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Pieta Dept.

Purchase on AmazonI will begin with a simple question, one which you are free to reply to right now without reading the rest of this: What do you do when you find that an artist whose work you admire deeply — be it a musician, an author, an actor — holds political stances that you cannot in good faith bring yourself to agree with?

Here's the rest of the story.

Most people who read this site know I've long been a fan of Merzbow, or Masami Akita as he's known by the name he was born with and most likely also signs on his legal paperwork. Akita has, for some time now, spoken out in favor of animal rights and pro-environmental issues; he's against whaling, trapping animals for fur, eating meat, and so on. All fine. What I find less easy to take is his support for PETA, who have employed questionable tactics many times in the past.

I'm doing my best here to separate the actual agenda from the means used to promote / further it. I don't have an issue with someone who chooses not to eat meat, wear fur, use leather products, use animal-tested products, etc. I don't have an issue with someone who wants to raise consciousness for such things.

Rather than shun Akita's music outright and say "No, I won't give money to someone who supports PETA," which accomplishes little and perhaps nothing, I will put it this way instead:

Mr. Akita, I support the right for you to say what you do and ally yourself with such groups. But I also reserve the right to call you out on it. By all means, protest whaling and promote ways to allow people to enjoy a cruelty-free life. You even have a book by that name — My Cruelty-Free Life — that I'd like to see in English, if only for the sake of seeing what you have to say on the subject. But any record of yours that is specifically designed to garner money for PETA, I will not buy.

I like your music, Mr. Akita, and I like the fact that you're willing to stick with what you believe. It's the other guys I worry about. And I reserve the right to nag you about them.

So there's my answer.

Tags: Merzbow music politics

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This page contains a single entry by Serdar Yegulalp in the category Uncategorized / General, published on 2009/07/31 00:45.

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