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[dis]illusioned
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Reposting this for my ISFP brethrens because I wonder what difference there is between our INFP cousins now. Original post here (and yes, I admittedly posted in INFP 1st b/c the traffic is higher).

This question has been on my mind of late... Do you create a separation from an actor/writer/artist/person's work and their IRL actions and beliefs? If an person did something reprehensible (ranging from saying something stoopid all the way up to rape/murder), would this ruin your ability to appreciate their work?

The controversies of Woody Allen or Roman Polanski come to mind. For myself, I do tend to create a separation, since I try to separate fantasy from reality in the first place and compartmentalize the two. I also tend to dislike whitewashing history or sanitizing uglier aspects of the past. I happen to adore Polanski's Repulsion picture and consider it one of the greatest movies ever, but his actions of drugging and raping a 13 year old girl are inexcusable. Similarly, I'm a big fan of Smallville and like Allison Mack's character a lot, even if the actress herself is currently undergoing prosecution for her role in the NXIVM sex cult/slavery thing.

The Birth of a Nation and Triumph of the Will are still works to be admired as historical artifacts, regardless of their content. Similarly this is why blackface or the word "nigger" don't offend me within the context of history. It really depends, IMO, how the word is used. You cannot (or rather should not) change history and once upon a time, certain words were more accepted than the other.

My dad was once looking at an old journal entry and was shocked to learn he referred to a black person as a "negro." But the context of a word's political correctness changes in time, so I tend to think it counterproductive to constantly correct and re-correct with addendum after addendum. IMO, better to leave the historical context as implied and assume your audience is smart enough to understand that times change.

My other niggle with a puritanical approach to judging value would be... still waters run deep. I'm sure if you delve into every single person's brain, you'd find an opinion that irks you, so at that point everywhere you turn could be stepping into a minefield.

Moreover, do you think this extends outside the arts? If a doctor is an asshole/rude but does his job well, I don't care... but if that doctor was a child molester I would hope they would be behind bars. I suppose the discrepancy is that artwork can be appreciated after death/incarceration whereas something like healthcare is more immediate.
 
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I didn't even read the whole post, but

Do you create a separation from an actor/writer/artist/person's work and their IRL actions and beliefs?


yes, otherwise I wouldn't be able to enjoy their work (which is the point for me).
 
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I saw your post in INFP last night, but I haven't read any responses. I feel very similarly to you, I can appreciate or value the creation without necessarily agreeing with the creator. I don't know what the INFP's said (guess I'll check it out later) but this was one of the first things that tipped me off to not being an INFP (not that it alone, is substantial enough to account for the difference) but it involved a thread on Alan Watts, and a few INFP's were commenting on how seriously you might entertain wisdom from a man who clearly had his own demons with alcohol and occasionally whoring around. I felt that such behaviors did not detract from his insight, but even perhaps added to it.. in the sense that we are all so very human, and imperfect and prone to so-called deficiencies, indulgences, less 'enlightened' desires, playing out all the various conditionings we've absorbed whether they be constructive or destructive.

If there is a big difference, I think it could possibly? come down to Se and Ne. In my mind, it is 'easier' to be 'idealistic' in theory, than reality. As a person who is very in touch with physical, sensate pleasures... it is easier for me to understand how another could be fragmented? in this sense... how they could contain an asymmetry and be very strong/mature in some areas yet, weak in others. I *think* one of the differences between Ni and Ne, is that Ni users have this sense of 'realizing' the truth, taking what already existed outside into the self .. uncovering the meaning.... while Ne users experience it more like 'creating' a truth, putting something out there that was not already in existence. And, if that is the case... this taking in vs putting out.. then I can come a little closer to understanding why the infp's feel so strongly about the creator and the creation being one and the same, inseparable.

Edit: Oh, I also feel very strongly about the dangers in white-washing history, in wanting to reframe narratives, etc. I completely agree that the individual needs to be responsible for interpreting the language and events in the context of that time period, it's cultural norms, etc. It is very frustrating to see the 'ideas of the now' applied to people from radically different times and cultural standards.

But yes, if I read a poem or love a song or appreciate a painting, and later find that the artist was a racist or cannibal or wife-beater, etc. it doesn't actually stop me from connecting with the piece itself. The creation speaks on it's own, it captures or expresses something beyond the details or conditions or inspiration for that creator.. something more abstract and universally shared. I don't have to be a racist to understand and feel an intense attachment to my own tribe, origin, family, history, community and even country, or feel the pangs of ones culture being erased by time and changing demographics.. I can feel in that, share in that.. without actually coming to the particular outcome or manifest details of the creator.

I asked my ISTP friend his thoughts, since he is also Se/Ni.. and he is incredibly artistic; draws, paints and is very musically inclined (has been in various bands over the years.) He said that a rap artist he really enjoyed was later found to have sexual involvement with under-age, and that after hearing it, it greatly affected his appreciation of the songs. He could no longer listen with the same intensity and identification, it so greatly tainted the work. I asked him if that feeling arose from a more internal source, form him being disgusted on a personal/subjective level.. or from something outside the self.. and he said it was more an external origin, a feeling sense of it being harmful to the collective (Fe is my guess.)

