When artistic freedom clashes with political correctness…
This essay, ironically on the website of a far-left newspaper, provokes one to answer the questions: what are the limits of artistic freedom? Please read it, then proceed.
Isn’t art supposed to be unfettered creative and ideological anarchy?
Ought artists be free to produce whatever they damn well please (or refuse to produce what they don’t)?
Should a poem that some interpret as racist be apologized for, by publisher and poet?
What literature or music should be censored or banned, and by whom? Why?
Who decides what sculptures must go up or come down, for what consistent, objective and reproducible standards, and why?
What about “art” offensive to other groups, like “Piss Christ” to Christians, or the Danish cartoons of Mohammed to Muslims? One, both or neither? If one, for strict consistency’s sake, why not the other?
Please answer these questions before proceeding. Be specific, and use logic and reason, not emotion.
This is a simultaneously fascinating and disturbing issue of free speech vs. societally (and sometimes governmentally) enforced artistic conformity.
Yes, governmentally enforced conformity: In Colorado, a crazed, power-mad, gestapo-like little state board keeps trying to compel a cake artist to commission art against his will, even after being rebuked by the U.S. Supreme Court.
This is raw tyranny, and selective too: why are they not likewise hounding Muslim or Orthodox Jewish bakers to produce similar images against their faith? All would be anti-freedom, not to mention anti-religious bigotry, and therefore, morally and legally (Constitution!) wrong.
Independent or self-employed artists should have complete and unfettered freedom of choice in the subject matter they may be commissioned to paint, draw or sculpt. The government must never force an artist to produce (or not) art against his/her will. Only the free market should determine if the art is worth purchasing or viewing.
Why? First Amendment. Simple as that. Last I checked, the literal, black-and-white words of the First Amendment do not say, “except” or “unless”. I challenge anyone, anywhere, to find those words anywhere in the Bill of Rights. Go for it.
When a societal, social-media hate mob, or worse, any level of government, can force one artist to do its bidding, or to apologize for art that bothered someone, somewhere, the freedoms of all artists, writers and musicians are at stake. Yet I hear nothing but crickets when listening to the artistic Left, specifically and in particular, for their outrage over these intrusions into artistic freedom. That silence is hypocrisy, and chickenshit cowardice.
So like that gnat that won’t go away, I’m quite deliberately going to pester them periodically with this issue and bringing it to their attention online, until the artistic Left is forced to either: 1) back off and support unconditional artistic freedom, or 2) admit that they hypocritically don’t want any freedom of expressions with which they disagree.
Yes, I’m being brutally honest and transparent with my agenda here. Now will the Left?