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Xercies
06-07-2011, 11:27 AM
The latest Orsen Scott Card post got me thinking, is it alright to buy stuff from an artist even though they share some views that are against you personally? I mean they could be a genuinly good artist and make some of the greatest stuff/the stuff you enjoy the most. But there is that nagging feeling that your giving money to something you are entirly against.

Also the other feeling is those views can filter down into the work, I know we should be applying Death of the author sometimes but yo can't actually get away with some authors beliefs going down int othe book. Now this could make it more textured if say its not a harmful opinion of the world, but it would make it more horrible if say Orsen out some obvious things towards killing gays or something like that.

Its a dilemma definitly, it also applies to artists you really love. Iagine one of your favourite artists turned out to have some really nasty views, would you burn all his books or stop buying them?

lhzr
06-07-2011, 11:59 AM
>>I mean they could be a genuinly good artist and make some of the greatest stuff/the stuff you enjoy the most.

whatever, fuck'em, there are plenty more artists out there who's work you could enjoy without any nagging feelings.

card's linked article is amazing, i'll give him that. didn't finish reading it yet, it's like one of those trainwreck-movies that you'd like to see through to the end, but can't do so in a single sitting, for fear of your brain melting from all the concentrated awfulness.

Harlander
06-07-2011, 01:22 PM
If it doesn't bleed through into their work, it probably isn't too much of a problem.

If it does bleed through into their work, it really depends how much of a jerk they are about it. I'm looking at you, Neil "Modern liberals are a bunch of pansies who deny personal responsibility! Now let's cede all authority to superintelligent AIs" Asher.

Skalpadda
06-07-2011, 01:49 PM
Well, on a project like a big game there's likely to be someone working on it whose views or behaviour you don't agree with. If you found out that one of the modellers of a game company got arrested for beating his spouse, would you feel bad for buying their games?

Then again, using a man famous for his homophobic creationist views writing your story as a selling point for your game doesn't exactly sit well, does it?

Xercies
06-07-2011, 03:12 PM
As a team effort these things are like modellers or cinematographers if were using films as another example it kind of doesn't bother me because there isn't that much chance of there horrible views bleeding through the work, but if the creative lead/guy doing the story/director is the one with those views then it probably has more chance seeping into their work.

The thing is though some of the greatest artworks are contentious and hold a different viewpoint to most people. Like A Clockwork Orange for example. So its difficult to ascertain whether a horrible viewpoint would help or hinder a work of art.

Giving an example, but with a view less horrible, I really don't agree with Alan Moore's Anarchy is the foundation of humanity but that doesn't mean I don't like a lot of his works even when that viewpoint is at the forefront like V For Vendetta

outoffeelinsobad
06-07-2011, 04:42 PM
Daniel Rivas made the point in the post comments that by purchasing a product created in whole or in part by OSC, he will use his share of the profit to support his intolerant agenda. He is a member of the board of the National Organization for Marriage, which, according to Wikipedia, "contributed $1.8 million to the Proposition 8 effort, and has been described as being 'instrumental' in the success of the initiative." What this means, essentially, is that by purchasing his product, you are supporting the growth of homophobic policies in the US. With money.

Anthony Burgess is dead, and cannot support or fund bigoted organizations. Alan Moore would be the last person to pursue intolerance, and he is not a member of any lobbying parties or nonprofits, as far as I know.

Donjo
06-07-2011, 05:35 PM
Some of the music I like is made by genuinely terrible people who have done terrible things and who hold political views I find abhorrent, this doesn't stop me from appreciating the art they create though.. I'm listening to it from a different perspective from them and I could never agree with some of their ideas but there is a common thread running through us all, monsters angels and grey robots alike..

Edit: That being said, I won't buy a Burzum album, I'll just steal it off the internet.

TillEulenspiegel
06-07-2011, 05:52 PM
Its a dilemma definitly, it also applies to artists you really love. Iagine one of your favourite artists turned out to have some really nasty views, would you burn all his books or stop buying them?
Most of the artists I really love, I love partly because of who they are personally. Sarah Bettens is a wonderful person who makes beautiful music. Greg Graffin is a smart guy, and his songs reflect that. "The Wall" is irrelevant if you don't understand where Roger Waters was coming from. People matter. I like people and personality.

