Tuesday, September 29, 2009

BUSTED, DISGUSTED: "Am I supposed to be enjoying this?" asked a guy in the row behind me during Sunday's Eagles game, and while I'm not sure whether he was referring to the Wildcat-wacky offense or Michael Vick's participation therein, I'm happy to assume for present purposes that he was referring to the latter.

Because whether it's with current newsmakers Vick or Roman Polanski or John Phillips, there's not much debate about whether each engaged in disgusting, reprehensible acts. Vick was criminally punished for his actions; Polanski, hopefully, finally will; and Phillips, being dead, can never. [Want to complicate this? Throw the acquitted Michael Jackson and R. Kelly into the mix.] In each case, their sins produced victims. And in each case, at some point we have to make judgments as to whether to appreciate their work in spite of their sins, or perhaps in light of their sins, or to decide that the sins prevent us from appreciating their work at all.

Now, this is the part of the blog post where I'm supposed to insert some grand theory or complicated nuance which sorts this out neatly, but the truth is my visceral ewww, gross! reaction pretty much overwhelms the rest. There are enough good films out there which I don't have the time to see that I can skip Polanski's oeuvre easily. Why listen to Michael Jackson when there's always more Prince to listen to? And when was the last time you were invited to a Roscoe Arbuckle film festival?

Those who've been here for a while may recall that it's with R. Kelly that I've been most able to still appreciate the art, even before the acquittal, and that surprised me too when I realized it. When I can figure out why, I'll let you know, because it's mystifying me. YMMV.

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