Memo to the Globe and Mail: Sophistry does not justify keeping the works of rapists, murderers, and other destructive con men. Why a creator’s intent is more important than the product he makes

The Globe and Mail’s Russell Smith’s apologist column is a very good example of bad journalism. It is a justification why we should keep admiring the works of thugs and tyrants who backstabbed, schemed, lied, and bullied their way into immortality with their immorality.

Smith gets the ball rolling with the logic that explains why journalism has collapsed:

The great Renaissance sculptor and goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini, creator of Perseus With the Head of Medusa, was a murderer and a rapist. He killed at least two men and was accused by a model of sexually assaulting her. This does not stop me from looking with great amazement and curiosity at the naked and sexual Perseus With the Head of the Medusa. The knowledge of the immorality of the creator does not distract from my enjoyment of his creation; indeed I am made even more curious to know how beauty is perceived by a violent man.

Beauty? Has Smith never heard of the concept of a Trojan horse? When I look at the art of destructive men such as Cellini, I wonder what more talented men and women had their works silenced and forgotten because a sociopath like Cellini maneuvered his way into prominence? Whose voices were forever ignored because men like Cellini was not above terrorizing people around him as he blustered his way to the top?

Just like Harvey Weinstein.

Imagine how pathetic a species humans are that we still enable tyrants in 2017? We learned nothing. We changed nothing. Notice we are hashing up years old sexual harassment and assault stories, as if it weren’t happening right now.

And still holding on to Cellini is proof why journalism is no longer a thing.

Because journalists do not know how to ever admit they are wrong, nor do they seem to have any capability of looking beneath the surface.

R. Kelly’s song Age is Just A Number isn’t art: it is an excuse disseminated through song. We have people who have infected our hearts and minds with things that are destructive. These works as used to justify racism, sexism, pedophilia, oppression, and making very bad things look good.

Art is supposed to be creative. It is supposed to progress and free people, not make them co-conspirators in their own oppression and confinement.

Wonder Woman, for example, is a prime case of a misogynistic concept presented as a feminist one. No sorry, not even the raved about movie can erase the sexist stink of it. But you have people who honestly think it is about empowering women. It is, in fact, a guide in showing how to make a woman oppressed, but tricking her into thinking the opposite. If Wonder Woman is Hollywood’s answer to feminism, they can keep it.

But people are slaves to habit, particularly journalists. They cannot entertain the notion that they were flawed in their conclusions in any way. They do not look back to see things through the lens of reality: they were told to admire this Great Man, and they will doggedly recite the script without looking deeper at what does this song/book/movie/show really tell people?

Woody Allen’s movies are nothing to rave about, and I always found them patronizing and insulting to women, even as a kid. People rave as if it were a divine decree.

We are not taught to ask questions. We are not taught to think critically. We are not taught to reflect. We make do with what limited dreck we are given; and so, we begin to pretend we like things in order not to make trouble or be seen as an outsider.

Journalism needs to reexamine itself before it can start again. It has to stop snootily fawning over trash created by destructive people just to seem hip and learned. A lot of con men have managed to turn themselves into titans and gods, when they stole, lied, and puffed their way into public notice. Enough is enough.

The misuse of the arts is no excuse to praise bad people. It’s not good art: it is coded oppression, and there are enough talented and creative people to fill the gaps so we can finally enjoy the arts — and appreciate them sensibly without creating a new breed of them without the psychotic praise that turns normal people into the very monsters that eventually harm us.