Wherever possible, I choose not to give money to those who I find vile or repulsive. Simple as that. After they're dead, I'll look at their work, but not before.

Kadayi
06-07-2011, 06:35 PM
I recall a friend insisting I read a biography of Phil K.Dick a while back and it was terrible. A literary hero of mine in reality was nothing more than a drug addled paranoid, desperate, manipulative lech & hideous control freak (particularly when it came to the women in his life). Yet he wrote some of the most thought provoking & moving Sci-fi I've ever read. Did knowing that he was in short, an asshole colour my view on DADOES? Or put me off buying Valis? No, not at all.

I think you have to judge anything creative on it's own merits as a piece, removed from any outward association as best you can truth be told if you are going to be fair, regardless of how difficult that may seem. No end of musicians offend me with their half baked pontificating at times, but I'm not going to deny that some of them can put together a catchy tune. Unless the subject matter is itself offensive, then I don't see the point taking issue with the producer at the end of the day.

vinraith
06-07-2011, 06:36 PM
It seems straightforward to me that in an age where most any game can be had a year or so after release for $5 the only reason to pay more for a title is to actively support the people that made it. If they aren't people you want to support, just go buy one of the other great things floating about.


Its a dilemma definitly, it also applies to artists you really love. Iagine one of your favourite artists turned out to have some really nasty views, would you burn all his books or stop buying them?

I try to be as tolerant and flexible on this point as possible. However, occasionally someone will turn out to be a genuine force for ill in society (someone actively financing efforts to limit the rights of minorities or the like). In those cases my general reaction has been to stop purchasing/supporting them, but to keep anything of theirs I already have. I seldom revisit that material, though, as it's usually colored enough by this new information as to no longer be enjoyable.

Xercies
06-07-2011, 07:43 PM
I seldom revisit that material, though, as it's usually colored enough by this new information as to no longer be enjoyable.

Thats what i would think as well to be honest, even if the work contains no subtext of the horrible view that they hold you'll probably deluding yourself and taking things out of context that make you go "if only i knew this because its so obvious from that" meaning you enjoy it less.


A literary hero of mine in reality was nothing more than a drug addled paranoid, desperate, manipulative lech & hideous control freak

Thats the thing though a lot of his work was brilliant because he was coming from that paranoid and schizophrenic mindset, we probably would have had all his great novels if it wasn't for that.

I think the money point is very important, if you know the artist is going to fund a horrible view then you really shouldn't be buying his stuff.

Tom OBedlam
06-07-2011, 09:16 PM
Its something I've been thinking about today after my inital disgust. if I'm honest with myself a lot of Art that I like is created by people whose morality and politics I abhor. Immediately springing to mind is the work of Soviet and Futurist artists, which fascinates me while the politics repels me.
I think what makes the Card situation is so unpalletable is that he's still alive and his unpleasant opinions have currency in contemporary debate.

icupnimpn2
06-07-2011, 11:56 PM
Artists are not special because they are artists. They're not saints, they're not perfect. I can appreciate what they make, whether it's a catchy song, a pretty picture, a cool movie, or an inventive computer game. Just as I can appreciate the sandwich made by the guy at the deli, the firemen driving their fire engine down the street, etc. I guarantee you that many of these people are not saints, either. And every person has their own views. 99% of them probably wouldn't be the same as my own.

Try only consuming products or services from people that you agree with and know to be 100% great people according to your particular moral code. It will be very difficult.

TillEulenspiegel
07-07-2011, 12:15 AM
Try only consuming products or services from people that you agree with and know to be 100% great people according to your particular moral code. It will be very difficult.
Nobody has expressed a desire to do this. It's a nonsensical caricature along the lines of "you care about the poor? oh yeah, why don't you donate all your money then?". (Or replace with care about environment -> kill yourself, and other silly statements I've actually heard said in earnest.)

There was a mini-scandal about a homophobic pizza shop owner here in Berlin about a year ago. I wouldn't give him money either. I don't like giving money to assholes of any stripe. This doesn't mean I'm going to actively seek extensive information about every single transaction I engage in. But, in general, I will act on the information I do have.

outoffeelinsobad
07-07-2011, 04:21 AM
Try only consuming products or services from people that you agree with and know to be 100% great people according to your particular moral code. It will be very difficult.

