It's not so easy to critically look at one's own music habits. It was only when I realized I tend to identify with the song's narrator that I started to look at things differently. I'd let things slide because "It's only a song," or "Who am I to stifle one's artistic expression," rather than honestly look at the messages some of those songs were sending. Case in point: a certain singer-songwriter, celebrated in underground circles, more than once has used the word "whore" in song. Overwhelmingly, I like this guy's music, and I'm not willing to give it up, but I can't ignore the fact that, you know, he just called someone a whore -- even if metaphorically.
I like Tami's take on Morrissey's racist comments from earlier this year, and what it means to be a fan when one of your idols makes bigoted comments:
I won't claim that I will never again let my iPod rest on a song by The Smiths or Morrissey, but the way I experience those songs has been forever tainted. While I have never listed Morrissey among my celebrity idols, many certainly do, and I find this perplexing. It is one thing to love the music and hate the man, but if you find bigotry abhorrent, how can you then idolize someone who has a history of demonstrating racial prejudice?I'm not going to pretend my iPod is entirely free of hatred -- racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism is unfortunately the norm in society, and the culture we consume reflects that. But I'm learning.