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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Sun August 11, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Kevin Davis wrote:
malice wrote:
when the artist compromises their work by altering or holding back on their desired outcome for fear of having a negative impact on the society, I don't know that it's really art anymore. it's more... entertainment? which is a completely different animal than art.


No it isn't. Get as high and mighty about it as you want, but art is entertainment--or at least, it is one of entertainment's many subsets. Just because you can process it in some kind of intellectual way doesn't mean it isn't still, at heart, something you do primarily for fun. This notion that somehow we should be less concerned with society deteriorating and more concerned with whether or not we have "good art" is the kind of pretentious bullshit that I'm stunned makes its way off college campuses and into the real world. I'm not in favor of people being locked up for speaking their mind, but come on--your overall position makes it sound as though, even if I knew that releasing a piece of art into the world was going to directly result in hundreds of deaths, I shouldn't concern myself with it for fear of it cutting into my precious, precious "expression of self."

I guess the way I feel about it is, why is art the one area where it's okay to disregard the consequences your actions may have on other people? I mean, making a ton of money is surely as important to the CEO of Wal-Mart as "self-expression" is to most artists--why should the CEO of Wal-Mart be considered a slimeball for putting his own interests over the interests of others, while the artist is considered some kind of brave, fearless warrior for doing the exact same thing?

The reason it's not sensible to hold artists accountable for this sort of thing is because it's usually difficult if not impossible to identify the ways in which art directly affects the state of the world, not because they're in a profession that's nobler than the rest and therefore exempt from all responsibility as a result.


Also, this.

But I'll add to this the fact that a lot of artists / musicians / poets, or whatever, that a lot of people are already into -- I mean proper mainstream guys -- were complete dicks. Ezra Pound was famously into fascism, as well as plenty of others. Artists we love were alcoholics, wife beaters, paedophiles, you name it. If we were too obsessed with holding our artists to account, we'd be scrubbing some of our most famous names off the history books. What do we do then?

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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Sun August 11, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Kevin Davis wrote:
malice wrote:
when the artist compromises their work by altering or holding back on their desired outcome for fear of having a negative impact on the society, I don't know that it's really art anymore. it's more... entertainment? which is a completely different animal than art.


No it isn't. Get as high and mighty about it as you want, but art is entertainment--or at least, it is one of entertainment's many subsets. Just because you can process it in some kind of intellectual way doesn't mean it isn't still, at heart, something you do primarily for fun. This notion that somehow we should be less concerned with society deteriorating and more concerned with whether or not we have "good art" is the kind of pretentious bullshit that I'm stunned makes its way off college campuses and into the real world. I'm not in favor of people being locked up for speaking their mind, but come on--your overall position makes it sound as though, even if I knew that releasing a piece of art into the world was going to directly result in hundreds of deaths, I shouldn't concern myself with it for fear of it cutting into my precious, precious "expression of self."

I guess the way I feel about it is, why is art the one area where it's okay to disregard the consequences your actions may have on other people? I mean, making a ton of money is surely as important to the CEO of Wal-Mart as "self-expression" is to most artists--why should the CEO of Wal-Mart be considered a slimeball for putting his own interests over the interests of others, while the artist is considered some kind of brave, fearless warrior for doing the exact same thing?

The reason it's not sensible to hold artists accountable for this sort of thing is because it's usually difficult if not impossible to identify the ways in which art directly affects the state of the world, not because they're in a profession that's nobler than the rest and therefore exempt from all responsibility as a result.


why you assume I'm attempting to be high and mighty, I don't understand, but that's your own assumption, not mine. as such, I can't do anything to address that other than to tell you I don't see my point of view as high and mighty, nor as aspiring towards the high and mighty - it was my sincere attempt at giving my perspective on art. as both an appreciator of and creator of art - regardless of its value to anyone other than myself - for me, art is not the same as entertainment-
and I'm sure I'm repeating either my initial thoughts and intentions, or someone else's here - but art is about self expression, regardless of the surrounding populace and its opinions- entertainment is about and expression OF the surrounding populace and its opinions - therefore found to be something done for fun - or at the least, something from which the observer can derive pleasure.

