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Friday, November 28, 2008


Question of the Week: When It Rains Purple...

So now that Prince is on the record against gay marriage (much to the dismay of his handlers, who tried desperately to spin the story with He Who Shall Not Be Linked), I'm in a bit of a quandary. Prince has been one of the major musical influences in my life. There are easily a half-dozen albums by the Purple One that I can sing, word for word, from beginning to end. And yet...The New Yorker just doesn't lie, people. It's not even possible.

Can I still be a fan? I've never truly bought the Leni Riefenstahl argument that one should value the art over the crimes of the artist. And while I thought the protests against The Dixie Chicks were wrong-headed and misinformed, I respected the fans' right to speak with their pocketbooks.

So can a self-respecting gay man, or gay-positive person, still support Prince financially? I mean, I can always just listen to Purple Rain over and over. But for future recordings, is the answer to fight fire with fire...and just download them illegally? Your thoughts in the comments are much appreciated...
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Blogger the said...

Like you, I love Purple Rain. Always have. But I have always done so knowing full well that Prince is just about the worst Closet Case on the face of the planet. He's a total mess. Always has been.

But that's just my considered opinion; I don't expect everyone to agree with me.

11/28/08, 9:37 AM  
Blogger JimmyD said...

Ya know... I'm not letting that get in the way of my love for his music.
Mr Obama has also said he doesn't believe in gay marriage.
It doesn't take away that Prince is a musical genius (with the exception of the symbol years, where his focus was on his name (the symbol) instead of his music... I think his music pretty much sucked during that period) who enjoys wearing some of the gayest costumes and likes to prance around the stage like My Pretty Pony.
I think Prince has his own issues. For day wear he shops in the boys department. I don't agree with his choice to become part of the Jehovah's Witnesses. And for a very interesting, if not roll on the floor funny look into the secret world of Prince, check out filmmaker Kevin Smith's DVD 'An Evening with Kevin Smith.' Prince wanted Smith to shoot a documentary around the release of a new project... without any idea who Smith was or what his movies were like. My favorite line (spoken by someone in Prince's organization, "Prince has been living in Princeland a little too long." (I may have paraphrased.)
So crank up some awesome Prince funk and hope the teeny tiny man who enjoys lacy ass-less chaps one day will realizes he was wrong about taking rights away from people, including many of his fans.

11/28/08, 10:22 AM  
Blogger Barry Rowell said...

For me, I know that if his beliefs were the opposite of what they are, I'd be touting him to the heavens: "See, even though he's a JW, Prince thinks the vitriol against gay marriage is crap." And I'd be encouraging everyone I know to back him up and buy his work. Since, however, his views are the opposite of mine, I can't see myself supporting him again. I might not try to encourage others to a boycott—there are stores that Catherine and I have boycotted personally for years because we don't agree with their policies on paying the workers who make their goods, but we don't rail against them publicly...unless asked—but I don't imagine I'll buy any more of his work.

Usually, it's much easier: the people who voice the opinions that I most disagree with invariably make the art that I like the least (see: any country singer who recorded a song approximating in any way the sentiment, "These Colors Don't Run"). It's harder when the slap in the face comes from someone we once respected.

11/28/08, 10:27 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Prince has become a self serving plunderer... Quoting from the bible when he needs some depth and quoting from the constitution when he needs some heft. Prince explored the civil rights movement through his music and I am surprised that EQUAL rights do not register on his radar. Once great, Prince has been out of touch with the real world for some time. I will gleefully turn his own lyric around and point it at him: "Mr Man we want to end this letter with three words- we're tired a'y'all!"

11/28/08, 11:46 AM  
Blogger David said...

I wouldn't buy a Prince album now in the same way that I wouldn't buy a Gary Glitter one. He is tarnished by his views and has no place anymore in a gay mans music collection, Delete and move him to trash!

11/29/08, 4:16 AM  
Blogger Cal said...

*Baby I know, I know times are changinnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!*


I think there's a lot of sense in the Riefenstahl argument, although obviously not his politics. Lol.

I suppose it depends. Do you not personally know and like people who are against gay marriage? I dislike the lack of logic behind such prejudicial views, but I don't think the source of them is necessarily hateful. A lot of it is about upbringing and personal experience.

I'm not sure his political views are really relevant. The moral ambiguity of figures like Elia Kazan and Roman Polanski wouldn't stop me from buying their films. They and Prince are contributing to their art, and so they're entitled to earn money from that, even if they certainly no longer need it.

You don't need money to have an opinion.

11/29/08, 9:51 AM  
Blogger ZenDenizen said...

Prince is among my top 3 favorite artists but I'm very disappointed in his recent statements. I'm going to be cynical and say his best work is behind him and I don't see myself running out and buying any new material or concert tickets again. It was fun while it lasted...

11/29/08, 10:47 AM  
Blogger Alan Bennett Ilagan said...

To be honest, I haven't bought a Prince record since the 90's, so while that won't change anytime soon, his new comments do somewhat taint my feelings on him. It's sort of the same way that I listen to classic Michael Jackson. I can enjoy the music and not the man.

11/29/08, 2:06 PM  

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