That's the kind of reasoning that allows people to be lazy with their morals. "I think politicians are all crooks, so I'm not going to vote. I'm not gonna single-handedly end factory farming, so I'm going to enjoy this steak." Etc. Life isn't fair, and no one said that anyone is perfect. All we can do is Our Best to support our own personal goals and morals, and my goals include not providing cash to someone who I know does his utmost to support and propagate intolerance.

thegooseking
07-07-2011, 08:35 AM
In most media, the artist puts forward a message, like "the moral of the story", and it's up to the observer to either accept or reject that.

Personally, I think that any game that's doing its job properly should give the player the opportunity to subvert the artist's message. Or, preferably, shouldn't have a message to begin with: the moral of a game should be framed as a question, not a statement to accept or reject. Jonathan Blow had a lot to say about how BioShock "failed" in its message that cooperativism was better than individualism, but in fact it succeeded (albeit probably accidentally) in posing the question of whether cooperativism is better than individualism, for the player to answer through the natural dialectic of an interactive playthrough.

I really don't think it's any of my business the abhorrent views an artist holds, if those views do not come through in the art. I'll criticise them in some other forum, certainly, but not in a consideration of the art itself. If those views do come through in the art, it's ok to simply reject the message, I think. But games are a special case.

Ian
07-07-2011, 11:42 AM
Basically I'm a "not sure" on this. Largely because it's probably impossible to not spend money that in some way benefits an absolutely wretched excuse for a human being without being a hermit who lives in a self-made shack on a mountain out of mud and leaves and only leaves to spend money on ethically sound fruit and veg or whatever.

For all I know the guy I'm renting my flat off might be a white supremacist or I might buy a second hand car off somebody who rapes their children.

Tei
07-07-2011, 11:52 AM
It seems straightforward to me that in an age where most any game can be had a year or so after release for $5 the only reason to pay more for a title is to actively support the people that made it. If they aren't people you want to support, just go buy one of the other great things floating about.

Thats a really good point. But is not true for all titles. For games with unlock, levels, etc... the starting game is a shared experience, you and millions of other people are sharing the experience (well, maybe not millions, but 120.000 dudes). Wen is the first time for everyone, is special and unique and can't be repeated. I am looking at MMO's, and games like Battlefield Bad Company 2... and to some extend, to games like Portal.

Xercies
07-07-2011, 12:08 PM
So is ignorence is bliss when it comes to artists who have horrible views and ts probably better to not find out if they have a horrible view. I'm not to sure whether I'm comfortable in that, sure its silly to say i'm not going to buy your game because you don't share every view of mine, but not knowing who yor giving your money to is also a problem I would say.

Donjo
07-07-2011, 04:46 PM
In the punk/anti-fascist scene that I grew up around this is a perennial argument- is it possible to separate an artists creation from their political/moral standpoint? Hard-line antifascists would say absolutely not and I'd end up drunkenly debating with them for hours :) For me it partly depends on wether someone's going to use their platform to further their cause or whatever... sometimes even the worst people have something interesting to say though... It's a weird one alright, I'm not really fully convinced by arguments either way.... I'll probably stay on the fence..

icupnimpn2
07-07-2011, 05:55 PM
Nobody has expressed a desire to do this. It's a nonsensical caricature along the lines of "you care about the poor? oh yeah, why don't you donate all your money then?". (Or replace with care about environment -> kill yourself, and other silly statements I've actually heard said in earnest.)

There was a mini-scandal about a homophobic pizza shop owner here in Berlin about a year ago. I wouldn't give him money either. I don't like giving money to assholes of any stripe. This doesn't mean I'm going to actively seek extensive information about every single transaction I engage in. But, in general, I will act on the information I do have.

Still sounds like the "ignorance is bliss" approach. Doesn't matter how horrible someone is until you catch wind of it. Then, everybody pile on that one person. It's like filling up the "wanted" meter in GTA.

TillEulenspiegel
07-07-2011, 06:41 PM
I am not omniscient. I do not seek to be. How the fuck is that "ignorance is bliss"?