I can tell you, if not from my own experience- although I've certainly felt this way about a painting or a drawing I've worked on, but my own experience holds no relevant value to the rest of the world, creating art may well provide 'fun moments' but on the overall, it can be draining, frustrating, a complete mess and fuck-up of the impetus to create it, sometimes physically draining or damaging (try inhaling turpentine, cadmium, whatever for a couple decades etc) and not in anyway profitable or enjoyable to the creator, art for many artists, the creation of art is a compulsion, not a quaint hobby - but hey, who the heck am I to make these bold statements about art, anyway, huh?
I'm an artist is what - same as many people - and as a result, am just as likely (really MORE likely) to have opinions that are counter to what the generally held opinions of the rest of the world thinks - that's not a choice on my part- it's intrinsic in my personal psychological make-up, so when you tell me I'm trying to be high and mighty, I can't help but feel you're missing the point - if I don't feel art to be the same as entertainment - that's my right, as another person involved in the discussion.

also, for the record - I have no college degree, and didn't pick up my point of view from a college campus, and your declaration of my opinions as bullshit really (to me, of course) only allow for your own point of view, because you're such an authority on it, I guess? I don't know but it doesn't matter - your opinion holds the same amount of weight as anyone else so - good - you feel I'm spewing bullshit - but I don't - and I'm frankly surprised that you feel justified in your attack.

also, you make a number of assumptions in your above post which I clearly have not put forth, yet you seem to be attributing them to me -
I said nothing, nor did I try to infer at all that the deterioration of the society is of greater, lesser, or equal value as having good art - this is some far out of right field issue you appear to bring into your argument because it's on your mind, maybe? whatever it is - it's not from me -

this part here:
Quote:
-your overall position makes it sound as though, even if I knew that releasing a piece of art into the world was going to directly result in hundreds of deaths, I shouldn't concern myself with it for fear of it cutting into my precious, precious "expression of self."


again, I can only interpret this as part of some internal conversation you've had with yourself about art, and are only using me as the receptacle of your fury over what you perceive as specious bullshit.

what art is killing hundreds of people upon its release?


and sorry to be rude - but ultimately fuck you for calling my desire for self expression, my opinions of art, and the role it plays in the world precious precious - this is arrogant and stupid of you. - I don't knock all over you for putting forth your opinions on music, nor do I try to belittle you as a result of disagreeing with you - I generally read what you write, and think to myself- ok, Kevin Davis thinks that's what this song is about or whatever your'e talking about and move on secure in the knowledge that I may well disagree with you due to my own experience of the music, but I understand that people will take in art such as music differently, and form different opinions of it - fine by me - know why? because I expect the same respect that you do for what I feel about something. and since I know you're a great appreciator of music in the overall, I assume you have valid reasons behind your opinions. sorry you refuse to acknowledge the same from me - but I can't really be bothered to argue about it - I know how I have experienced art in the world, and I know my own personal experience of it in my own life. that's good to me, thanks-

regarding the CEO of walmart - what?

where did I say an artist is some brave warrior? I believe that artists throughout history have risked much in being able to create their art. I believe there are artists today who do much of the same - and in countries where self expression is dangerous, I suppose one could see them as brave warriors, but I don't expect my own artwork to change the world, and I resent your implying that I think so highly of myself that I have no perspective on the world.

