Love the Art Not the Artist - Whedon's Fall Won't Change How I Feel About Buffy

The latest celebrity to fall demonstrates why I have never idolized anyone. I don't put artists and creators on pedestals because they are human and humans are dumb. Even the brightest ones can be downright stupid. And many of them turn out to be not nice people.

Some people suggest that power corrupts. I personally think power allows people to do what they want, showcase who they really are. 

I never understood why Joss Whedon was considered a feminist pioneer. Yes, he created strong kickass female characters but he put them through it.

Just because you make a woman strong doesn't mean you are a champion for women.

Strong female characters gave him more ways to hurt them. A weak character would fall and be done. No fun in that, nor is there much of a story. Certainly not one that could keep audiences interested for 7 seasons.

A strong character gave him seasons of ways to torment and torture her and he really put Buffy through it. And every step of the way there was a man trying to control her, hurt her, or fuck her. 

I had men in my life that contributed to my becoming a strong woman but they didn't do it through being nice. They were abusive assholes. Nothing feminist about that. Whedon was never a feminist, just an artist that loved to torment his creations and the people that portrayed them. 

The revelation that Whedon is an asshole will not change how I feel about Buffy or what it means to me.

I discovered Buffy in September 1997 sitting in a hospital waiting room while my grandmother was dying. The show had been out for a season or part of a season already, and they were doing a marathon to lead up to the new season premiere. 

I was drawn into the show, hooked. It gave me an escape while waiting for the worst news. After she passed it gave me something to look forward to each week, something other than grief and nightmares. 

Several weeks after she passed I found a tiny baby kitten under my mom's front porch. The old mother cat had abandoned her. I saved her, fed her from a tiny baby bottle. She fit in the palm of my hand. I named her Angel. She was my saving grace and I had her for 13 years. 

Every so often I do a Buffy rewatch. From start to finish. I revisit my past. Memories both pleasant and bittersweet.

Joss Whedon can't change that or take that away from me no matter what he does.

Though cancel culture might take away my ability to rewatch the show if it is removed from streaming platforms. 

You can love the art while hating the artist. 

Or better yet, not knowing anything about them. Sometimes I miss the days when creators were mysterious beings we really knew nothing about. Social media gives them the ability to be accessible and seem like real people. It also gives them the ability to put their foot in it and ruin themselves. Social media also brings secrets to light. There is no privacy, there are no secrets. If you are an awful person it will eventually come to light.

So plan to see a lot more celebrities fall. But don't let their fall ruin what their art meant to you.

Once a creation goes out into the world whether it be a book, movie, music, tv show, or painting it no longer belongs to the artist. 

It belongs to each individual who experiences it. 

Because art is an experience unique to each person.

What Buffy means to me is not what it means to you. My memories won't change. 

What Harry Potter means to my children, and the memories we have of reading the books and watching the movies together will not be tarnished because Rowling turned out to be a raging TERF. 

What a couple Marilyn Manson songs represent to me, the memories they hold from that time in my life, those can't be erased because Manson is a huge asshole.

While future support can and should be pulled from these people, erasing their past creations will not fix anything. 

Don't let their mistakes ruin your memories. You can continue to love the art, not the artist. 

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