I act on the information I have. When there's a high risk of unethical behaviour (eg, when purchasing clothes), I actively seek information.

If I could avoid ever giving a single cent to repulsive people, I would. But no, it's not my life's goal.

Xercies
07-07-2011, 06:52 PM
Doesn't matter how horrible someone is until you catch wind of it. Then, everybody pile on that one person.

Thats not a bad thing though, that's just us learning a new thing and then reacting to that new thing once you have learnt it. In fact thats highly preferable then just putting your head in the sand and never learning anything about the people who create art and the world around you.

icupnimpn2
07-07-2011, 09:51 PM
Thats not a bad thing though, that's just us learning a new thing and then reacting to that new thing once you have learnt it. In fact thats highly preferable then just putting your head in the sand and never learning anything about the people who create art and the world around you.

Do you wait for someone to whisper in your ear, or if you care so much, shouldn't you be actively seeking such information? A lot of people make loud and venomous cries on the internet, decrying this or that belief or behavior. Those people then go back to their complacent lives.

China has an abysmal human rights record. Puma and Adidas were founded by Nazis. Russell Crowe was convicted of assault and thinks all babies should be able to be aborted under any condition.

Maybe some of these matter to you. Maybe they don't.

TheLastBaron
07-07-2011, 09:59 PM
As a Star Wars fan I hate Star Wars now because it turns out the guy that made it hates Star Wars and I love Star Wars so I hate people who hate Star Wars.

Anthile
07-07-2011, 10:15 PM
http://images.stanzapub.com/readers/quazen/2008/07/24/234127_11.jpg

Nice painting?

Xercies
07-07-2011, 10:34 PM
I already know where that's going...

imirk
07-07-2011, 10:57 PM
http://images.stanzapub.com/readers/quazen/2008/07/24/234127_11.jpg

Nice painting?

Why is there so much purple, This is a crappy painter.

thegooseking
07-07-2011, 11:01 PM
I already know where that's going...

The signature in the lower left sort of gives it away.

Donjo
08-07-2011, 01:37 AM
http://images.stanzapub.com/readers/quazen/2008/07/24/234127_11.jpg

Nice painting?

I prefer his later work.

Ah no, the third reich wasn't nearly as good as his first show.

Xercies
08-07-2011, 12:53 PM
I always find it funny that we could probably have prevented the whole second world war if Hitler got into Art College.

squareking
08-07-2011, 01:22 PM
Ultimately, I let the work stand or fall on its own merit and try to disregard the author's beliefs.

There was a similar issue in a different market a couple of years ago. The founder/president of Danelectro, a company that designs and manufactures budget but decent guitar gear, donated a good chunk of change in support of Proposition 8 in California, which would essentially ban gay marriage. I'm all for gay rights. I didn't want to shut up and give them my money, yet I own and use Danelectro gear regularly. I hate knowing that I might play a show and have to explain to someone that I'm pro-gay rights despite my usage of Dano stuff.

Then again, I always buy my gear secondhand, so I ain't feedin' no hate machine.

Donjo
08-07-2011, 03:16 PM
Ultimately, I let the work stand or fall on its own merit and try to disregard the author's beliefs.

There was a similar issue in a different market a couple of years ago. The founder/president of Danelectro, a company that designs and manufactures budget but decent guitar gear, donated a good chunk of change in support of Proposition 8 in California, which would essentially ban gay marriage. I'm all for gay rights. I didn't want to shut up and give them my money, yet I own and use Danelectro gear regularly. I hate knowing that I might play a show and have to explain to someone that I'm pro-gay rights despite my usage of Dano stuff.

Then again, I always buy my gear secondhand, so I ain't feedin' no hate machine.

Huh, didn't know that about Danelctro.... I suppose I'd see it a bit differently when it's a manufacturer who makes fairly generic things and not an artist with an individual vision...

unitled
10-07-2011, 06:39 PM
Scott Adams is someone I've recently come across whose work I used to enjoy... For anyone who doesn't know, he's the creator of Dilbert.

