My problem with problematic

When it comes to arts and entertainment, creators are a veritable smorgasbord of dysfunction, nastiness, addiction, profanity, and unreasonable hatred.

If you decide that you can only read books, listen to music, watch movies, and view paintings by wholesome gals and guys with outstanding character—about happy shiny topics—that’s your right, but if you’re looking for interesting, you’re soon going to find yourself shit out of luck.

The truth is that most people—though they’ll never admit it—hold deep in their secret hidey-holes varying degrees of one or more traits including racial intolerance, gender bias, general bigotry, and penchants for shit the rest of us would find bizarre and unnerving.

That’s not to say some vile fellow should be able to spew his hate unchecked … or is it? Art is, after all, supposed to unnerve, offend—cause a motherfuckin ruckus.

And, so, I find myself cringing with every utterance of the new-ish phraseology “problematic.”

As with all major movements, the desire to reach goal X-Y-Z is undoubtedly accompanied by muscular overreach.

We’ve now got, so they tell us, problematic movies, problematic art, problematic books, and problematic music.

Few, though there are probably some, could argue that advocating meanness and disparity is wrong.

My problem with “problematic” is when the good intentions of making the world safe for everyone interferes with the freedom of the artist. And worse yet, the freedom of the consumer to consume the art!

The biggest problem with problematic—other than the fact that it’s just good old-fashioned censorship in a woke new sequinned jumpsuit—is that it’s employed selectively.

Because that’s how censorship and its homelier club-footed cousin “community standards” are employed … as weapons against political/social/economical enemies.

“I don’t like it, so it should not exist!” —mating call of the Woke Warbler

I’ve spent my life pushing back against the Conservatives and their censorious ways. I just never thought I’d have to do the same with the Liberals.

Ultimately, the modern equivalent of the so-called Moral Majority should be careful to avoid, to paraphrase Nietzsche, becoming the monsters they so wish to destroy.


Disagree with me? There’s plenty of blogs out there to soothe your fetid soul. Check out these articles on problematic art:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/elliewoodward/problematic-movie-moments

https://diply.com/2275/16-scenes-from-beloved-movies-that-we-just-found-out-are-super-p

https://wegotthiscovered.com/movies/excellent-morally-problematic-movies/