moral decisions are personal choices that people make - often answering to imposed value systems of religion - should that play a role in whether someone creates something or not? that's not up to the rest of the world to decide, it's a personal choice. and between you me and the lamppost outside, I doubt any work of art (especially these days when so much information floods our senses on a global scale) can have clearly defined moral implications - when you view a work of art, you decide for yourself if it's morally reprehensible or not, I, if I've created that work of art, can not do that for you, not should I try, if it inhibits my ability to create it. If I try to morally restrict myself as an artist, I'm not expressing for myself, I'm expressing for you - or some unknown quantity of people who may find it objectionable. and really what that brings me to is that art is a personal experience. both for me as the creator of the art, and for you as the observer of the art - how in the world can I be sure I'm not morally offensive to at least SOMEONE in the world when I don't experience the world the same as everyone else - no one can. trying to impose those controls on my artwork would have me painting fruit for the rest of my life - which I suppose could be classified under 'entertainment' in as much as I know many old ladies (my age and older) who derive great enjoyment out of such activity.
that's not really my kind of art though, so risking moral objections to my artwork is just part of the deal I have to live with when I signed up to be creative as a sperm and egg combination...


Quote:
The reason it's not sensible to hold artists accountable for this sort of thing is because it's usually difficult if not impossible to identify the ways in which art directly affects the state of the world, not because they're in a profession that's nobler than the rest and therefore exempt from all responsibility as a result.


if you can't see nobility in art, I'm sorry for you- but it exists, however not as some romantically viewed fairy tale, but as a way of propelling society forward in our ability to perceive truth and beauty and derive enrichment from it. therefore helping us to evolve. Think the world was better before the Renaissance? I don't. do you think the artist from that era of human history took moral risks in what they created? I do. Do you think they suffered at all for their artistic expression? I do.
I may not have a college degree, but I'm pretty intelligent, and I know how to read, and I have always had a great admiration for art in its many forms, so why you can't see nobility in it is beyond me - I'm not proclaiming anything about art that hasn't been agreed on for thousands of years - by much greater (and much nobler) minds than mine. why that presents itself as a problem to you that you feel justified in trying to call me out for it? I don't know.

you're well within your rights to disagree with me - you are not, however, allowed to tell me my opinion is a load of shit simply because you perceive my comments as self-righteous.

better you should ask me for clarification, perhaps, therefore giving yourself an opportunity to understand me better, rather than attempting to cold cock me into acquiescence - perhaps I just don't articulate in a manner that you're happy with... that being the case, ask me questions, request better information from me, explain what you don't get about my comments- this is the fucking internet, it's too fucking easy to misunderstand and be misunderstood, and much much too easy to just attack a comment for the gratification one gets out of feeling like they're right.

you hold a lot of cache on this board, and I'm sure it's deserved, but you can't mistake that for always having the best reactions to what other people say - and in this case, I don't think what you say has any cache what so ever since you're expounding on what I happen to think rather than yourself. you're not qualified to tell me about my philosophical leanings. you're only qualified to tell me what you think of them- if all you can think of them is they are bullshit, then better you state it in a less than 'attack' position so I'm more able to respond to what you think rather than how you decide to put it forth.

I believe art plays a vital role in the development of the world. I believe art can and should provoke thought and sometimes action that wouldn't exist without it, and I believe the role of the artist is to create art in order to give the society a reason to move forward - if that's high and mighty bullshit, then so be it - I stand indited by the world according to you. but at least I feel some sense of justification in my bullshit in that I don't need to condemn people around me for not seeing art the same way I see it.

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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Sun August 11, 2013 10:32 pm 
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malice, I think the point KD is making is just that art does not absolve you of moral responsibility for your work. If you make something controversial then you own it. If it challenges society then you accept that. If it runs against social norms than own it. Be true to yourself but recognize that art is something that is produced for public consumption, and the public has the right to hold you morally responsible for your work and to judge you for it. It can't tell you what to think, what to believe, or how to express yourself, but why should the artist be exempt from society's judgement?