He has recently been exposed as using sockpuppet accounts and having some fairly unpleasant views on the fair treatment of sexes. Though with other 'artists' (HP Lovecraft springs to mind) I'm able to put aside personal viewpoints and enjoy the work, with Dilbert I've not been able to. Maybe my brainium is just getting less flexible in its old age.

Xercies
10-07-2011, 06:55 PM
H.P Lovecraft is an interesting case, after awhile(usually when they have died) we can actually look past there personal views and enjoy there work, but we can't if the artist is still alive. Well I feel I can't anyway.

Its like that painting, during the war you would probably find no one liking it. But now I don't have a problem that it was painted by Adolf Hitler.

unitled
10-07-2011, 07:08 PM
The thing I find fascinating about HP Lovecraft is that his racist views actually run deep into his work; lots of his stories are actually about the horrific traditions of ancient tribal religions, reflecting his own beliefs! In a way, without his xenophobia and prejudices, HP Lovecraft would have been a far less interesting writer to read.

Donjo
10-07-2011, 07:14 PM
H.P. Lovecraft is definitely a good example, Michelle Houellebecq's "H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life" gives a good insight into H.P.L.- how fear and racism informed his world view, and how these unsavoury characteristics were elemental in most of his creations.

Edit: just got in before me there untitled!

TillEulenspiegel
10-07-2011, 08:04 PM
Racism certainly influences Lovecraft's work, but very little of it is actively racist, something you could point to today and say "hey, he's promoting a harmful idea". The Horror at Red Hook (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Horror_at_Red_Hook) is an unfortunate exception, in a Fu Manchu sort of way.

Of course, if you really wanted to, you could probably read Shadow Over Innsmouth as a tale about miscegenation. Maybe that was even the intention. If so, it's fairly deep subtext that can be discarded as irrelevant in the modern world.

Rii
10-07-2011, 08:24 PM
Scott Adams is someone I've recently come across whose work I used to enjoy... For anyone who doesn't know, he's the creator of Dilbert.

... having some fairly unpleasant views on the fair treatment of sexes.

You talking about the 'rape is natural' thing or something else?

Evolutionary psychology gets a bad rap in feminist circles. For the most part the difficulty arises in confusing the descriptive with the prescriptive.

archonsod
10-07-2011, 09:39 PM
The thing I find fascinating about HP Lovecraft is that his racist views actually run deep into his work; lots of his stories are actually about the horrific traditions of ancient tribal religions, reflecting his own beliefs! In a way, without his xenophobia and prejudices, HP Lovecraft would have been a far less interesting writer to read.

The problem with applying it to Lovecraft though is that his views were pretty much perfectly mainstream in the 1930s. It's like criticising Shakespeare for being rabidly anti-Catholic, to a modern reader it might be an unacceptable position but then nobody is threatening to hang, draw and quarter them for suggesting Catholics might not actually be in the service of Satan.

unitled
10-07-2011, 09:44 PM
I don't think we should derail this discuon talking about what Scott Adams said and the scientific validity of evolutionary psychology. Suffice to say I was pretty disgusted by what he said and it made me look at his work in a new light.

I found an awful lot of Lovecrafts work to be overtly racist. His descriptions of non-white people in particular are hard to stomach; the Herbert west stories I remember had some bad examples. As was mentioned his fear of other races informed a lot of his work and as such when I read it it is almost a window into his prejudices.

EDIT: Although the 1930s was certainly a less-enlightened time when it comes to views on race and ethnicity, HP Lovecraft's views were not really the mainstream opinion. As he got older, his views on other races grew less hard though, and this was reflected in his writings.

Rii
10-07-2011, 10:19 PM
I don't think we should derail this discuon talking about what Scott Adams said and the scientific validity of evolutionary psychology. Suffice to say I was pretty disgusted by what he said and it made me look at his work in a new light.

My only contact with this affair has been through noting this (http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-scott-adams-that-raping-a-woman-is-not-a-natural-instinct) petition via Feministing. I have no particular concern for Mr. Adams' reputation but it hardly seems fair to raise his name in this context and then to refuse to discuss the matter. In any case, for those who're interested the complaint and the blog entry which prompted it are over at the link.

unitled
10-07-2011, 10:33 PM
The thread is about artists who have unpleasant views and how it affects your enjoyment of their work, not about the views themselves. A full supporter of Prop 8 would probably have no issue with OSC writing the story for a game; for me, it would probably put me off, just as finding out the personal views of Scott Adams (and not just his views on natural male behaviour) has really put me off Dilbert.

