This poem is nearly four years old, needs re-recording and with Greek elections happening this weekend ‘The Continent’ is at its most timely
The artists’ we adore, for all their talents, are mostly, if not entirely, strangers to us; in the same way they don’t know our opinions on ‘x,y, and z’, we don’t know their opinions on ‘a,b, and c’ or the situations that formed the basis of these opinions.
I believe that when someone whose work I admire, shares their thoughts, I’m still not entitled to them; regardless of how big of a fan I am, any precedent in their work or the direness of the circumstances etc. If, when the opinion is shared, I’m rendered disagreeable. Fine. It takes much more than an opposite view for me to no longer support them as an artist (it actually takes them them being ‘neutral’).
Why? If I were to bend and flex to every change of the wind, I’d not only be disoriented and exhausted, I’d be a fan of nobody. My mind would be confined because everyone couldn’t tick enough boxes that I agree with.
It’s almost as if we deify talented human beings and then are shocked when we realise that they, like all humans not only have varied experiences and viewpoints, but are also not infallible. It’s almost as if it’s expected of black artists to conform to a certain blackness and to be miraculously uniform in conveying their thoughts and brand. The minute they ‘fall outside’ our expectations, it’s “noooo, why?”, “I can’t believe I used to…” “ahh, I knew there was something about them”.
Have you considered that the same opinions that have now turned you off of them, were present before and in some way, informed the artistic expressions that you admired? Or that inducting someone into ‘new blackness’, is a form of respectability?