Enneagram might be a thing here, too.
 

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It depends on what they could be getting as a result of me enjoying their art. If I don't have to worry about them getting any money or praise as a result of me adding to their audience, then sure, I don't care. Like, if they're dead, then it doesn't matter to me.

But the fact is that there are rapists whom are glorified and whom have their crimes overlooked or justified, simply because they're also artists. And regardless of what my intent is when checking out their work, I don't want to be another stroke to their ego.
 

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I tend to separate the person from the piece of art. In general I'm not the kind of person who idolize artists, singers etc., believe they are so great and kind and stop being their fan immediately when they show that they are normal humans and that they make mistakes. This allows me to be able to enjoy a piece of art despite the person who made it and not to feel betrayed (?) if they say something weird.
Obviously I believe that people like Allen need to be in prison and not out there making movies, but this doesn't allow us to cancel his work. If we had to behave like this, we should cancel 99% of human culture.
 

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Well, if that was so, I'd happily listen to Charles Manson and his songs. There's a certain suspension for less drastic character-flaws, but I couldn't enjoy a downright evil persons work. If a celebrity / artist / musician is a jerk, I can still immerse myself in their art, I'd be such a jerk if I was famous, so why exclude them.
 

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I honestly think that people are missing out when they dismiss a person's work just because they're a bad person. It's something I never really understood. Then again, I don't think I'm a Fi user. Being horrible personally does not affect their music, so why should you look at their music differently?

Obviously I believe that people like Allen need to be in prison and not out there making movies, but this doesn't allow us to cancel his work. If we had to behave like this, we should cancel 99% of human culture.
Completely agree with this. People like that should definitely go to prison but it doesn't affect that the QUALITY of the work they've done in the past.

Everyone's horrible in their own way anyway (some more than others). I don't get why people care more about celebrities than the art they create (as you said, idolizing them doesn't make sense to me). Therefore, the same goes for shunning them due to being a horrible person. Just look at them for their art, not what they do personally.

I get not wanting to support someone financially due to morals, but really, listening to an artist that's a shitty person on YouTube doesn't help them at all. Or you can pirate a movie or whatever.
 

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This question has been on my mind of late... Do you create a separation from an actor/writer/artist/person's work and their IRL actions and beliefs? If an person did something reprehensible (ranging from saying something stoopid all the way up to rape/murder), would this ruin your ability to appreciate their work?
I get what you mean. I've thought about this a lot for a long time. My default state of mind is very forgiving of differences of opinion or perspective, of artists delving into taboo topics, of art or works created in less moral historical times, the way you described. But as I've gotten older I've also become more keenly aware of the impact that things like art can have on society, on what normalizing values actually does. And that's made it much more difficult for me to listen/watch/read/admire/etc art that displays immoral content, especially if it displays it in a positive light. As a writer and a video game developer I strongly believe that the moral message of a work is an important part of the craft of the work, at least for any narrative work. Narrative exists to capture and convey meaning and it's part of an creators job to say something worth saying.

For example, having learned about abuse and coercive relationships and about the trauma that can come from them, it's difficult for me to enjoy movies that show tropes like "abduction as romance" or "stalking for love" anymore... not to mention movies that show overtly abusive and emotionally/physically abusive men as admirable in any light.

So, to answer your question more directly, generally if I become aware of misbehavior by a creator of a work of art I'll pay more attention to whether their work tries to normalize or even glorify that sort of behavior, or other problematic behaviors. In that context, realizing that a creator has some problematic IRL actions or beliefs can lead me to noticing things in their work that lower my opinion of it. For example: Woody Allen regularly has much older men dating very very young women, frequently highschoolers, in his work. I tries to pass it off as innocent, a connection of hearts to which age is no barrier. And assuming that both people are non-abusive non-coercive people who prefer to manage their own emotional developments and are both at least 18+ I can accept that scenario. But Woody Allen himself has had affairs with underage girls... and in that light this trend in his work no longer looks like an innocent embracing of taboo human sexual and romantic tendencies that have been a part of our lives forever... and more likes like an attempt to justify his own bad behavior, or even normalize it. Which reduces my opinion of any of his works in which that's a feature.

This is far more true for people and works that are actively influencing our culture and our society. When we read that Juliet is 13 in Romeo and Juliet and that Romeo is 19 we say, "Whoa, fucked up that that was normal in Shakespeare's time." not "oh, I guess that is normal." (Some people might still say, 'oh, I guess that's normal', which means we should really make sure that when people are reading that stuff in school their teachers point out that it might have been normal at that time, but so was shitting in bed when sharing it with someone else. And it's not okay now [obviously there are exceptions for people with conditions which render them incapable of controlling their bowls/bladder]).
 
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