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View Diary: The Very Subjective Line Of "Objectionable" Entertainment (33 comments)

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  •  How do you determine (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, NotGeorgeWill, Dom9000

    what "encouraging or supporting unlawful violence" is? Is it in the intent of the artist, or is it in the interpretation of the work?

    •  first, this isn't for legislation... (4+ / 0-)

      ... it's more for ethical philosophy than anything else.

      What I'm looking at is unambiguous content and the emotional tone conveyed by the piece to the audience.  

      The artist may give some hints or clues, but may also deliberately misdirect.  

      For example Larry Pournelle may disclaim Nazi-like intentions when, in his novel Lucifer's Hammer, the white folks use home-made poison gas against a gang of black cannibals who are attacking them.  But it's pretty damn clear what he means:  his racist stereotypes of characters (whites = good, blacks = cannibals etc.) are appalling and the bit about poison gas is far over the line, regardless of whatever he has to say about it.  

      For example Glenn Beck can call himself a man of peace until he's purple, but that does not overcome the fact that his words have stirred up lone wolf shooters more than once (see also Byron Williams, classic case; see also "stochastic terrorism" for the general theory here).  

      Where there is real ground for ambiguity of interpretation, things are less obviously clear.   However this can give rise to all manner of verbal masturbation e.g. per deconstructionism seeking to attribute all kinds of socioeconomic and political meanings where they are not readily evident.

      When one has to indulge in deconstructionist loop-the-loops, it's pretty clear that the meaning in question was brought to the work by the person critiquing it.  

      However when meaning is clear and unambiguous, or requires very little interpretation to attribute (e.g. Pournelle's choice of poison gas as a weapon in a battle that looks like a race war, has pretty clear Nazi resonance), then one can also assign ethical credit or culpability as the case may be.  

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