Lovecraft is interesting as, while I appreciate he is racist, I can still enjoy his work.

EDIT: Sorry Ril, I didn't want to come across as rude... I'm just well aware how quickly discussions go banana-shaped when you bring up such issues!

Kadayi
10-07-2011, 11:18 PM
The problem with applying it to Lovecraft though is that his views were pretty much perfectly mainstream in the 1930s. It's like criticising Shakespeare for being rabidly anti-Catholic, to a modern reader it might be an unacceptable position but then nobody is threatening to hang, draw and quarter them for suggesting Catholics might not actually be in the service of Satan.

This pretty much. One has to contextualize viewpoints with their time and culture. I think also it's important to also have some sense of perspective. Here in the West we are all to eager to beat ourselves to death with the politically correct sticks at the drop of a hat, however there are entire countries out there where racism & xenophobia are still acceptable parts of the common cultural mindset.

TillEulenspiegel
10-07-2011, 11:32 PM
It's a common fallacy to excuse Lovecraft's racism as normal for his time. But it really wasn't. He was unusual. ("Whenever we found ourselves in the racially mixed crowds which characterize New York, Howard would become livid with rage")


however there are entire countries out there where racism & xenophobia are still acceptable parts of the common cultural mindset.
And? There were abolitionists even when slavery was very much the norm. Good people know what's right, though cultural pressure may prevent them from speaking or acting.

Xercies
11-07-2011, 12:33 AM
From reading about H.P Lovecraft he clearly was troubled, and kind of not right in the head at the best of times, since he had a bit of a mommy obsession, and didn't like to socialise that much.

Thats another kind of observation about this, how much of an artist with a horrible view can we get because there childhood was rubbish or something like that. Do we forgive them from having those views because of that? i feel a bit more softer on an artist if there views are clearly because they grew up with those views instilled in them. Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on OSC, he could have had a heavily christian father that made him have those views abotu gay people and i shouldn't judge him on something he kind of can't control.

unitled
11-07-2011, 07:14 AM
The problem is, OSC judges gay people on something they can't control either :-P

deano2099
11-07-2011, 10:15 AM
What this means, essentially, is that by purchasing his product, you are supporting the growth of homophobic policies in the US. With money.


To some degree. The twist with the Card thing is that he's not the creator of the game, and is likely being paid a flat fee to write it with no royalties, and that contract is already done and signed. So 'buy' the game or not (it's F2P anyway), it won't affect things so directly in monetary terms. Of course, if it does well it might encourage more people to hire him in the future. But then that's not a given - if every review and comment says it's a good game with a horrible story then it'd be different.


I am not omniscient. I do not seek to be. How the fuck is that "ignorance is bliss"?

I act on the information I have. When there's a high risk of unethical behaviour (eg, when purchasing clothes), I actively seek information.


What you have to be aware of though, with an attitude like that (which, to be fair, is the best most of us can manage) is that you're likely to be manipulated by whichever activists can shout loudest. And there's not always a correlation between the worst offences and the loudest noise. Card is certainly a dick but there are far worse people doing far worse things that just don't have the same sort of lobby groups opposed to them.

archonsod
11-07-2011, 12:44 PM
It's a common fallacy to excuse Lovecraft's racism as normal for his time. But it really wasn't. He was unusual.
In the 1930s? No he wasn't. May I point out the large elephant in the room dressed in a Gestapo uniform? ;) The US in particular was undergoing some serious racial friction, the depression had led to an increased number of migrants, particularly black, from the South into the North, which the white population railed against. The 1920's had seen the KKK at their apex, as well as a court case (in 1923 IIRC) to determine whether arabic immigrants could scientifically(!) be considered white or black.

