Shorter Pogo: I said some awful things, and now my Twitter is full of people are telling me they were awful, and I may have just alienated my core fanbase. So NOT FAIR, because it was all just an experiment anyway, you bratty feminist hyenas!
Sure thing, it mus
t be the people who responded with disappointment and/or disgust to what Pogo said
, that’s who totally overreacted to a little bit of satire, so he didn’t do anything wrong and the world should just forget about this little hiccup and go back to adoring his fluffy Disney remix songs
like nothing ever happened, and if they just can’t do that? Well then, they’re the real monsters (meaning he was right-righty-right all along btw).
Pogo has now shut down his twitter account, and deleted a video he did about feminism Doin It Rong, and also removed the latest blog post about it all being an experiment that totally proved that feminists were brats and hyenas, but of course The Internet Never Forgets. There are also archived versions of a couple of other recent posts that he has since removed (here, here), and the first anti-feminist post of this year remains on his blog (so far).
Inevitably, the perennial Art vs Artist debate has come into play: is it fair to withdraw support for someone’s artistic work just because you’ve discovered something unpleasant about their character, shouldn’t we just judge Art on its own merits etc etc, which to my mind misses one of the crucial aspect of what attracts people to Art in the first place – at the base is always a connection and a tension between the mind of the artist and the mind of the perceiver, however abstracted and distant the link might be.
While some may prefer to know as little about an artist as possible, once one does learn something about them it’s hard to separate that knowledge from one’s appreciation of their art, so is the idea that we should separate an artist’s’ character from one’s judgement of art really just yet more of the rarefied elitism that masks the commercialisation of art as conspicuous consumption? Does this artistic purity huffpuffery really just help art dealers/movie studios/music labels etc ask consumers to look aside while they ask ever higher prices for the work of people with repellent aspects to their personalities? How many art promoters go out of their way to avoid certain artists at events while making a lot of noise about how the rest of us should shut up and just look at the art?
What makes a single work of art or a particular artist appealing to one person and not another is a complex tangle of aesthetics and emotion and previous experiences that coalesce at various moments into a YES/NO decision of taste about whether one is going to make time/space in one’s life/wallet to devote attention that that art/artist. It’s inevitable one’s inputs will sum up to different decisions from other people and also from decisions we may once have made previously, as our own life experiences change the way we see the world around us just as they change the way that artists see the world around them. It’s not just Art that shouldn’t be static, it’s the Response To Art that should evolve as well.
Until two weeks ago I was totally unaware of Pogo, although if I had been I probably would have become quite fond of his work. As it stands now though, I’m not bothered by choosing to continue to ignore his work and have more time to pay attention to other people’s work instead. I only have finite time to pay attention to things, after all. No particular artist has the right to demand that their work deserves more of my time than anybody else’s, and if a freely chosen act of their own happens to repel me from their work, that’s just how the cookie crumbles.
h/t Dave Futrelle on Twitter