Re: Paradox of Political Art - addendum

Posted by Dyske Suematsu | Thu Apr 8th 2004 9:17 p.m.

Hi Ryan,

This might be a good way to frame my argument:

When you and I oppose each other, your opposition is beneficial for me. The fact that you oppose, draws more attention to my writing, and more people would read it as a result. So, I need oppositions for my own existence. I must respect and foster them.

When you construct moral oppositions, it does not work that way. What motivates you to oppose is your desire to eliminate the opposition. And, if your identity as an opposition takes precedence over the moral cause, you risk being complicit in the perpetuation of your opponent.

Truman Capote faced an interesting dilemma when he was writing "In Cold Blood". In order for his book to be complete and effective, he needed the convicts to be executed, but it was taking a long time, and that was driving him crazy. Ironically, he would actually get more interviews in jail with them on the premise that he was helping them avoid the chair. As soon as they were executed, he published his book and it became a huge success. And, he vocally criticized capital punishment as a part of a campaign to sell his book. This is an extreme example of one's desire to be an artist taking precedence over the cause. An artist in him wished them dead, but his conscience said otherwise.

Best,

Dyske

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