One thing to note too is that it's not simply racial stereotyping which informed Lovecraft's work. The 1920's had seen a revival in Middle Eastern archaeology, and there were numerous scientific expeditions to places like the South Pacific. As a result, the native populations of those areas had a certain element of mystique, they were an unknown quantity from a far off, strange land which was still largely unexplored.
Lovecraft was in many respects a writer of science fiction, and science fiction generally tends to hover on the unknown. In his time the interior of Africa was as much a frontier as space is in our time. So we have a question of how much of such works are the result of the author's own innate views, and how much simply a product of their era and genre. Or to put it another way, if we meet an extra terrestrial intelligence in the next hundred years, will we be accusing the writers of the late 20th century of racism due to the way they depicted aliens?

To get back on track, while I may not agree with OSC's views, I can understand why he might have them given his background. I haven't read any of his work, but I certainly wouldn't allow his personal views to mar my enjoyment of it, just as I don't let the personal views of Kipling mar my enjoyment of his; providing said views don't mar the work in the first place. One of the issues I tend to find in literature; in general an author is limited in how much said views can influence the work due to the requirements of storytelling. In OSC's case for example if he did try to portray such views there's a large risk that his gay character would become a rather two dimensional stereotype which negatively impacts the work. Hence there is something of a pressure on the author to ensure such character is fully rounded and believable irrespective of beliefs, with the result that it can actually have the opposite effect. See for example Milton.

jp0249107
11-07-2011, 03:27 PM
I just avoid artists whose work is influenced by their political views. More often than not that means I avoid crappy artists to begin with. That's how I avoided the utter pile of dog excrement that was Green Day.

EndelNurk
11-07-2011, 03:55 PM
In the 1930s? No he wasn't. May I point out the large elephant in the room dressed in a Gestapo uniform? ;)

This one? (http://www.flickr.com/photos/93922379@N00/625707721)

CuriousOrange
11-07-2011, 04:49 PM
" A literary hero of mine in reality was nothing more than a drug addled paranoid, desperate, manipulative lech & hideous control freak" You read his books, and that came as a suprise to you? Bit strange. I thought he made it known he was off his tits whenever he wrote his books.

As for Orson Scott Card. I would normally say it doesn't really matter, except I believe he contributed to campaigns opposed to gay marriage. Meaning buying his work could be seen as contributing toward that. It's obviously down to the individual though. I read Mein Kampf, not because I agree with it, just because it's fascinating to read someones view that is so opposed to your own.

Donjo
11-07-2011, 05:29 PM
I just avoid artists whose work is influenced by their political views. More often than not that means I avoid crappy artists to begin with. That's how I avoided the utter pile of dog excrement that was Green Day.

Green Day have political views? And I thought they were just a generic pop punk band....

Rii
11-07-2011, 06:07 PM
So is there anyone here apart from me who hasn't read Lovecraft? Were his writings part of an initiation ceremony into the world of PC gaming that I missed or something? :P


I just avoid artists whose work is influenced by their political views.

How boring. =/

TillEulenspiegel
11-07-2011, 06:52 PM
Were his writings part of an initiation ceremony into the world of PC gaming that I missed or something? :P
Yes. Hand in your card.

He's one of those famous authors you're sort of obligated to read at some point in your life. If he's not up there with Poe, he's at least on a level with Tolkien. At least that's how I felt, until I actually read a few stories. I'm not a horror fan, but Lovecraft is...wow. He knows exactly how to exploit that primal fear of the unknown, of that unseen something forever lurking in the shadows. "Call of Cthulhu" is a good taster, "At The Mountains of Madness" is a bit meatier. So much of science fiction and fantasy is influenced by Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos.

EndelNurk
11-07-2011, 07:06 PM
I haven't read Lovecraft either. Tried to read a Sherlock Holmes story that was set in the Lovecraft universe once, but that was as close as I've managed to get. Didn't like Tolkien or Poe either *hides*

Tikey
11-07-2011, 07:30 PM
I remember that I started reading Lovecraft's stories after reading a great preview about the "Call of Cthulhu" game around 2000 (the same game that ended up being released on 2006). I'd read a few stories before but the prospect of that game really fired my interest on his work.

