintings, sports, whatever it is you like. Human beings did not start to become flawed in the last 15 years, we have been flawed since the beginning of time. The unreal expectations we push on Politicians, people in power and Celebrities to become super-human is a bit silly. Think for yourselves and don’t allow Reality Television to fool you into thinking that you are on a first name basis with the artists you love or once loved. It’s all about the art, and even though people suck, when you let that influence your hearing, seeing and tasting, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Be a fan, not a Stan looking for a celebrity to worship.

Greg Dragon still owns Mad Max, The Road Warrior and Braveheart, three films of which he has loved and will always love despite the man behind them.

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