Thursday, March 03, 2005

Shop Smart, Shop S-mart.

I've come to a dillemma over arts and politcs, in particular the sheer awesomeness of M.I.A.. She's probably one of the more slick acts I've heard lately, but she's got a loose (read: difficult to prove, but it's pretty visible from conjecture) support for the Tamil Tigers.

As a revolutionary group goes, they aren't the worst (IRA, Cultural Revolution factions, pick your African rebel group, and other various South American groups come to mind), but they're right up there. We're talking the people who made suicide bombing a household name, who take revenge assassination to a whole new level, and who crush dissent so fast Putin could learn a few things. So, I feel more than sort of guilty listening to her music.

This isn't the first time either. I have problems listening to some of Immortal Techniques stuff for the same reason. Extreme politics bothers me from any side, but it's a weird, awkward thing when I like the artist's music a lot.

Is it ethical to listen to music of people who don't support the most human rights friendly politics?

-Thomas

5 Comments:

Blogger Jack said...

While music and politics are very much intertwined, especially in the case of this artist, the music itself can easily be seperate from those politics in the sense that you needn't agree with the artist to enjoy their work. Example: I disagree wholeheartedly with the promotion of gang violence and degradtion of women in Dr. Dre's The Chronic, but DAAAAAAAAAAMN if them beats ain't phat.

1:38 PM, March 03, 2005  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

How about listen but don't buy? You know, get it all underhanded and shit.

8:11 AM, March 04, 2005  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

Oh, but that's probably against your morals, though.

Hmm. I'm rethinking. Man, leave it to politics to go and fuck everything up.

I say don't listen, then. There's enough good music out there to make up for it.

Yeah. As an artist, writer, etc, you can't separate my beliefs from my work. I couldn't if I tried. So I say: Take a stand!! Make a statement! Throw off your sheep-skin and let those rockers know you aren't going to tolerate inferior beliefs from your music supplier!

8:22 AM, March 04, 2005  
Blogger Dave said...

It doesn't sound like the artist is actually funding them or anything, right? Is it more of a sympathetic thing? Like, I can imagine Irish bands being sympathetic with the IRA's cause, that doesn't necessarily mean they 'support' them.

8:27 AM, March 04, 2005  
Blogger T Kwong said...

Well, I pay for nationally distributed music about as often as I pay for shows, so morals on that front are low. Local groups: different story, but otherwise...

M.I.A. is tough to pin down because her videos have all the imagery. I guess it comes down to how you interpret things like, "I'm a soldier..." or, "I got the bombs to make you blow."

-Thomas

4:25 PM, March 04, 2005  

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