Should an artist always practice what (s)he preaches?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by thermodynamic, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    Orson Scott Card
    Bill Cosby
    Bristol Palin

    They and others have contributed creative products of value. I'll keep tangents to a minimum because these individuals are not the focus of the post but the concept of produced product vs what the seller does once the show's over.

    Orson Scott Card is a notorious homophobe. Should people appreciate his products even if they might disagree with his personal views? Some say yes, some say no.

    I'm ambivalent having thought about the basic issue lately, though in the past I advocated that a seller would probably be more credible if they walked the talk. But in an objective viewpoint, should it matter iff a renowned vegetarian, once done with selling the goods, go to an all-you-can-eat meat buffet?

    Especially as the music industry would not be littered with songs whining about "do as I say not as I do".

    Cosby and Palin both sold wholesome family values. But behind the scenes, they didn't exactly practice what they preach. Does that invalidate what they tried to teach the world? Should they be held to the same standards they want everyone else to?

    There are plenty of examples of others where there's an interesting disconnect, but one could be here all day playing "namedropping". But they all tie into the basic question:

    Should an artist always practice what (s)he preaches? Should a person's personal beliefs matter when it comes to business transactions? Why or why not?
  2. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Jan 28, 2009
    I think it would depend on what the do and say. your example of palin does to really fit she is not really selling anything well nothing anymore. the absence only teaching was sure a joke. Cosby well he actually hurt others do dump his ass in the trash and I bet you don't see anymore reruns of his shows on tv. but we all should reap what we sow when we tell the world what we think.
  3. aaronvan Suspended


    Dec 21, 2011
    República Cascadia
    Bristol Palin is an artist in exactly what medium, please?
  4. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    You ask a very good question....I think everyone, artist or not, should practice what they preach but its hard to do so. My doctor tells me I must lose weight but he's overweight himself. I don't think his advice is wrong because he has a problem with his weight as well. I think it depends on what the artist is preaching. Bill Cosby has preached being responsible for decades now but look what he did. I think at best that makes him a hypocrite and at worst, it makes him a piece of ****. But what if he didn't preach to young people for all these years? He's still a piece of **** for what he did. Palin is more of the eyerolling, hypocritical, politician like example. Doesn't make her a bad person, just someone I wouldn't expect anyone to take seriously. I think people who don't practice what the preach just make themselves and their cause look bad. I used Leo D as an example in a bunch of threads about climate change and most people just responded with a don't shoot the messenger type post, which only proved they didn't know what that phrase means. He's a guy who is preaching that humankind's very existence is at stake but then flies on private jets and has huge mansions, etc etc, I think, you must not really believe what you are saying. It hurts your cause to be that hypocritical and of course people won't take you seriously.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 24, 2016 ---
    --- Post Merged, Jul 24, 2016 ---
    Wait, how is OSC, not practicing what he preaches?
  5. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    Allegations on Cosby is still questionable, the women are being caught lying one by one.
  6. Three141, Jul 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016

    Three141 macrumors 6502


    Jan 1, 2016
    Of the three mentioned I've only heard of Cosby.
    My view is No.
    Non-artists struggle to do this, they are just people who can lie/act/pretend like everyone else.

    The problem is they are put on a pedestal, in Cosby's case he was an actor playing a role nothing more in my eyes (granted i'm from the UK, so not sure about all his details), personally I never believe the person I hear/see in music and films.

    A good message should always be shared we as people should pick what we like, discard what we don't and don't shoot the messenger.
  7. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Jan 28, 2009
    painting of the poo.
  8. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    You need to separate a person from their contributions and judge them each in their own light.

    I think the assembly line was a brilliant innovation by Henry Ford, and I think the man was of questionable moral character. I won't give up the advantages of the assembly line because of who gave it to us, and I won't forgive the man's character for having given it.

    Thomas Jefferson drafted some of the greatest texts in American history, and contributed some of the ideas central to the nation. He railed against the possibility of a national debt, but couldn't keep Monticello out of the red. His publicly indicted slavery-- yet he was a slave holder. I think we need to separate the man from his contributions.

    In the reverse, Richard Feynman seems like a lovely individual who also gave us nuclear weapons.

    The same is true in art. It should be possible to separate artistic ideas from personal failings. I would like to believe that those who create the art that I find agreeable practice what they preach, and I'd like to believe that the people who create art I find disagreeable have created art of the imagination. I suspect neither is true. People are complicated beasts.

    I can't really laugh at a Bill Cosby routine any more because it's been tainted by his character. Knowing what I know makes it hard to enjoy, but maybe future generations will be able to separate the man from his work. I suspect if I were a comedian though, I could learn something from his craft even now.
  9. lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I can't really separate them though. I will grant that we're all human and we all do stupid but some are just reprehensible.
  10. thermodynamic thread starter Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    The abstinence preaching and big 5-digit speeches despite not abstaining and getting pregnant again despite sharing her story about abstaining and everything else related to that?

    Of all people to not keep up or to have kept up, I would not have expected you to be in with that crowd in regards to the Bristol Palin controversies.

    I did stumble on this, it's a good read:

    You know what?

    She's right...
  11. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I'm a big fan of the Ender series of books (the Bean books were good, but not as good). I also recognize that Orson Scott Card is a huge homophobe. I still enjoy the stories, and I appreciate that his books got me into the sci-fi genre which is really great and full of really great non-homophobe authors.

    I'll also add that while some of Card's writing does have some oddly neo-Christian themes, and at times preaches that marriage, heterosexual relations, and families with children are key to the survival of the human race, he also throws in some really odd stuff that seems to contradict that. The piggies have some odd phase-based asexual life-cycle. Ender seems to at times love the buggers more than the humans around him, where he ruins his relationships. Also, there are some weird sibling possibly incest undertones at times. Seems like Card contradicts himself in his own writing at times.
  12. Goatllama macrumors 6502a


    Jun 24, 2015
    Mountaintop Lair
    Ideally the person would practice what they preach. Pragmatically, if they are a positive influence on the world and keep their flaws to themselves, sounds good to me.

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