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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Sun August 11, 2013 10:53 pm 
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stip wrote:
malice, I think the point KD is making is just that art does not absolve you of moral responsibility for your work. If you make something controversial then you own it. If it challenges society then you accept that. If it runs against social norms than own it. Be true to yourself but recognize that art is something that is produced for public consumption, and the public has the right to hold you morally responsible for your work and to judge you for it. It can't tell you what to think, what to believe, or how to express yourself, but why should the artist be exempt from society's judgement?


artist are not exempt, and I honestly don't get this line of argument - everyone is held accountable one way or another - it is, of course the responsibility of the artist to 'own' that responsibility, what I take issue with in this line of argument is the presumption that I don't acknowledge that responsibility - or that artists in general don't have to acknowledge it - I read an article not too long ago from right on this board that someone posted a link to - no, I can't find it - but it was about some guy in Korea who was just released from a long term in prison for his artwork.
He must have known his art would be controversial in his closed society, but he did it anyway, and went to jail. and is making art still - that's a fairly obvious example of an artist owning that responsibility. and I respect that man for that as well as the art work I saw of his in the article

If my previous comments indicated that I feel there's no sense of ownership that should be attributed to a creation from an artist, then mark me down as incapable of correctly articulating my point of view, I didn't (and don't) feel that's what I was stating or indicating.

What I'm TRYING to put forth is that the idea of having to change or edit my artistic creations based on a set of moral standards imposed on me by my society because it's (ideally) created for public consumption is counter to everything I believe is present in the value of the artist in a society.

you take risk as an artist because no one else is willing to, you pay for that risk because the current moral standards of your society run counter to the risk you take - that (again, ideally) is what provides the opportunity for societal evolution - that's what's noble about good art.

I don't hold artists of any caliber exempt from responsibility, I admire artists for the same risk-taking desire that I mention above- art that's created with only the consumption of its public in mind isn't art to me - and does center in more closely to being entertainment than art to me.

I don't know how I can state that more clearly so if I'm still incomprehensible, I'll have to find solace in at least knowing what my intentions are/were in making my comments - regardless of my apparent lack of ability to be clear enough to not get attacked.

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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Sun August 11, 2013 11:23 pm 
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that is a lot more clear than your previous posts, at least to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Mon August 12, 2013 1:24 am 
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Malice, I apologize if you thought my post came across as unnecessarily combative -- I was posting on my lunch break and was too quick to submit, I feared upon leaving that I probably came across sounding like a jerk.

Mainly, your initial reply in this thread seemed to me to advocate a complete waiving of responsibility on the part of any artist to consider the moral implication of his or her work -- if this is not what you meant to convey, then I'm sorry, but it's what came across. I don't agree with this position -- I think it's selfish, the idea that one's own personal expression is the singular thing that should be considered in something being put forth for public consumption. I'm not suggesting that one should spend hours fretting over the various ways one's work might be misinterpreted, or trying to tinker with it so as to ensure that even the fussiest individuals remain unfazed by it, but to the extent that you can reasonably predict the effect your work may have on another human being, I do think it ought to be considered. That's something I would say about an individual in every profession, because there's no instance in which I think our obligations to said profession supersedes our obligations to each other as people. Simply put, I think being considerate of others in your work speaks better of you as a person than not being considerate of them speaks of you as an artist, if that makes sense.

I respect where you're coming from as an artist -- I write essays, I record music, I generally like creating things and seeing a reflection of myself in them. But overall I don't really understand the importance of whether or not something is classified as "art" or "entertainment" or whatever -- to me there is just too much overlap between the two categories to spend too much time worrying about over which is which, or which is both. I apologize for putting words in your mouth and being condescending. It was my fault for not choosing my words more carefully.


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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Mon August 12, 2013 4:57 am 
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Kevin Davis wrote:
Malice, I apologize if you thought my post came across as unnecessarily combative -- I was posting on my lunch break and was too quick to submit, I feared upon leaving that I probably came across sounding like a jerk.

