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Not With The Band: On The Difficulty To Judge The Artists We Admire

fame and justice hand in hand

Recently, the news brought two awful stories around two artists I like, and this made me reflect on how bias we can be when we like someone’s art. First, some rape allegations around Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst popped up on the internet a few weeks ago. Strangely, this was all over the news at the time, and it totally vanished from sight, there is simply no follow-up to be found and I wonder why. Doesn’t this girl, who was so verbal on Tumblr, have anything else to say? May be the story is between the hands of lawyers and both parts are told to shut up, but this is very worrisome because we may never know the truth. True or made-up story, the accuser will probably end up with a nice settlement and the public will be left with some official and vague statement. Anyway, how do you prove or disprove a rape that supposedly happened ten years ago? What is left are the stories of two antagonists, and an endless head scratching decision on whom to believe. From what I know, women rarely accuse someone of rape when it’s untrue because it is such a humiliating experience, but this rule may not really apply in the case of celebrities…. So what do I believe? Evidently, I so much want to believe it is a false accusation because it would totally spoil my relationship with Oberst’s music! Wandering on diverse music boards discussing the allegations, was not a happy trip. I stumbled on many ‘Bright Eyes horror stories’ all over the place, like here (‘The first girl I ‘dated’ – we went out three times and that was it – i met at a bright eyes show in atlanta who had been to tons of his smaller shows before he had got superfamous and bragged about how her friend got to meet him and “one thing let to another” as she put it’) or here (‘i’m vaguely remembering either a female border or a boarder’s female acquaintance saying that he hit on her really aggressively when she was all of 15 or so after a show in the last oberst/bright eyes thread we had). Of course, I don’t believe everything people post on message boards, all these people may be suddenly making these stories up, or Conor Oberst has repeatedly taken advantage of young groupies going backstage after a show,… as so many rock stars have before him? My point is that when the child molestation allegations against Michael Jackson dropped years ago, I was easily convinced something went really wrong at Neverland. The children’s stories, the secret closet in his room, the porn magazines and the Jesus juice, I still have no problem to believe Jackson was guilty of at least something really disgusting. But the thing is that I have never cared about the king of pop’s music as much as I care about Oberst’s. I realize I am totally bias, what’s wrong with me! This last Sunday afternoon, another terrible story resurfaced as this open letter from Dylan Farrow was posted on a New York Times blog. Farrow accuses her adoptive father, Woody Allen, to have sexually abused her when she was just a 7-year-old child. The letter is hard to get through, especially if you like Allen’s movies, this is simply too much the closet-like attic, the toy train and the sexual assault, ouch! This is still very hard to reconcile this horrific act with the funny and smart character Allen is. Allen, whose presence on this music blog can easily be justified by his numerous performances with his New Orleans jazz band, have been battled Mia Farrow in a very nasty custody battle since 1992! I still don’t know what to believe, especially after re-watching this interview of Allen done by 60 minutes at the time, in which not only he denies everything but demonstrates that Mia Farrow may be a complete psycho who wanted her revenge after Allen ran away with Soon-Yi. In the interview Woody Allen is very convincing and articulate, but just like rape, it’s very hard for a person to publicly talk about molestation stories, so obviously people are gonna believe Dylan. However, if Mia Farrow has brainwashed her own child to serve her own cause, she is the sicko! I am torn, and I desperately want to believe that Farrow is the bad guy… Strangely, just like in the Oberst story, we don’t know but our mind is forced to take a side. Why did this story surface at the time Mia Farrow discovered Allen’s relationship with Soon Yi? And why did it resurfaced a few days ago, just after Allen received an homage during the Golden Globe and an academy award for best screenplay? Mia and Ronan Farrow (Allen’s allegedly son who is without any doubt Sinatra’s son) were all over twitter shouting ‘child molester’ during the ceremonies. But again I am totally bias.

Are we ever able to objectively judge the artists we like and love? I guess not, being bias is part of the game of being a fan, that’s why anyone famous can easily get away with murder

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