RARA-AVIS: Books Must Be Good... Or Else.

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 12 Feb 2007

Has anyone pointed out that miker said "ART (not artists) has no moral obligations."

Not ARTISTS. Is it the cook or the bowl of soup that must be moral?

As far as art itself having moral obligations, what does that mean exactly? And by whose yardstick? Should we ban "bad" books?

I mean, a sinner could write a great "moral" book, and a saint could write an "immoral" one, so what do we judge? The book or the writer? Or the reader? Does reading an immoral book make one immoral?

Does the bad guy getting away with it (or simply an unhappy ending) mean the story is immoral?

So much for everything from the (insert name of your favorite religious text here) and Shakespeare to kids' fairy tales and this week's latest noir....

The moment people talk about imposing "morality" (be it on art or people or whatever) I check the exits. Some of the greatest evil in the world has been perpetuated by those who believe themselves to be the "good" guys -- or at least morally superior to their enemies.


P.S. When did "child molesters" replace "the Nazis" as the preferred, duly certified "ultimate evil" guaranteed to kill all rational debate?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 12 Feb 2007 EST