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Predator Safari

It's been an interesting time for shouting at the bad guys. Today's twitter king is the AskThicke hashtag, a gift that keeps on giving. It was supposed to be a Q+A publicity thing, giving fans direct access to the singer most famous for the very questionable hit song 'Blurred Lines.' The result has been a troll avalanche, as spectacular as the unfortunate Susan Boyle publicity hashtage #Susanalbumparty. It's been caustic to the point of joyful brutality, and I am trying not to enjoy it. 9 times out of 10 Twitter makes me want to run off to another planet. Today was the 10th time. Some have pointed out that RT wasn't alone in the production of that song, the mintingly popular Pharrel was involved too. But the latter's PR machine has a bit more savvy than to paint a target on their man and set him loose in a shooting gallery. Clearly, Thicke doesn't have those kind of friends. From the tweetfest, it seems he may not have any kind of friends.

Not so funny, the Rolf Harris thing. Like many others, I grew up with Rolf puffing and painting on the TV set in the background. He was never a favourite of mine, but he was part of the landscape. I recall long ago being given a warning about him. I can't recall who told me that they were disappointed on meeting him, because all he did was creep around the girls in an unpleasant way. 'Nasty,' was the word used. I was young enough not to understand quite what I was being told, but as I never intended to meet him, and never did, it was moot.

Marion Zimmer Bradley was the real shock. Turns out her husband was a known paedophile shielded by her...and according to her daughter, she was much more monstrous than he was. I read a poem by her daughter on the matter, and it has an awful ring of sincerity to it. I am upset enough not to provide a link* to that, or to the deposition* regarding her husband, which records MZB twisting and prevaricating pretty obviously. It is very hard to avoid the revulsion, and having read some of the material, I am not going to try. The poem makes me want to smash her face with rocks. I'm afraid I believe it.

I never read The Mists of Avalonall the way through; it was a bit too mopeymoon for me. But it was a good idea to have, this sense of Arthur's world from the point of the women. I liked the whole vibe around it rather than the story itself, a world of tattooed priestesses and Loreena McKennit warblings. But that was the interpretation of other imaginations and feelings. She drew, others coloured in. Do those who found their own profound expression in MoA feel complicit in her inner poison? Do they feel that they enabled her? One friend said that
he didn't feel the need to throw away her books or hate her prose anymore than he would stop using an autoban if he learned that Hitler had built it. And I understand that. Others say they feel sick that she ever benefited from their fandom, their belief and their money, and they are just chucking her books in the bin. I understand that too. Popular and Gifted and Good are not interchangeable. But in a time when we get so much of our moral compass delivered through entertainment, it's a hard thing to accept. Maybe we always want to like a person when we like what they create.

*Both are easy to find on the web.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
happybat
Jul. 6th, 2014 08:36 am (UTC)
The Marion Zimmer Bradley thing is horrible. I never liked 'Mists' either, but the science fiction was a major part of my childhood. I am still surprised at how very very upset this whole thing made me. In other words, I believe it too.

I firmly believe that the text and the writer are not the same, and god knows if we were to knock out writers for being horrendous human beings there would be very little literature left. But I have taken her books off my shelves and shoved them to the back of a cupboard all the same. I just can't feel the same about having them there, I can't feel any joy at thinking of re-reading her work.
smokingboot
Jul. 9th, 2014 11:15 pm (UTC)
I understand completely how you feel. Despite my knowledge that she is not her writing, it feels to me as though on some level she has tainted my own childhood Avalon. Maybe I need to return to Mary Stewart to make me like it again.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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