Xercies
11-07-2011, 08:11 PM
I was kind of late reading Lovecraft, I read the first Lord of the rings book when I was about 10 but i read my first Lovecraft book when I was about 18 I think. Probably my favourites are Mountains of Madness, The strange case of Charles dexter word, and the first book of his dream series. I would say he is definitely up there as a really good author

Donjo
11-07-2011, 08:15 PM
Read "At the Mountains of Madness", "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Shadow over Innsmouth" right away! H.P.L. pretty much invented modern horror, and despite his racism (either backwards thinking or normal for the time) he was way waaaayyyyy before his time. Themes of the fleeting nature and meaninglessness of humanity in the face of an eternal and fathomless universe of pure chaos are what drew me into his writing.
This thread seems to have changed direction just a tad....

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."

Kadayi
11-07-2011, 09:31 PM
It's a common fallacy to excuse Lovecraft's racism as normal for his time. But it really wasn't. He was unusual. ("Whenever we found ourselves in the racially mixed crowds which characterize New York, Howard would become livid with rage")

If you are going to quote something biographical it helps if you actually provide a source. As regards what was said, it's not a case that everyone in Lovecraft's time was a racist, but that racism was significantly more common place. That doesn't necessarily excuse, it but it does contextualize it.


Good people know what's right, though cultural pressure may prevent them from speaking or acting.

Good means nothing unless backed up with action in the face of injustice.

Donjo
11-07-2011, 11:03 PM
If you are going to quote something biographical it helps if you actually provide a source. As regards what was said, it's not a case that everyone in Lovecraft's time was a racist, but that racism was significantly more common place. That doesn't necessarily excuse, it but it does contextualize it.



Good means nothing unless backed up with action in the face of injustice.

I think it was noted by Michelle Houellebecq that Lovecraft considered himself to be the bearer of an Anglo Saxon Protestant heritage, he sort of thought he was an Old English Gentleman. If not out of step with the times, he was out of step with the social set he eventually found himself in.
Here's some quotes and sources for ya :)
"Born in 1890, he appeared already to his contemporaries, in his younger years, an out-of-date reactionary."
-Michel Houllebecq
“And as for Puritan inhibitions - I admire them more every day. They are attempts to make of life
a work of art - to fashion a pattern of beauty in the hog-wallow that is animal existence - and they
spring out of that divine hatred for life which marks the deepest and most sensitive soul.."
-H.P.Lovecraft
http://a-kleber.narod.ru/mh/mh-lovecraft-eng.pdf

Edit: This was actually my first introduction to H.P.L., totally captivating when I was 15, probably not a classic but I have very fond memories of it :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jsTafjH4oQ

icupnimpn2
12-07-2011, 06:43 AM
To get back on track, while I may not agree with OSC's views, I can understand why he might have them given his background. I haven't read any of his work, but I certainly wouldn't allow his personal views to mar my enjoyment of it, just as I don't let the personal views of Kipling mar my enjoyment of his; providing said views don't mar the work in the first place. One of the issues I tend to find in literature; in general an author is limited in how much said views can influence the work due to the requirements of storytelling. In OSC's case for example if he did try to portray such views there's a large risk that his gay character would become a rather two dimensional stereotype which negatively impacts the work. Hence there is something of a pressure on the author to ensure such character is fully rounded and believable irrespective of beliefs, with the result that it can actually have the opposite effect. See for example Milton.

OSC's faith definitely touches some of his books. The Tales of Alvin Maker series has parallels to the life and times of Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the LDS church. The Ender's Shadow series has some very pro-life overtones as two characters desperately try to track down some fertilized embryos that may have been destroyed or stolen - they think of them as their babies, and the thought of losing them is unbearable.

I'm not aware of any of his work having touched upon the subject of homosexuality, but many of OSC's characters have behaviors that would not be LDS church-approved. He handles these relatively objectively, often providing insights into what has brought them to that point. For someone that is accused of being a reactionary, homophobic, closed-minded, etc, I think OSC has probably done a lot to open the minds of LDS church members through his fiction writings.

Batolemaeus
12-07-2011, 10:00 AM
For me it partly depends on wether someone's going to use their platform to further their cause

This, pretty much, is how I approach this problem.
I do not have to agree with people's views, and I don't care if they're getting my money for their art/product.

However, if they're using the money in a way that I consider malicious and I'd be directly supporting their cause, I won't support them.

As an example, I can listen to what little good christian rock there is. When my money is being used to fund anti-gay campaigns, the line is definitely crossed.