Clarification

Just a clarification, for those of you who have written or are thinking about writing regarding my last blog entry. I have nothing against the nude human figure, male or female. I understand and agree that we need to study the figure in order to become better artists (just as a doctor needs to study the body in order to become a better doctor). Notice I previously said that the human body is beautiful.

My issue is with displaying art thinking that the only impact or interest it will have is a technical one. Art affects people. The internet is a community of the world. It is obviously filled with people of many different beliefs, world views and interests. Here we have images of the female body that were originally intended to degrade a beautiful thing. Now they are reproduced for technical reasons, but seemingly no thought is given to their original intent and to the affect they may have on visitors. Nothing fundamental has changed regarding the artwork. The artist’s intent was to create pornography. The artwork was intended to make men look at women as they would a piece of meat. The fact that it is now displayed to show technical ability is inconsequential to many who will visit the site. What they will see are images that were used to (and so still do) degrade what is beautiful.

Whether you agree with me or not, the least they could do is to put the images on a separate page warning people that some of the images may be inappropriate for some viewers.

Nuff said – I hope…

Ethics and Morals in the Artistic Community

So just exactly where are our ethics and morals these days? Here are three recent examples of questionable practices that no one seems to bat an eye at in our animation community:

1. Richard Williams’ Thief and the Cobbler released on the internet for free (www.cartoonbrew.com)
2. Copying and trading bootlegged TV episodes on the internet (www.fpsmagazine.com under Buried Anime Treasure).
3. Playboy ‘art’ posted on the Hollywood Animation Archive Blog (www.animationarchive.org)

The ‘justification’ for releasing an illegal copy of a feature length film is that it is for non-profit. Since when does the copyright law allow people to release other people’s work for free on the internet just because it is not for profit? Not only is it illegal but it’s also unethical. Here we have Williams who has worked on this for over 20 years and someone just takes it, makes it his own (so to speak), cuts it together and releases a version of it for free. I wonder how Dick feels about this? Having had my work/products pirated and bootleged I would hazard a guess that it doesn’t make him very happy. Did he give permission for this to be released? There seems to be no indication of this…

Then there is the justification of copying and trading other people’s work for your own benefit (for trade – which, as far as I’m concerned is the same as for money). The justification for continuing such an illegal action was “the copyright police never came a-knocking”. Here it is obvious that the person intended to do what he knew was wrong, but because he didn’t get caught it made it right. Oh brother!

The thing that surprised me the most about both of these incidents is that the criminals (and they are criminals if they are bootlegging things they have no business giving away) revealed their identities with impunity.

Lastly, where do we draw the line between pornography and art? It’s sad how many immoral and unethical things are committed under the name of Art. That’s because Art has no meaning anymore. Art has been so defined that anything can fall under its umbrella. Art is now a synonym for the word ‘everything’. That, of course, is nonsense. Of course if you disapprove you are automatically labeled a prude and simply dismissed – as if that makes any kind of rational argument valid. Ad hominems, last I looked, were still a logical fallacy.

Please don’t encourage bootlegging of any sort. The art is devalued. It hurts all of us. It hurts the buyer, the seller and the original maker of the material. Please don’t desensitize our youth and encourage perversion of any sort… the human body is beautiful, but it isn’t meant to be degraded.