Mainly, your initial reply in this thread seemed to me to advocate a complete waiving of responsibility on the part of any artist to consider the moral implication of his or her work -- if this is not what you meant to convey, then I'm sorry, but it's what came across. I don't agree with this position -- I think it's selfish, the idea that one's own personal expression is the singular thing that should be considered in something being put forth for public consumption. I'm not suggesting that one should spend hours fretting over the various ways one's work might be misinterpreted, or trying to tinker with it so as to ensure that even the fussiest individuals remain unfazed by it, but to the extent that you can reasonably predict the effect your work may have on another human being, I do think it ought to be considered. That's something I would say about an individual in every profession, because there's no instance in which I think our obligations to said profession supersedes our obligations to each other as people. Simply put, I think being considerate of others in your work speaks better of you as a person than not being considerate of them speaks of you as an artist, if that makes sense.

I respect where you're coming from as an artist -- I write essays, I record music, I generally like creating things and seeing a reflection of myself in them. But overall I don't really understand the importance of whether or not something is classified as "art" or "entertainment" or whatever -- to me there is just too much overlap between the two categories to spend too much time worrying about over which is which, or which is both. I apologize for putting words in your mouth and being condescending. It was my fault for not choosing my words more carefully.


I think the crux of this argument is in the words 'for public consumption' - artists have a responsibility to their audience, in whatever form, and I believe that is (functionally) best described as 'respecting the audience' - not abusing or taking advantage of the audience, but putting some artistic product out there with sincere intentions and motivation. In that, I believe moral obligation is requisite. I don't hold beliefs in extremes of any kind such as a complete waiving of responsibility because one is an artist. it's unproductive to treat everything in black and white terms like that, and I'm literally incapable of it in all aspects of my life- although it may cause me less conflict if I was able to do that.

the problem I have here is creating art is done in a vacuum to me - perhaps not with music since it's the result of a long series of processes and interactions with numerous musicians and other people, but I speak only as someone who paints and draws, which is a singular activity, so while I can get opinions and advice from people as I create, it's mainly an activity that requires no other input from the outside world, and would be unwelcome from my perspective most of the time due to the intimacy of the act itself.
I can't compare that type of experience with creating music or writing for a readership because that necessarily depends on its audience - so perhaps that's a fundamental difference in the art forms used.
I'm not fortunate nor talented enough to have an audience for my artwork but I have a hard time conceiving of a clean example of flagrant disregard for the public and harm being inflicted on audiences due to artistic products.
it sounds improbable or at least an exaggerated possibility.

I'm wondering if the sex pistols were inconsiderate of their audience - they were certainly trying to be (although I'm not claiming to be an expert, and I'm sure your musical depth out distances mine by miles) - I do have some memory of their impact on people though (I was a bit young for punk but only by 5 or 10 years so the aftershock lingered) - does that disregard speak badly of them as artists? or does it speak badly of their creator Malcolm McLaren? so maybe they were the work of art and he was the artist - was he a dick for creating them?
seems like it's all a matter of degrees to me, and in that event, I don't have a moral compass that's fine tuned enough to do me any good. but perhaps most other artists of all forms do and I'm odd man out here.

everything else - I appreciate your reply and I'm not trying to be an arrogant prick when I make comments - I am very forceful in what I have to say most of the time, and I know it comes across as an being an arrogant prick, but it's more an urgency in wanting to convey what I think and a desire to not feel I'm compromising my own opinions- which is, in itself a selfish and inconsiderate act... so there you go - I'm guilty as charged, except it's not meant to be arrogant, only honest - I'm just very blunt.

hope that clears up some of what I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Mon August 12, 2013 5:12 am 
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malice wrote:
Kevin Davis wrote:
Malice, I apologize if you thought my post came across as unnecessarily combative -- I was posting on my lunch break and was too quick to submit, I feared upon leaving that I probably came across sounding like a jerk.

