The age of social media has been eye-opening. Once upon a time in the 90’s, when I was a bright-eyed teen searching for inspiration, I could listen to music, or watch movies, and gather role models. And without knowing the artist I could project onto them any positive quality or trait that I wanted to.
“This woman wrote this intense song, she must be so passionate.”
“This man wrote this love song, he must be so kind, so loving, so respectful…”
“This movie was so empowering, the people involved are so cool!”
And on and on 🙂 But now, I get to see the behind the scenes of my past heroes. I get a front-row seat, with popcorn, and what I see is not always pleasant. There’s ignorance. There’s cult-like stuff (if not literal cults, period). There’s been arrests and convictions and suicides and overdoses… A mix of sadness, disappointment, confusion over what has become of my heroes flows over me. And the question pops up:
And can I still enjoy their art?
Well, their art is mine.
No matter what the artist does NOW, they cannot take away the nostalgia of that album, or the memories that come with that movie or TV show. They may have made the art, but they didn’t make the inside jokes with me and my friends. They didn’t have that soundtrack playing at all the sleepovers. The art simply wasn’t theirs anymore ~ it was ours, to wrap our lives around it in several ways.
Though what they do now can keep me from wanting to buy any more of their art in the future, that’s fine. Future art has no emotional connection, no nostalgia, no memories attached. But the art already made? Sorry. That is now mine 🙂 The songs we sung together, the songs I cried to alone. The movies that made us dare to dream. The fashion, the mimicking of these artists that we cast our most positive expectations upon. All that is still mine, and will always be. The artists may look different in my eyes, or they may be gone altogether.
But the art is mine.