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“The video Kevin Spacey posted on Christmas Eve has been repeatedly described as “bizarre,” with good reason: No one knows what it means. Wearing a Santa apron and occasionally sipping from a mug, Spacey seems to inhabit his House of Cards character, Frank Underwood, drawling things such as, “We’re not done, no matter what anyone says.” The monologue hints at a desire to return to Cards, despite his character having been killed off (“You never actually saw me die, did you?” he asks). It plays as commentary on the more than 30 allegations of sexual misconduct against Spacey: “You wouldn’t rush to judgment without facts, would you?” The confusion the video has sown may have distracted from the news that the actor was just charged with the sexual assault of an 18-year-old in 2016.
What’s clear, at the least, is that Spacey chose for his first significant reemergence to be a showcase—or “showcase,” heavy on the air quotes—of his acting. And for it to spotlight one of the roles that the public once feted him for. And for it to dispense thoughts about morality and truth. All of which makes a statement: Don’t separate this artist from his art.
As year two of the post–Harvey Weinstein reckoning unfolds, that old ethical question—can art be evaluated apart from its artist?—feels more and more academic. Whether or not they should, many people clearly are fine with being entertained by alleged abusers. The cheers outnumbered the walkouts at surprise comedy sets by the confessed creep Louis C.K. The rapper XXXtentacion faced well-publicized allegations of hateful violence, and yet since his death, his music has risen to mega-popularity. Art, it seems, can survive allegations. What’s more unnerving is the suspicion, now, that artists can weather them, too—by relying on the goodwill engendered by their work.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"On June 23, Erdogan and his party suffered a historic debacle in the rerun of the mayoral race in Istanbul. Binali Yildirim, an AKP heavyweight who ran as the candidate of the People’s Alliance between the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party..."
"Former Vice President Joe Biden will enter the first Democratic presidential debates with 19 rivals taking aim at him — nine on the night he will be onstage, 10 the night he won't be there to defend himself. He is the clear-cut frontrunner and..."
"The latest round of attacks and counterattacks in Israel and Gaza demonstrates the respective governments’ inability to extricate their people from an awful situation, decades in the making. Palestinians and Israelis live in the same land, share..."
"Yesterday, a new musical dramedy debuting this Friday, conjures up a world we can’t begin to imagine: one in which the Beatles never existed. Somehow, after a global blackout, no one on Earth has ever heard of the band, except for the protagonist.."
"“America will never be a socialist country,” President Trump said as he launched his bid for re-election last week. That declaration was an effort to frighten Americans and undermine growing support for expanding Medicare and Social Security..."
"SpaceX launched 60 satellites last month that now swarm around our planet like bees around a hive. It’s the first phase of Elon Musk’s ambitious Starlink project that will eventually send thousands of satellites into orbit to create a worldwide..."
""At the end of May, TIAA, the financial services and investing giant, rolled out new gender-identity awareness guidelines for its client-facing consultants. The guidance included: “Never assume someone’s gender identity” and “Be aware that a..."
"Nobody knows who threw the first brick at Stonewall. It might not even have been a brick. Legend has it a woman in the crowd yelled, “Aren’t you going to do something?” as she was dragged away by cops. We don’t know who she was."
"Secular studies were an afterthought in my all-male yeshiva high school, offered in the late afternoon after eight hours of religious subjects. After “English,” we often returned for a few more hours of Torah study. The person who was supposed,,,"
"Meat is dead. Carnivores are going the way of cigarette smokers and, by 2050, there’s a good chance that it will be socially unacceptable to eat meat. In the same way that we’re now horrified people used to smoke in offices and airplanes, we’ll..."
"In order to embody the philosophy of elegant simplicity, we need to address the relationship between science and spirituality. Some people think that science and spirituality are polar opposites, but are they? Science is about things which can..."
"Labels are a necessary evil when talking about Judaism. Orthodox, Conservative, Reform denote different religious streams, but they are simply primary colours which hardly do justice to the kaleidoscopic variety of the modern Jewish landscape..."