Mainly, your initial reply in this thread seemed to me to advocate a complete waiving of responsibility on the part of any artist to consider the moral implication of his or her work -- if this is not what you meant to convey, then I'm sorry, but it's what came across. I don't agree with this position -- I think it's selfish, the idea that one's own personal expression is the singular thing that should be considered in something being put forth for public consumption. I'm not suggesting that one should spend hours fretting over the various ways one's work might be misinterpreted, or trying to tinker with it so as to ensure that even the fussiest individuals remain unfazed by it, but to the extent that you can reasonably predict the effect your work may have on another human being, I do think it ought to be considered. That's something I would say about an individual in every profession, because there's no instance in which I think our obligations to said profession supersedes our obligations to each other as people. Simply put, I think being considerate of others in your work speaks better of you as a person than not being considerate of them speaks of you as an artist, if that makes sense.

I respect where you're coming from as an artist -- I write essays, I record music, I generally like creating things and seeing a reflection of myself in them. But overall I don't really understand the importance of whether or not something is classified as "art" or "entertainment" or whatever -- to me there is just too much overlap between the two categories to spend too much time worrying about over which is which, or which is both. I apologize for putting words in your mouth and being condescending. It was my fault for not choosing my words more carefully.


I think the crux of this argument is in the words 'for public consumption' - artists have a responsibility to their audience, in whatever form, and I believe that is (functionally) best described as 'respecting the audience' - not abusing or taking advantage of the audience, but putting some artistic product out there with sincere intentions and motivation. In that, I believe moral obligation is requisite. I don't hold beliefs in extremes of any kind such as a complete waiving of responsibility because one is an artist. it's unproductive to treat everything in black and white terms like that, and I'm literally incapable of it in all aspects of my life- although it may cause me less conflict if I was able to do that.

the problem I have here is creating art is done in a vacuum to me - perhaps not with music since it's the result of a long series of processes and interactions with numerous musicians and other people, but I speak only as someone who paints and draws, which is a singular activity, so while I can get opinions and advice from people as I create, it's mainly an activity that requires no other input from the outside world, and would be unwelcome from my perspective most of the time due to the intimacy of the act itself.
I can't compare that type of experience with creating music or writing for a readership because that necessarily depends on its audience - so perhaps that's a fundamental difference in the art forms used.
I'm not fortunate nor talented enough to have an audience for my artwork but I have a hard time conceiving of a clean example of flagrant disregard for the public and harm being inflicted on audiences due to artistic products.
it sounds improbable or at least an exaggerated possibility.

I'm wondering if the sex pistols were inconsiderate of their audience - they were certainly trying to be (although I'm not claiming to be an expert, and I'm sure your musical depth out distances mine by miles) - I do have some memory of their impact on people though (I was a bit young for punk but only by 5 or 10 years so the aftershock lingered) - does that disregard speak badly of them as artists? or does it speak badly of their creator Malcolm McLaren? so maybe they were the work of art and he was the artist - was he a dick for creating them?
seems like it's all a matter of degrees to me, and in that event, I don't have a moral compass that's fine tuned enough to do me any good. but perhaps most other artists of all forms do and I'm odd man out here.

everything else - I appreciate your reply and I'm not trying to be an arrogant prick when I make comments - I am very forceful in what I have to say most of the time, and I know it comes across as an being an arrogant prick, but it's more an urgency in wanting to convey what I think and a desire to not feel I'm compromising my own opinions- which is, in itself a selfish and inconsiderate act... so there you go - I'm guilty as charged, except it's not meant to be arrogant, only honest - I'm just very blunt.

hope that clears up some of what I think.

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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Mon August 12, 2013 5:16 am 
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you jerk

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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Mon August 12, 2013 5:19 am 
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you know who doesn't respect their audience? bon jovi.


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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Mon August 12, 2013 5:21 am 
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do they still have an audience?

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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
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8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Mon August 12, 2013 1:00 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Do artists have a moral responsibility with their work r
PostPosted: Mon August 12, 2013 8:12 pm 
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