I’m not a bad person for listening to Michael Jackson, R. Kelly music

I’ve previously commented on the mob mentality that is firing up society. Essentially, if I’m outraged, you have to be, too. And if you’re not with me than you’re intolerant and the one who’s wrong.

This isn’t another rant about how society is too overly sensitive. We already know that. I don’t need to give examples. This is about the expectation that I will jump on the boycott bandwagon.

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Previously we’ve been encouraged to tune out of TV shows if we disagree with something someone says or does. The mob also tries to rally an advertiser boycott and punish the companies that market products and/or services during said shows.

What we’ve seen recently is boycotts of music artists because of their (alleged) bad behaviour.

Two documentaries have called out male celebrities as being perverted predators. Surviving R. Kelly featured women who say they were victims at the hands of the R&B singer. Leaving Neverland tells the stories about how Michael Jackson allegedly carried on sexual and romantic relationships with young boys.

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The mob has taken things one step further. It’s not about protesting radio stations for playing the music or petitioning YouTube to remove all of the artists’ content. (Although, people have messaged me demanding the music isn’t played on my syndicated radio shows anymore.) This time the expectation is that I will be so fired up about the gross things these guys (supposedly) did that I will never, ever, ever, ever listen to their music again.

So, something in my head is supposed to trigger and automatic hatred for their art. That doesn’t make sense to me. The song is the song. I like the song because it’s got a good beat, or good lyrics, or it takes me back to happy childhood moments, or whatever.

I might agree that if these artists put out new music (and apparently there are many unreleased Jackson songs) it would be considered supporting the (accused) dirty dogs and thus rewarding their behaviour. If I already own it and previously paid for it, is the requirement that I destroy my possessions just because they (might have) committed crimes? I’m considered a bad person if I play I Believe I Can Fly or Thriller.

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If it’s something that I’ve had in a CD or record library for years and it’s a collector’s item, it’s unreasonable to expect me to suddenly start purging my belongings simply as a sign of solidarity.

I might go with the flow but I’m not a sheep.

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